Mecklenburg County sold $160.5 million of general obligation bonds yesterday, marking the first deal of the year for the triple-A rated credit.

The bonds were sold competitively with Robinson Bradshaw & Hinson as bond counsel. The North Carolina Local Government Commission acted as the financial adviser.

The deal was broken into two pieces — $12 million of Series 2008A GOs for parks and recreation and $148.5 million of Series 2008B public improvement GOs. Series 2008B will fund school and law enforcement facilities as well as county land acquisitions.

The Series 2008A bonds were won by UBS Securities LLC with an interest cost of 3.6115% and the Series 2008B bonds were won by Banc of America Securities LLC with a yield of 3.79%.

Standard & Poor’s said Mecklenburg benefits from the growing and diverse economy of Charlotte, as well as sound debt management and growing companies that choose to expand in or relocate to the county.

“The county’s financial position remains strong despite the service and capital needs that accompany growth. The unreserved fund balance has been routinely maintained at between 9% and 17%,” according to the report.

Mecklenburg County closed fiscal 2007 with a substantial surplus of the general fund, totaling $52 million after transfers were included. “This is the county’s fourth consecutive fiscal year of closing out in an operating surplus,” the report said.

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