Commissioners take steps securing AAA ratings


Delaware County Auditor George Kaitsa asked Delaware County Commissioners Thursday for approval and adoption of a series of policies to preserve the county’s pair of AAA ratings with Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s.

“It’s basically to advise the rating agencies that we are very thoughtful in our process in terms of how we access the capital markets,” Kaitsa said. ”With your approval today we’ll be able report to both Moody’s and Standard and Poor’s we do in fact now have a form of policies adopted by the board of county commissioners,” Kaitsa said.

Kaitsa reported in April 2016 of the county earning AAA ratinga from both credit rating agencies. He said that was the first time in the county’s history it earned both ratings at the same time.

Kaitsa said the county’s policy is to maintain a 25 percent cash balance.

“Our benchmark for 2016 was $21.4 million,” he said. “Our benchmark for 2017 is $ 22.3 million.”

Kaitsa informed the board the policy says the county is to start the fiscal year with a 25 percent unencumbered balance, plus the $5 million budget stabilization account.

“For 2017 we’re starting the year at $31.4 million,” he said. “That’s the unencumbered balance plus the $5 million.”

Kaitsa presented a post-issuance policy to commissioners for adoption.

“What it basically requires us to do is to provide full disclosure on all of our financial information,” he said. “It’s compliance with a federal continuing disclosure requirements. That ties into the federal securities law as administered by the securities and exchange commission as well as the federal tax laws. Maintaining the tax-exempt status of interest on the bonds.”

Kaitsa said there are two requirements the county must fulfill. The first is providing updated information on the financial health of the county. The second is engaging in training annually related to the disclosure requirements.

“We’ve always been in compliance,” Kaitsa said.

Kaitsa sought approval and adoption from commissioners on a third in the series of the policies. He told commissioners it was the general guidance of how the county pursues debt.

“This basically lays out a formal guidance for the board of county commissioners in terms of what position is in respect to the issuance of debt and what we are going to take into consideration when we issue debt,” he said. “It provides guidance to the board of commissioners.”

Kaitsa said the policy gives the board the authority to determine who to consult regarding financial matters.

Commissioners approved the three policies unanimously.

By D. Anthony Botkin

[email protected]

D. Anthony Botkin may be reached at 740-413-0902 or on Twitter @dabotkin.

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