2011 General Obligation Public Improvement Bonds
Retail Sale on June 13-14, 2011
On May 14, the Arlington County Board approved the sale of up to $207 million of General Obligation Public Improvement and Refunding Bonds. As it did in 2009, the County will give priority to Arlington County and Virginia retail investors, who will be able to buy the bonds through a group of selected broker/dealers.
Of the $207 million approved for sale:
- $70.7 million is for County projects, including Neighborhood Conservation; Nauck properties; maintenance capital; Arlington Mill Community Center, Long Bridge Park; and Metro.
- $44.5 million is for Arlington Public Schools projects, including Yorktown High School construction; design and construction of Wakefield High School; and HVAC and roofing projects.
- $11.8 million is for utilities to complete improvements to the Water Pollution Control Plant.
- Up to $80 million could be used refinance previously issued bonds. Based on current market conditions, the County does not anticipate issuing any refunding bonds at this time. The Board authorized the issuance of up to $80 million in the event that interest rates decline between the time of Board approval and the end of fiscal year 2012.
The sale of bonds will take place on or around June 13-14, 2011. County staff has chosen a group of broker/dealers, led by Morgan Stanley as senior underwriter, and also including Morgan Keegan, BB&T, Citi and Edward Jones. These firms will represent Arlington County and offer the bonds to their customers. Individual buyers who wish to purchase Arlington County General Obligation Bonds should check the website www.buyarlingtonvabonds.com for more information and updates on the retail sale.
In prior years, Arlington’s bonds were sold largely to institutional buyers such as insurance companies and mutual funds. The County’s first retail bond sale, in 2009, attracted both Arlington and Virginia residents. More than 56 percent of the 2009 bonds were sold retail, including $21 million placed with Arlington residents. This year, County residents will once again have a chance to buy Arlington bonds in the primary market. The County’s underwriting team will first offer bonds to retail investors, with priority given to Arlington County and Virginia residents. Any bonds left unsold will then be offered through competitive sale to institutional buyers in the municipal market.
The 2011 bonds carry a rating of Aaa/AAA/AAA from Moody’s, Fitch, and Standard & Poor’s. Arlington has held its AAA bond rating with Standard & Poor’s since 1989; its Aaa rating with Moody’s Investor Services since 1978 and with Fitch Ratings since 2001, the first year Arlington applied to that company. In 2011, Arlington is one of only 36 Counties in the United States to carry the coveted triple-A bond rating from all three rating agencies. The high rating ensures that Arlington enjoys lower interest rates for its bond sales.