Fitch Ratings assigns an 'AAA' rating to the following general obligation (GO) bonds of the town of --
The bonds are scheduled for a competitive sale on
In addition, Fitch affirms the following ratings:
The Rating Outlook is Stable.
The GO bonds are secured by a pledge of the full faith, credit and unlimited taxing power of the town.
The LOBs are secured by payments made by the town under an installment financing agreement (the agreement) in an amount sufficient to meet debt service requirements on the debt, subject to annual appropriation of the town. The LOBs are additionally secured by a deed of trust granting a lien on properties within the town hall campus.
KEY RATING DRIVERS
SUPERIOR FINANCIAL FLEXIBILITY: Financial flexibility is exceptional, including very high reserve levels and balance sheet liquidity, and ample revenue raising capacity. The town has a track record of conservative budgeting that consistently yields surplus operating results.
MODERATE DEBT AND SOUND POLICIES: The overall debt burden is moderate while the town continues to adhere to conservative financial and debt policies.
SOUND LEASE ASSET ESSENTIALITY: The LOB rating is notched down from the town's GO rating, which reflects Fitch's assessment of the risk of non-appropriation, limited bondholder remedies in the event of a default, and the essential nature of the town properties subject to the deed of trust.
MAINTENANCE OF STRONG FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT: The rating is sensitive to shifts in fundamental credit characteristics including the town's strong financial management practices. The Stable Outlook reflects Fitch's expectation that such shifts are unlikely.
STRONG ECONOMIC BASE
The town's commercial presence includes
The area is also home to several colleges and universities and major healthcare facilities, which tend to attract private-sector investment.
The town's unemployment rate has decreased to 4.1 percent in
SUPERIOR FINANCIAL FLEXIBILITY
Financial management is very strong, as evidenced by high fund balances, stringent fiscal policies and conservative budgeting. Fiscal 2013 ended with a general fund net operating surplus after transfers of
The town's fiscal 2014 budget has increased by
The town's budget includes
MODERATE OVERALL DEBT
Overall debt levels are moderate at 2.1 percent of market value and approximately
Variable rate debt of
LIMITED OTHER LONG-TERM LIABILITIES
The majority of town employees participate in the well-funded North Carolina Local Governmental Employees' Retirement System (LGERS), a cost-sharing multiple-employer plan. The town also administers a single-employer pension plan to provide retirement benefits to qualified sworn law enforcement officers. The town's total fiscal 2013 pension contribution was an affordable
The town offers other post-employment benefits (OPEB) and fully funds its costs on a pay-go basis. In fiscal 2013, the town contributed
In addition to the sources of information identified in Fitch's Tax-Supported Rating Criteria, this action was additionally informed by information from Creditscope,
--'Tax-Supported Rating Criteria' (
--'U.S. Local Government Tax-Supported Rating Criteria' (
Tax-Supported Rating Criteria
Additional information is available at 'fitchratings.com'.
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Fitch Ratings assigns an 'AAA' rating to the following general obligation (GO) bonds of the town of