The ratings go from AAA to D, and an AA rating is the second-highest rating available. Ratings between AA and CCC may have intermediate steps with a minus or a plus.
"The credit rating is like a personal credit rating. The better credit rating, the less interest we'll pay on debt," said
The reason the county's rating for bonds is AA- is because of how state statute is written, he explained. The North Dakota Century Code doesn't include a statutory requirement that the issuing agency pay a default out of its fund balance before it has the authority to levy to make payments.
Still, the AA rating means a borrower has a very strong capacity to meet its financial commitments.
The ratings summary for
It also noted the county had "strong management with good financial practices; and currently weak, albeit strengthening, economy with below-average per capita effective buying income..."
"That's kind of what we were expecting. We were expecting to get a very good rating," Bradley said. "... it's great for the county."
In this case, the credit rating was needed to issue
There were four bids for the bonds, and commissioners accepted the one for a 3.2378 percent interest rate from
The difference in rates due to the AA- credit rating could save the county roughly
The borrowed money will all be paid back through special assessments.
The project is to upgrade an L-shaped section of road -- a portion of
Currently the roads are gravel, but when the project is complete, they will be upgraded to Interstate-level.
"The intent is to facilitate corn coming in and out of the ethanol plant," Bradley said. "It's a benefit to SEPA because that way, any other commercial traffic can use it."
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