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Town Earns Lowest Bond Interest Rate Yet

Vienna keeps AAA ratings as it sells $6.45 million in public improvement bonds Tuesday, but 'negative outlook' from credit rating agencies remains

The Vienna Town Council set a new record Tuesday, selling $6.45 million in 2012 Public Improvement Bonds at a rate of 1.71 percent -- a third less than the record rate it earned two years before.

Before this week, the lowest interest rate Vienna had seen on its public improvement bonds was 2.49 percent, earned on the 2010 bond issue.

"By having such a low interest rate, the Town will see substantial savings over the life of the bond, ultimately saving taxpayer money," Public Information Officer Kirstyn Barr said in a statement.

The town goes out for bonds about every four years to fund major public improvements. It repays the debt service using revenues from the town's 3-percent meals tax.

Standard & Poor's and Moody's Investor Service re-affirmed their AAA and Aaa bond ratings for the town before the sale, though the credit rating agencies a decision driven by the town's close proximity to Washington, D.C.

It's also a historic year for town needs: The 2012 Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) calls for nearly $1.5 million more in bonds than any other issue in the past two decades.

The plan, which has seen several reductions and revisions since it was introduced this winter, including one of more than 50 percent in funding for renovations, will spread the $6.45 million across more than two dozen projects, a jump above the town's self-imposed limit of $5 million.

Finance Director Phil Grant said in February the town can expect to sell even more in bonds over the next decade: He expects a $7 million list in 2016 and $7.5 million in 2020 before the town comes close to exhausting its debt capacity — by 2024, it would be limited to just $1 million in bonds, he said.

For more on the town's CIP,

A list of the town's Priority A Bond Projects (taken from town documents):

Project Town of Vienna Funding Other funding Total Cost Police Facility Assessment 100,000
100,000 Emergency Power Generators (Phase I Police) 235,000
235,000 Town Hall Renovation Projects 300,000
300,000 Business District Parking Facility -- -- Community Center Expansion Assessement 125,000
125,000 Meadow Lane & Gibson Drive Storm Drainage 300,000
300,000 Ross Drive End Wall -- -- Nutley & Marshall Storm Drainage 500,000
500,000 Walker Street End Wall 50,000
50,000 Glyndon Storm Drainage Assessment 50,000
50,000 Village Green Drainage Assessment 25,000
25,000 Center Street Storm Drainage A&E 25,000
25,000 Ninovan & Talahi Roads SW Storm Drainage 25,000

Drake Lane SW Street Reconstruction 450,000 450,000 900,000
Center Street South Street Reconstruction 150,000 150,000 300,000
Lakewood Street RS Local Match 350,000 350,000 700,000
Spring & Battle Streets RS Local Match 250,000 250,000 500,000
Mill Street RS Local Match 200,000 200,000 400,000
Phone System Replacement Vienna Skate Park FHWA Grant Walk-to-Downtown Iniative 200,000 1,000,000 1,200,000 Train Station Trans Enhancement Grant 40,000 160,000 200,000 New Sidewalk Construction 500,000
500,000 Police Facility Land Acquisition 525,000
525,000 Water and Sewer Projects 1,590,000
1,590,000 Contingency 300,000
300,000 Bond Issue Costs 161,000
161,000
Total 6,451,000 2,560,000 9,011,000

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