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Standard & Poor's Upgrades County Bond Rating
Release Date: August 28, 2008

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Standard & Poor's Upgrades County Bond Rating

Standard & Poor's Rating Services, an independent bond rating agency, recently announced that it would be upgrading the rating of bonds issued by the County of Sussex from A+ to AA, a move that could save County taxpayers substantial dollars on interest paid on County debt issued for capital projects such as the renovation of County facilities, reconstruction of County roads and the repair/replacement of County bridges. In its upgrade notice S&P noted the County's strong wealth and income levels and its low debt levels and modest future capital requirements. The S&P report further recognized that

The County's continued solid financial operations have contributed to a growing fund balance. . . . Fiscal year 2007 ended with a $2.2 million increase to its fund balance which totaled $17.0 million and represented a very strong 16.4% of expenditure.

Freeholder Director Hal Wirths observed that

"The Freeholder Board is proud of the work it has done to build a strong financial and budgetary foundation. The recognition by an independent agency, particularly in these times of increased scrutiny and tightening debt markets, is a true testimony to the Board's work."

The County recently received a similar bond upgrade from Moody's Investments, another large independent bond rating agency. S&P also announced the upgrade of the Sussex County Municipal Utilities Authority (SCMUA) bonds from A+ to AA, a move that will result in savings to the utility's rate payers.

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