DALLAS — Weber County, Utah, will price $39.4 million of general obligation refunding bonds in a competitive sale Dec. 5.

Proceeds will finance improvements to the county's library system and refund a portion of 2004 general obligation refunding bonds.

The bonds are general obligations backed by property taxes throughout the county.

The bonds carry ratings of AAA from Fitch Ratings and Aa2 from Moody's Investors Service with stable outlooks from both. At the same time, Moody's upgraded the county's sales and use tax bonds to Aa3 from A1.

The county in August extended its pledge to $18 million of special assessment bonds for a development known as Summit Eden that includes a ski resort, a small residential village and 500 home sites. Small cabins will be available as rotating residences for artists, musicians, nonprofit leaders and start-up entrepreneurs.

Fitch Ratings said the special assessment bonds represented a manageable risk for the county.

"In the unlikely event that the entire debt became the county's responsibility, Fitch estimates that the annual maximum cost impact could be absorbed by the county," said Fitch analyst Alan Gibson.

Gibson considers the county's total debt burden low at $1,265 per capita and 1.8% of market valuation. Principal amortizes at a moderate 59% in 10 years.

"The only anticipated new debt issuance, $10.6 million of GO bonds likely to be issued in 2015, would be the second and final tranche of debt to finance library improvements," Gibson said.

With a county seat in Ogden, 35 miles north of Salt Lake City, Weber County is the fourth most populous Utah county with an estimated 2012 population of 236,640. The county grew 17% between the 2000 and 2010 censuses. Most of the residents live in the cities at the base of the Northern Wasatch Mountains.

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