Moody's Investor Services has assigned an initial Aa1 issuer rating to Botetourt County. The issuer rating reflects the county's ability to repay debt and debt-like obligations without consideration of any pledge, security, or structural features. Concurrently, Moody’s Investors Service has assigned an Aa2 rating to the county, VA’s $32 million Public Facility Lease Revenue Bonds (Botetourt County Projects) Series 2022 issued through the Economic Development Authority (EDA) of Botetourt County. Following the issuance, the county will have approximately $44 million of general obligation debt outstanding and $32 million in lease revenue debt outstanding.
The Aa1 issuer rating incorporates the county’s healthy financial position that is characterized by balanced operations and strong reserves. Supporting the county's financial performance is a moderately sized and growing tax base. Governance considerations are a positive driver of the rating and are reflected in the County’s track record of healthy financial performance, growing reserves, and closely managed debt program. The county’s debt and pension burden are slightly above average but manageable.
The Aa2 rating on the appropriation revenue bonds is one notch below the issuer ratings and reflects the county's pledge to appropriate an amount sufficient to pay principal and interest on the bonds under a financing agreement, as well as the more essential nature of the projects financed (county facilities).
“This was wonderful news that Botetourt ranked this high with Moody’s and this is just another testament to the financial wellbeing of our community. I can assure you this excellent rating did not happen by accident”, said Dr. Richard Bailey, Chairman of the Botetourt County Board of Supervisors.
Botetourt County Administrator, Gary Larrowe said, “With this financial rating, we are in the same class with much larger localities like Montgomery and Roanoke County. You just do not normally see a county of our size with a financial rating this high. Botetourt is blessed with a great employee team who is dedicated to excellence”.
The Series 2022 Revenue Bonds will be used to construct a new county courthouse in Fincastle, VA, and expansion of the current county administration facility (Botetourt Center at Greenfield) for Virginia Western Community College.
Read the full Credit Opinion here.
Read the full release from Moody’s Investor Services here.