November 30, 2018
Rate is among highest ratings of local governments in Montana and similar to the State rating
Helena – Lewis and Clark County has received an AA credit rating from Standard & Poor’s Global Ratings for its $6.5 million of general obligation bonds for improvements to the current Law Enforcement Center, also known as the Detention Center.
The S&P rating is a letter grade, the best being AAA and the worst a D. AA falls just below AAA and is an “investment grade” rating with the capacity to repay as “Very Strong.” The rating evaluation includes a comprehensive review of economic, demographic, structural and financial performance factors that have a bearing on the ability of the County to repay its debt.
A bond that receives a higher letter grade receives better interest rates and lower borrowing costs versus lower rated bonds.
“We are extremely pleased, though not surprised, with this bond rating,” said Lewis and Clark County Commissioner Andy Hunthausen. “Tasked with properly managing tax dollars, it really showcases how seriously we take the fiscal responsibility entrusted to us.”
This rating is among the highest ratings of local governments in Montana and is similar to the rating of State government. S&P Global cited strong budgetary performance, low debt burden and good budgetary flexibility as positive factors in its review.
“As we begin working on our next budget cycle, we are committed to this trend of strong fiscal responsibility,” said Commissioner Jim McCormick. “Looking at all aspects of the budget, making sound decisions and making adjustments where necessary will keep us on this positive path forward.”
The County conducted a public offering of its bonds on November 28 and received a True Interest Cost of 3.42% on the Detention Center bonds.
“It has taken several years to reach this point and this is one more step forward in the progress we are making,” said Commissioner Susan Good Geise. “We look forward to a final product designed to assist law enforcement in the good work they do and to help keep our community safe.”
In November 2016, voters passed the bond measure to remodel the current Law Enforcement Center (Detention Center).
Communications and Community Outreach Coordinator
Lewis and Clark County