Carroll sells $20.7 million in bonds

October 15, 2006|By Laura McCandlish | Laura McCandlish,Sun reporter

Carroll County has sold $20.7 million worth of bonds to Wachovia Securities LLC, one of 12 bidders that offered the lowest interest rate of 3.88 percent, officials said.

Last year's bonds were secured at an interest rate of 3.97 percent, according to county spokeswoman Vivian D. Laxton.

The new bonds will pay for a variety of capital projects over the next 15 years, said Ted Zaleski, the county's director of management and budget.

Nearly $4.2 million will be allocated for overlaying county roads. Another $3.8 million will aid the construction of full-day kindergarten classrooms, and $3 million will fund agricultural preservation, Zaleski said.

The old community college building on 300 S. Center St. - which will become the new home of the county's parks and recreation department and board of elections - will use $2.5 million of the bond sale to renovate the building. Another $2.5 million will fund a fiber network to connect computers at the county's government buildings and senior centers, Zaleski said.

After meeting with Carroll County officials in New York in late September, three major bond rating agencies maintained the county's AA bond rating this year. Standard & Poor's awarded the county an AA rating, Fitch AA+ and Moody's an AA2, according to county comptroller Robert Burk. The next goal is to gain an AA+ rating across the board, Burk said.

He said only Howard, Baltimore and Montgomery counties have secured AAA ratings in the state. Carroll's lower industrial tax base affects its bond rating, Burk said.

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