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Reckhow Hails Durham Fiscal Rating in State of the County Address

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DURHAM, N.C. — Durham County Commission Chairman Ellen W. Reckhow stressed the county's fiscal solidity and high credit rating in her first State of the County address Monday evening.

She noted that the county is fourth among North Carolina's 100 counties in tax collections, at 98.5 percent. She also said Durham is one of 44 counties nationwide to hold a AAA bond rating from both of the major rating companies.

In 2006, Reckhow said, Durham County posted “2,902 new jobs and $415 million in capital investment, making it a banner year for economic growth." She called it "a year of great accomplishment for Durham County.”

In the area of safety, “Durham County provided significant funding to the Court System, a function normally funding by state government," the commission chairman said.

For the future, “A major challenge is to increase our high school graduation rate,” she said. “At a time when we are celebrating the wealth of new jobs coming into our county, it is vital that we make sure that our students complete high school and attain skills that will allow them to be more competitive in this global economy.”

Reckhow also called for an expansion of the work force development efforts, noting, “We must close the circle and enable more of our residents to benefit from the great jobs coming to Durham County.”

She also acknowledged that while the dropout rate in the school system has been reduced slightly, more work needs to be done. The county's rate is above the state average, she said.

Reckhow delivered her remarks during the Board of Commissioners first meeting of the year.

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