Arlington to Sell Up to $55 Million in Bonds in April

Published on March 12, 2016

  • Bonds to finance County, Schools projects

  • Up to $210 million of bonds to be refunded for savings

  • $23 million+ saved since 2009

The Arlington County Board today approved the sale of Series 2016 General Obligation (GO) Public Improvement & Refunding Bonds. These are long-term bonds, approved by voters, which the County uses to finance major capital projects.

Proceeds of the sale will finance the County's capital contributions to Metro, and finance a range of County capital projects, including:

  • Neighborhood Conservation

  • Paving

  • Parks Land Acquisition

  • Maintenance Capital

  • Crystal City Parks and Open Space

  • Lubber Run Community Center Planning

  • Trades Center Vehicle Wash and Parking Deck

  • Critical Systems Infrastructure

  • Transportation Projects

  • Arlington Public Schools projects

Depending on market conditions at the time of the sale in April, proceeds may also refund up to $210 million of previously issued bonds for debt service savings.

"For the past seven years, Arlington has been able to take advantage of extraordinarily low interest rates to finance capital projects," said Arlington County Board Chair Libby Garvey. "We have also been able to save taxpayers tens of millions of dollars by refinancing existing bonds at these lower rates. We look forward to achieving more savings in April, when the bond sale and refinancing the Board authorized today will take place."

The Board voted 5-0 (part of Consent Agenda) to approve the Bond sale and the refinancing of existing bonds to take advantage of debt service savings in the current environment of low interest rates.

Since 2009, unprecedented low interest rates have allowed the County to refinance more than $430 million of County, Schools and Utilities Fund general obligation debt — saving Arlington taxpayers more than $23 million.

Based on current market conditions, $110 million of prior County, Schools and utilities bonds may be eligible for refunding for debt service savings of $7 million on a net present value basis — depending on the interest rate achieved at the time of the refinancing. The Board's refinancing authorizing will extend until June 30, 2017 to give the County maximum timing flexibility to achieve the lowest possible interest rate.

To read the staff report for this item, visit the County website. Scroll down to Item #19 on the Agenda for the Saturday, March 12 County Board Meeting.

The bonds are expected to be sold on a negotiated basis on or around April 20, 2016.   This week the County selected Bank of America Merrill Lynch, PNC Capital Markets, and Citigroup as underwriters for this year's sale.

The County's existing bonds have a triple-AAA rating from Moody's, Standard & Poor's, and Fitch. Ratings for this year's bond sale are expected to be received on or around April 4, 2016. Read more information about bonds.