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The original item was published from 8/12/2015 5:01:00 PM to 9/1/2015 12:00:03 AM.

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Posted on: August 11, 2015

[ARCHIVED] County Bond Refunding Reduces Current Year Debt By $2.6 Million

(ROANOKE COUNTY, Va.) August 11, 2015 – At today’s Board of Supervisors meeting, Finance Director Rebecca Owens presented the results of a recent bond refunding program that allows the County to retire $2.6 million in all outstanding Capital Leases, Literary Loans and the 2011 EDA Lease Revenue Bonds in the current year.

On August 6, 2015, the County completed the Board-approved a refunding transaction of $40.7 million of Lease Revenue Bonds previously issued to finance the construction of the Fleet Service Center, South County Library, Green Ridge Recreation Center, North County Fire Station, and the purchase of the Roanoke County 800 MHZ public safety radio system. The savings that comes from refunding these older bonds at more favorable rates allows the County to pay off $2.6 million in outstanding Capital Leases, Literary Loans and the 2011 EDA Lease Revenue Bonds in the current year. Additional savings of $182,000 will be realized over the life of the bond program.

Roanoke County Finance Director Rebecca Owens also briefed the board about the County’s latest bond ratings from national financial rating companies. As part of the bond refunding process, Roanoke County staff members participated in a conference call with Fitch Ratings and Standard and Poor’s Ratings Services to provide an update of the County’s economic development strategy and initiatives, the financial strength and highlights of the County, and regional cooperative efforts since the County’s last review.

Both Fitch Ratings and Standard and Poor’s Rating Services reaffirmed the County’s consistently high bond ratings of AA with a stable outlook and AA+ on the County’s underlying credit program.

Standard and Poor’s Ratings Services called the County’s financial management practices “strong, well-embedded and likely sustainable.” The agency also indicated that if the County’s metrics continue to strengthen while financial performance remains strong, the rating could move higher.

Fitch Ratings says “financial management is strong, as reflected in sound reserve levels, detailed planning, and stringent expenditure controls. Also, overall debt levels are expected to remain moderately low due to the County’s commitment to a combination of moderate debt issuance and pay-as-you-go capital funding.”

These strong ratings reflect the County’s consistently good economic growth, strong financial practices and policies that have helped the County maintain a strong financial performance. When assigning a bond rating, agencies assess a locality’s economy, debt structure, financial condition, demographics, and financial management practices.

The results of this bond refunding and the high ratings from national credit agencies are a reflection of the strong fiscal policies set forth by the Board of Supervisors and upheld by County staff. For more information about Roanoke County’s financial management policies, see the Finance Department website at www.roanokeCountyva.gov/financialpolicies.

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