Standard & Poor’s Monday raised its rating on Lenoir County, N.C.’s general obligation debt to AA-minus from A-plus. The outlook is stable.
The upgrade reflects the county’s continued economic growth and diversification, as well as its history of strong financial performance supported by management’s policies and, according to S&P analyst Timothy Barrett, conservative practices that have resulted in strong reserves.
Lenoir County, with a population of 59,314, is about 75 miles east of Raleigh.
The county has an agricultural and manufacturing-driven property tax base that continues to grow and diversify with adequate income and strong wealth, S&P said.
Along with a history of strong financial performance, the county has low net debt levels and limited additional capital needs.
Standard & Poor’s analysts also assigned the AA-minus rating and stable outlook to the county’s planned upcoming sale of $17.9 million of refunding bonds.