Victoria County's credit rating improves

Sonny Long

June 14, 2010 at 1:14 a.m.

Victoria County's credit rating improved and a recent restructuring of debt resulted in substantial savings, commissioners say.

The commissioners court received notification on Monday that two bond rating companies, Standard & Poors and Fitch, both rated the county's bonds "AA."

The rating means the bonds are considered high grade and high quality.

The rating from Standard and Poor's remained constant, but the rating from Fitch improved since a previous AA- rating.

"This certainly is very good," said County Judge Don Pozzi. "At one time, in 2003, we actually had a negative rating. A couple of years later it was raised to stable."

"We have continued to raise our bond ratings over the years, so y'all have done very well," the county judge told commissioners.

The county has $17,854,006 in tax-secured indebtedness, including principal and interest.

The court issued $8.5 million in certificates of obligation in April for improvements at the jail, airport and for communications upgrades.

County Auditor Judy McAdams said she was pleased with the ratings, citing a restructuring of the debt as a factor.

"All of it is rolled into one payment, the eight and a half million in new money and the three bonds we were already paying. By doing this, we saved about $175,000," said McAdams.

"Our financial condition has improved. It's stable," said the auditor as the reason for the better bond rating.

McAdams said an improved bond rating is important.

"Having a high bond rating improves our interest rates when we issue bonds," she said.



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