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Roanoke County reduces debt through bond refunding

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ROANOKE COUNTY (WSLS 10) - At Tuesday's Board of Supervisors meeting, members presented the results of a recent bond refunding program that would allow Roanoke County to retire $2.6 million in all outstanding Capital Leases, Literary Loans and the 2011 EDA Lease Revenue Bonds in the current year.

On August 6, the County completed the Board-approved refunding transaction of $40.7 million of Lease Revenue Bonds previously issued to finance the construction of the Fleet Service Center, South County Library, Green Ridge Recreation Center, North County Fire Station, and the purchase of the Roanoke County 800 MHZ public safety radio system.

Members with the Board of Supervisors say the savings that comes from refunding these older bonds at more favorable rates allows the County to pay off $2.6 million in outstanding Capital Leases, Literary Loans and the 2011 EDA Lease Revenue Bonds in the current year.

Additional savings of $182,000 will be realized over the life of the bond program.

Roanoke County Finance Director Rebecca Owens also briefed the board about the County's latest bond ratings from national financial rating companies. As part of the bond refunding process, Roanoke County staff members participated in a conference call with Fitch Ratings and Standard and Poor's Ratings Services to provide an update of the County's economic development strategy and initiatives, the financial strength and highlights of the County, and regional cooperative efforts since the County's last review.

Fitch Ratings said "financial management is strong, as reflected in sound reserve levels, detailed planning, and stringent expenditure controls. Also, overall debt levels are expected to remain moderately low due to the County's commitment to a combination of moderate debt issuance and pay-as-you-go capital funding."