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Press Release from Finance Officer C.B. "Butch" Watson:
Burgaw, N.C. (September 11, 2012) – Pender County received a Moody’s Investors Service rating of Aa3 for the $23.16 million Limited Obligation Bonds, (Pender Districts General Obligation Refunding Bonds), Series 2012. Moody’s also reaffirmed the Aa2 rating on the County’s outstanding general obligation (GO) debt. Moody’s cites maintenance of a very strong financial position despite recent weakness in the local economy and commitment to maintaining strong reserves as the primary determinants for the Aa3 rating on the Limited Obligation Bonds and affirmation of the County’s Aa2 rating on its general obligation debt.
Maintaining strong credit ratings is important for counties that sell tax-exempt bonds in the public market and will lead to a potential lower cost of borrowing for the County on future bond transactions. The County plans to sell Limited Obligation Bonds on behalf of its various water and sewer districts in the coming few weeks. The purpose is to refinance existing utility improvement debt to lower interest rates and provide for a reduction in maturity.
Achieving and maintaining two ratings in the double-A category shows the County’s commitment to continuing its conservative approach in budgeting and operations. The double-A category continues the alignment with other public entities in the area including Onslow County (Aa2/AA-), Brunswick County (Aa2/AA), Dare County (Aa2/AA), and Jacksonville, NC (Aa3/AA-).