OCEAN COUNTY – For the third year in a row, Moody’s has rated Ocean County with its highest possible AAA bond rating and given it a stable outlook, according to Moody’s Investor Services and Fitch Ratings.
In the report, Moody’s commended the county for its “modest debt burden, strong recovery from Hurricane Sandy and significant liquidity in outside trust funds.”
“Our strong financial position allowed us to help our municipalities recover from the storm,” said Freeholder Joseph H. Vicari. The county was able to achieve an AAA rating even after the devastation and decrease in tax base caused by Superstorm Sandy.
The county plans to sell $36.15 million in general improvement bonds and $3 million in capital improvement bonds for Ocean County College, which Freeholder John C. Bartlett Jr. said is done so that the costs can be spread out over several years.
Bartlett said the AAA rating will also help the county when it comes to financing additional capital improvement projects by attracting more investors and yielding lower interest rates on bonds.
“This is one of the leading financial and investment firms in the world saying we are doing a good job. Essentially, this is our financial report card and I am happy to report we got straight A’s,” said Bartlett.
Ocean County was first given an AAA rating by Moody’s in 2010.