The bonds will be issued in the approximate amount of $18.6 million to fund capital improvement projects including the new downtown cooling plant, facilities energy conservation measure upgrades, and jail control and security upgrades.
The strong ratings are among the latest indicators of Sarasota County Government's economic health, the responsible stewardship of public dollars by county commissioners, and the hard work of financial management staff, according to County Administrator Jonathan Lewis.
"These strong ratings are a great accomplishment, especially as our organization continues to navigate the uncertainty related to COVID-19," Lewis added.
According to S&P, the rating reflects Sarasota County's broad and diverse tax base and strong debt service coverage; while Fitch's rating indicates that sales tax revenues will increase at a solid pace, among other factors. Fitch assigned a stable outlook to the bonds, while S&P assigned a negative outlook. The negative outlook was placed on the bonds due to the uncertainty related to the impact of COVID-19 on the pledged sales tax revenues.
"These independent ratings agencies have affirmed what we already know about the county's sound financial operations and the prudent actions of our county commission. These ratings reflect the commission's understanding of how the county will react to the challenges we're now facing
," said Deputy County Administrator and Chief Financial Officer Steve Botelho.