Frederick County Retains Its AAA Bond Rating

It means the county will pay lower interest rates when it goes to the bond market to borrow money.

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County Executive Jan Gardner & the county’s economic development and finance staff

Frederick, Md (KM) All three of the nation’s major bond rating agencies have given Frederick County a AAA bond rating. County Executive Jan Gardner made that announcement last week during her public information briefing. “An AAA is the best possible rating a government can receive. It certainly reflects out strong fiscal management,” she says.

The top three bond rating agencies are Fitch, Moody’s and Standard and Poor.

Gardner says this good news will enable Frederick County to pay lower interest rates when it goes to the bond market to borrow money for such projects as new fire halls, libraries and schools. “You can think of our bond rating as being somewhat familiar to an individual’s credit score. And, of course, the better the score, the lower the interest rate you pay on major purchase,” she says.

The county also plans to refinance its old bonds at a lower rate which will save an estimated $500,000, county officials say.

Gardner says last week, Fitch, Moody’s and Standard and Poor held virtual meetings with county officials. “The bond rating analysts looked at a wide range of indicators before determining our rating. They want to hear about our policies and plan that we have to insure fiscal responsibility,” she said.

Gardner says the bond rating agencies took a look the county’s overall economic health, and they commented favorably on the strength and diversity of the local economy, and the economic development which has occurred during the pandemic. “And they were particularity interested in how the county had supported our businesses and our employers during the pandemic,”: she said.

“You may be surprised to learn the analysts also asked other things like the steps the county is take inĀ  the areas of climate change,” she continued. “And they asked in the context in how we are protecting our infrastructure.”

Frederick County is one of 49 counties in the country which an AAA bond rating with Fitch, Moody’s and Standard and Poor.

By Kevin McManus