Rating is highest attainable
Elizabeth— Citing the County’s continued economic strength and manageable debt levels, Fitch assigned AAA bond rating to Union County and declared its rating outlook as stable.
Fitch noted the ‘aaa’ rating—the highest attainable—reflects “the diverse local economy benefits from Union County’s extensive multi-modal transportation network and its proximity to New York City.”
“The highest bond rating attainable is an affirmation of our prudent fiscal practices and entrepreneurial management,” Freeholder Chairwoman Deborah P. Scanlon said. “We have implemented a number of fiscal reforms over the past several years since the national economic downturn that have stabilized County finances.”
Fitch’s statement further noted: “overall debt levels are manageable even when including self-supporting contingent obligations; debt amortization is rapid and capital needs are modest with limited additional debt plans. …New management has demonstrated knowledge of the county’s financial pressures and a willingness to address them.”
Fitch Ratings assigns a ‘AAA’ rating to $80 million of
Union County, New Jersey (the county) general obligation (GO) bonds. The bonds consist of:
–$65,565,000 of general improvement bonds of 2011,
–$10,280,000 of county vocational-technical school bonds of 2011 (New Jersey School Bond
–$3,000,000 of redevelopment bonds of 2011;
–$1,155,000 of county college bonds of 2011.
The bonds are scheduled for competitive sale on June 21, 2011. The bonds are being issued to currently refund of a portion of the county’s outstanding bond anticipation notes that were issued for general government, county vocational-technical school and county college improvements.
In addition, Fitch affirms the ratings for the following county bonds at ‘AAA’:
–$260.1 million GO bonds;
–$58.4 million Union County Utilities Authority 1998 County Deficiency Agreement guaranteed bonds;
–$28.1 million Union County Improvement Authority bonds.