CHESTER COUNTY

Bond ratings remain AAA

WEST CHESTER Officials have announced the renewal of three top bond ratings for the county and authorized debt refinancing that could save more than $3.5 million.

At a recent meeting, the county commissioners approved an ordinance for a bond issue to refinance debt and fund the county's five-year Capital Investment Program.

The county's top bond ratings mean that its refinancing would be at rates lower than any other municipality in the state, said L. Gordon Walker, managing director of Public Financial Management in Malvern.

Chester County has a AAA bond rating from Moody's Investors Service and AAA ratings from Standard & Poor's and Fitch Ratings.

"While we have enjoyed this AAA status for more than eight years, we do not remain complacent in striving to maintain strong financial practices," Terence Farrell, chair of the county commissioners, said in a statement.

The rating agencies have lauded Chester County's tax base, strong economy, stable and diverse employment base, and county officials' proactive financial stewardship.

County officials said the potential sale of bonds will take place on Tuesday. If it happens, the deal size is estimated at $91 million.

- Michaelle Bond