Baltimore plans to bring about $80 million of tax-exempt and taxable general obligation consolidated public improvement bonds to market in a negotiated sale beginning today.

The $53.2 million of Series 2008A tax-exempt GO consolidated public improvement bonds will fund various projects, including improvements to schools, libraries, and the Baltimore Aquarium. About $27.5 million of Series 2008B taxable GO consolidated public improvement bonds will finance various economic development projects, including parks and neighborhood improvement projects.

Public Financial Management Inc. is financial adviser on the deal. Underwriters are Merrill Lynch & Co. and Siebert Brandford Shank & Co. McKennen Shelton & Henn LLP is bond counsel.

Standard and Poor’s rates the deal AA-minus with a stable outlook and affirmed its AA-minus long-term rating. Moody’s Investors Service rates the deal Aa3 with a stable outlook.

The bonds will be insured by Financial Security Assurance Inc.

Standard and Poor’s said a steady trend of economic expansion has expanded the city’s tax base and improved its demographic profile.

“While recent challenges have emerged in the housing market, the city’s tax and revenue base has been relatively stable,” according to Standard and Poor’s.

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