Despite a credit downgrade by Moody’s Investors Service from Aaa one notch to Aa1, Westchester County has gotten low interest rates in its latest sale of $56.9 million in bonds, the county announced.
According to county officials, Westchester is the only county in the state with two Aaa ratings, from Fitch Ratings and Standard & Poor’s. But Orange County has a higher rating by Moody’s at Aaa. Westchester had maintained its three Aaa ratings since 1988, according to county officials.
Here’s more from the county’s announcement:
• The first series of $52,650,000 has a 14-year maturity, had 11 bidders and was won by JP Morgan Securities, who purchased the bonds with a total interest cost to the county of 2.57 percent.
• The second series of $4,305,000 has an 11-year maturity, had seven bidders and was also won by JP Morgan Securities, who purchased the bonds with a total interest cost to the county of 2.099 percent.
The winning bids for both series were lower than the industry’s index (Municipal Market Data, or MMD) for AAA rated municipal bonds, which indicates the favorable interest rates received by the county.
“The number of bidders and the fact that our rates are below the MMD index show the strength of the county’s financial position, which translates into lowering the cost of our bond payments,” said Ann Marie Berg, Westchester’s Commissioner of Finance.
The proceeds will be used to finance various capital projects; the two largest being $19 million for road and bridge repairs and $18 million for improvements to parks, recreational facilities and golf courses.