Fluvanna Earns Positive Bond Ratings

By William J. Des Rochers, Fluvanna Field Officer

Fluvanna County has received solid credit ratings from two New York rating agencies.  After visiting New York, county officials obtained an A-1 rating from Moodys, and an AA- from Standard and Poors.

The Moodys’ rating criteria say that an A-1 means:  ““Issuers or issues rated A present above-average creditworthiness relative to other US municipal or tax-exempt issuers or issues. … The modifier 1 indicates that the issuer or obligation ranks in the higher end of its generic rating category”.

Standard and Poors standards are similar:  “An obligor rated ‘AA’ has very strong capacity to meet its financial commitments. It differs from the highest-rated obligors only to a small degree.”  The minus sign shows the relative standing within the major category.

According to the Moodys’ press release:  “In fiscal 2007, conservative expenditure budgeting afforded the county the flexibility to transfer over $2.2 million to the capital projects fund while adding $302,000 to General Fund balance. County policy requires maintenance of a minimum of 12% of combined general government and school operating revenues.”

Stand and Poors was equally laudatory. The rating agency said:  The ‘AA-‘ standard long-term rating on Fluvanna County, Va.’s general obligation (GO) bonds is based on the county’s:  strong wealth and income levels, developing local economy that has access to the Charlottesville core based statistical area, large tax base that experienced a significant increase after the 2006 reassessment, solid financial performance with positive operating results and strong reserves, and very low debt levels that are expected to increase to moderate levels with the county’s planned debt issuance.

Fluvanna anticipates sizable borrowing s over the next several years to fund school construction and a possible water pipeline from the James River.



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