SARASOTA COUNTY – Sarasota County’s general credit rating and the rating on its general obligation (GO) bonds, issued for the Legacy Trail Extension project, recently earned a “AAA” rating from both S&P Global Rating and Fitch Ratings, reflecting the county’s continued financial stability and pragmatic practices.
The extension project, approved by voters in 2018, expands the existing trail to allow for walking, biking and running from the City of North Port to downtown Sarasota.
The S&P Global Rating “AAA” rating on the GO bonds reflects that “Sarasota County has exhibited strong and positive financial results adding to its reserve position in recent years,” according to the release.
Noting further, considering recent COVID-19 disruptions that “the county has a material amount of combined reserves available for emergencies and contingencies and have demonstrated an ability to manage reserves,” the release added.
“These latest ratings are yet another positive sign of the financial health of Sarasota County as an organization and as a community,” said Sarasota County Administrator Jonathan Lewis. “The independent ratings agencies have affirmed what we already know about the county’s sound financial operations and the continued prudent actions of our county commission.”
Fitch Ratings “AAA” rating on GO bonds reflect “the county’s consistent maintenance of high general fund reserves, and solid expenditure control, provide the county with the ability to maintain a high level of fundamental financial flexibility through economic cycles and should provide sufficient resources to endure the current environment,” stated their release.
“It is encouraging to see that in light of the current uncertain economic conditions brought about by COVID-19 that the rating agencies see the efforts that past and present county commissioners have made to build, and hold onto, the financial reserves necessary for the county to successfully move forward,” said Deputy County Administrator and Chief Financial Officer Steve Botelho. “The county commission takes these ratings very seriously, and they are always considered in all of the county’s major financial decisions.”
S&P Ratings indicates that their rating reflects important credit factors for the county, including a strong economy, strong management, with strong financial policies and practices, operating surpluses, budget flexibility, liquidity, low overall net debt levels and a strong institutional framework.
For more information about Sarasota County Government, call 941-861-5000 or visit www.scgov.net.
In addition, more information about the Legacy Trail Extension project can be found by visiting this link.
Sarasota County prohibits discrimination in all services, programs or activities. View the complete policy at www.scgov.net (keywords: ADA compliance)