Sunday, May 26, 2024


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  • Local Golf League Results
  • Three Feature Events Saturday at Grandview Speedway
  • Grandview Planning Tribe Baseball Loses in District Playoffs
  • Kutztown Eliminated in Softball Super Regionals
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Moody’s Reaffirms Montgomery County's Strong Financial Position

        Moody's Investors Service has reaffirmed Montgomery County's Aa1 bond rating with a stable outlook, and noted that the county benefits "from strong management that adheres to formal fiscal policies, multi-year budgeting and long term capital planning."

        The new Moody's rating was generated by the fact that Montgomery County is borrowing $55 million to finance its on-going capital program that includes major upgrades to infrastructure such as roads, bridges, parks, trails and county buildings. 

        At the same time, Moody's reaffirmed the Aa1 rating on the county's outstanding debt and predicted that the "county's debt profile will remain manageable."

        The credit opinion noted that the rating is based upon the county's sizeable tax base, and its "satisfactory and improving financial position, low debt burden, and below-average pension obligation."  In fact the credit opinion noted that in 2016 the county's contribution to the pension fund "will more than double to $8 million."

Under rating outlook, the report said, "the stable outlook reflects the county's improved financial position, which we expect will be maintained over the medium term."

        "The latest Moody's report is clear evidence that our fiscal policies and overall management of our county finances is working," said Josh Shapiro, chair of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners.  "We continue to strive to bring our fiscal situation back from the dire straits it faced when we took office in 2012 inheriting a budget that had a $10 million hole in it, and a structural deficit of $47 million."

        Moody's indicated in its report that an upgrade to the rating would be possible "with increased reserve levels more consistent with higher rating categories and a longer sustained demonstrated trend of balanced operations." 

        "The county reserve level had fallen dangerously low before we took office because of deficit spending," Shapiro said.  "We have doubled the reserve fund in the past four years and it is now above the generally accepted level of 10 percent of our overall revenues, so we are confident that our reserve fund in future years will be looked upon favorably by Moody's.  As far as 'a longer sustained trend' goes, we can't make 2011 go away, but as we move forward with balanced budgets, adequate reserve funds and full pension payments, we are confident that strong reports on Montgomery County's fiscal health will continue to be issued by Moody's."    






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