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Northampton bond rating improves

JACKSON — Northampton County taxpayers will benefit from a bond rating upgrade.

Recently, Standard & Poors Rating Service (a bond rating service) upgraded Northampton County’s rating from a “BBB+” to an “A” for general obligation bonds.

According to Northampton County Manager Jenkins, these ratings will result in a substantial savings to the taxpayers of the county through lower interest rates when the county sells general obligation bonds.

In arriving at this rating, Standard & Poors reviewed the county’s long-term financial stability, annual audits from previous years, economic development successes and on-going activities, history of retiring debt, along with financial policies and practices.

Jenkins reported Northampton County did receive an “A” rating back in 1990 for the sale of industrial revenue bonds, but to his knowledge, this is the first time the county has received an “A” rating for general obligation bonds.

“Even in good economic times, such an upgrade is a tremendous accomplishment, but to do so in these hard and difficult times is nothing less than amazing and is certainly a tribute to the stability and fiscal health of our county,” he said. “The Northampton County Board of Commissioners has provided strong and clear fiscal policy and guidance and has charted a course of cost verses benefit for the county.”

Jenkins also acknowledged the accomplishment is the result of teamwork demonstrated through excellent leadership among county’s department heads and Finance Officer Dot Vick.

“I am very proud of our County Management Team,” he said.