Local News

Wake sells $502M in bonds

Posted March 17, 2009 4:02 p.m. EDT

— Six months after the nationwide credit crunch forced Wake County to put off a bond sale, the county sold $502 million in bonds Tuesday to finance school construction and other projects.

The county sold $435 million in public-improvement bonds to Merrill Lynch & Co. at 3.81 percent and $67 million in refunding bonds to BB&T Capital Markets at 2.16 percent.

"This bond sale is significant in light of the current economy," County Manager David Cooke said in a statement.

The public-improvement bonds will finance $100 million in public school construction, $35 million in construction at Wake Technical Community College and $300 million to repay short-term notes the county issued in October to keep construction projects going during the credit crunch.

The remaining bonds are to refund general obligation bonds issued in 1998, which Cooke said should save the county about $4.5 million.

In a report issued last week, bond-rating agency Standard & Poor’s said the county’s solid financial position has been bolstered by strong management practices, a diverse revenue stream and a vibrant local economy.