Calvert Co. Receives Credit Rating Upgrade - Southern Maryland Headline News

Calvert Co. Receives Credit Rating Upgrade

PRINCE FREDERICK, Md. (May 10, 2011) — The Calvert County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) announced today that three independent credit rating agencies have given Calvert County strong credit ratings in light of the county’s consistently sound financial operations, strong reserves and conservative fiscal policies.

The county’s credit rating from Standard and Poor’s Ratings Services was upgraded to AAA. Fitch Ratings kept its rating steady at AAA and Moody’s Investor Service rating remained at Aa1. The ratings are assigned to Calvert County’s 2011 issue of general obligation consolidated public improvement bonds totaling $23 million as well as other outstanding general obligation debt.

Calvert County staff and elected officials met with all three bond rating agencies in New York City in April to present the county’s economic and management profile in anticipation of the bond sale. “We are very pleased that the major rating agencies have recognized Calvert County’s strong financial position,” said Board of County Commissioners President Susan Shaw. “In a challenging economic climate, it is vital that we secure top credit ratings in order to save on financing costs for our bond issues. These ratings – particularly the upgrade to AAA from Standard and Poor’s – are a reflection of the county’s historically conservative fiscal approach and the hard work of county staff.”

In its rating rationale, Standard & Poor’s cited “the overall economic growth that has occurred within the county, coupled with … strong fiscal policies and practices that have helped the county maintain a strong financial position despite some recent declines in economically sensitive revenues.”

Fitch Ratings observed that Calvert County’s “prudent financial management has maintained very strong reserve levels and preserved significant financial flexibility.” Its ratings rationale also reported that the county benefits from robust local wealth and employment levels.

The Moody’s Investors rating announcement noted the county's strong financial position characterized by comprehensive fiscal policies and practices, healthy reserve levels and an affordable debt burden. The rating further considers the county's sizable tax base that continues to benefit from its proximity to the metro-D.C. area, the significant presence of an expanding power generation sector and the above-average wealth levels of the county's population.

The BOCC voted on May 4 to accept the bid on the county’s bond issue made by Janney Montgomery Scott, Inc. with a true interest cost of 2.99 percent, the lowest rate of the 15 bids received in this offering.

The proceeds will fund the construction of the new Calvert High School, a new academic building for the College of Southern Maryland, a substance abuse treatment center, Mt. Hope Convenience Center improvements and various road and water and sewer projects.

Source: Calvert Co. Government

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