Boulder County enjoys a loftier rating on its open space bonds after Standard & Poor’s raised the debt from AA-minus to AA. The upgrade came with a $40 million issue last month that priced before the credit market went into deep freeze.

The scenic and affluent county northwest of Denver has $226 million of open space bonds outstanding with additional authorization for $20.6 million. The debt, used to purchase and preserve undeveloped land, are secured by a 0.10% sales and use tax approved by voters in 2004.

The county sold the bonds through negotiation to Hutchinson Shockey Erley & Co. on Sept. 9 at a true interest cost of 4.2491%. The serials carry maturities of 2010 through 2029.

“The ratings reflect the county’s very strong financial performance and position, which serves as backup support for the bonds, along with healthy sales and use tax collections,” said Standard & Poor’s credit analyst Rob Williams.

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