Montgomery County retains good bond rating | Local

Montgomery County received a nod of approval Friday from a New York-based bond rating firm for its proposed $64 million bond issue it intends to offer later this month.

Moody’s Investors Service notified the county that it had retained its Aa1 rating with a stable outlook for the upcoming bond issues of about $50 million and $14 million.

The $50 million capital bond will provide $35 million for various county capital projects while the remaining $15 million will be specifically earmarked for road and bridge improvements.

The revenue from the $14 million bond issue will be used to refinance older bond issues. The refinancing should save the county about $900,000 in interest, according to county financial officials.

“By affirming our Aa1 rating, Moody’s is recognizing the county’s smart fiscal policies, which are focused on investments in infrastructure and economic development, coupled with responsible approaches to managing county funds,” Commissioner Chairwoman Valerie Arkoosh said in announcing the news.

By awarding the rating, Moody’s cited the county’s sizable “tax base with above average wealth,” its satisfactory financial position, low debt burden and below average pension obligation.

When Democrats took control of the county government in 2012, they inherited a $10 million budget deficit, a depleted reserve fund and deteriorating county infrastructure.

In that same year, Moody’s also downgraded the county’s prized Aaa bond rating to Aa1 because of past fiscal policies.

It was later given a “negative outlook.”

Moody’s in 2015 erased the “negative outlook,” replacing it with a “stable outlook.”

In Friday’s report, Moody’s stated that the county can upgrade its bond rating by continuing along the path that it is on while also increasing its reserves.

The county this year is…

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