Chester County remains the only county in PA with three Triple-A ratings
Favorable market conditions combined with the reaffirmation of three Triple-A bond ratings resulted in approval by the Chester County Commissioners of an ordinance authorizing a bond issue to refinance debt. Projected savings on the issuance could be $9.5 million, according to Glen Williard, Managing Director of PFM Financial Advisors LLC.
In his presentation to the Commissioners at this week’s Sunshine Meeting, Williard noted that the reaffirmed Triple-A rating status meant that Chester County’s refinancing would be at rates lower than any other municipality in the State.
Chester County is the only county in Pennsylvania – and one of 48 counties nationwide – that can claim the distinction of earning three Triple-A ratings from the leading agencies Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings. This places Chester County in the top two percent of counties across America that has consistently earned these top ratings.
Commissioners’ Chair Michelle Kichline commented: “Triple-A ratings bring the interest rate associated with the cost of borrowing down significantly, and since 2008, when we were awarded all three Triple-A ratings, the county’s savings related to bond issues have totaled approximately $10 million, with savings of $53 million by refunding debt when it was financially prudent to do so.
“While we have earned this Triple-A status for more than ten years now, we do not remain complacent in striving to maintain strong financial practices,” added Commissioner Kichline.
“No other county in the State can claim this Triple-A status from all three leading ratings agencies,” said Commissioner Kathi Cozzone. “This gives us the advantage of producing the lowest cost of debt needed to fund important initiatives.”
Commissioner Terence Farrell noted: “There is no more objective confirmation of our excellent financial management than these Triple-A ratings and the analysis underlying them. Chester County’s financial practices are managed to the highest standards and are very attractive to businesses that reside here, or are looking to reside here.”
In re-confirming its Aaa award to Chester County, Moody’s Investors Service commented: “Chester County’s stable outlook reflects the county’s long history of solid financial management which has resulted in solid reserves.”
Standard & Poor’s wrote that Chester County has a very strong economy, management and budgetary flexibility with consistently maintained available reserves.
Fitch Ratings reported Chester County has consistently demonstrated proactive and effective financial stewardship by budgeting conservatively and maintaining solid expenditure controls.