Henrico County general obligation bonds, totaling $73.5 million, have been reaffirmed as AAA by Standard and Poor’s, Fitch and Moody’s, the nation’s leading debt-rating agencies.
Henrico becomes the first locality in the nation to have its debt reaffirmed as AAA — the highest rating available for a governmental entity — by the three agencies since the historic Standard and Poor’s downgrade of U. S. government debt on Aug. 5.
The rating is especially meaningful in light of the nation’s recent downgrade, noted Henrico County Manager Virgil R. Hazelett, P.E.
“Due to the Board of Supervisors’ adherence to its long-established financial guidelines, Henrico’s fiscal health has remained strong, even in challenging economic times,” Hazelett said.
Henrico’s Finance Director John A. Vithoulkas said the reaffirmation is a result of the county’s anticipated bond sale, which is expected within two weeks.
Henrico County initially received a bond rating of AAA from both Moody’s and Standard and Poor’s in 1977, becoming one of the first counties in the nation to receive the highest bond rating. In 1998, the newest agency — Fitch — also awarded the county the AAA bond rating. Henrico has maintained these ratings, allowing the county to obtain funds for infrastructure improvements under terms that have been extremely favorable for its residents.