Washington County Receives First Ever “Aaa” Bond Rating

For Immediate Release: Friday, July 01, 2016

Sponsored by: Administrative Office

http://www.123rf.com/profile_marigranulaWashington County officials have been notified that Moody's Investors Service has assigned its highest rating, "Aaa," to the County's $77 million General Obligation Bonds, Series 2016. The bonds are expected to be issued in July to fund a voter-approved effort to replace and upgrade the current 9-1-1 emergency communication system.

As stated in Moody's report "The ratings reflect the county's very large tax base, strong local economy that is integrated into the larger Portland metropolitan area, above average resident wealth, healthy financial position, and very low level of direct debt."

Earlier this year, Moody's assigned Washington County an "investment grade" bond rating—the second highest rating possible. This designation allowed the County to refinance its 2006 series bonds at lower borrowing costs, saving taxpayers an estimated $500,000 annually, and more than $5 million in debt service costs over the life of the bonds.

"We're very pleased with this news," said Washington County Board Chair Andy Duyck, "because it reflects the County's commitment to long-term financial stability and to providing relevant and quality services, within our available resources."

Washington County voters approved the issuance of $77 million in general obligation bonds for emergency and 911 facilities at the Primary Election earlier this year. Bond funds will help pay for converting the existing emergency communications system to current technology; improving countywide coverage by installing more towers; strengthening facilities for earthquakes, storms and other emergencies; providing for efficient expansion of the 911 center and emergency response facilities, and replacing approximately 3,000 analog radios currently used by first responders countywide.

About the ratings:
A rating is a grade that indicates the credit quality of a bond based on the evaluation of an issuer's financial strength. Private rating services such as Moody's provide these evaluations. Ratings are divided into several categories ranging from Aaa, reflecting the strongest credit quality, to D, reflecting the lowest.

Media Contact:

Philip Bransford, County Communications Officer
503-846-8685