Allegheny County executive asks council to authorize $247M in bonds

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Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald has asked County Council to authorize up to $247 million worth of bonds.

Most of the bonds -- $165 million worth -- would go toward refinancing 2004 notes. The remaining $82 million would fund capital projects for 2015 and 2016.

It will be up to the 15-member county council to decide what projects receive funding over the next two years.

Recommended projects, according to the county's fiscal plan, include infrastructure work for county roads and bridges and improvements to county parks and buildings.

Mr. Fitzgerald said refinancing would save the county about $13 million to $14 million in debt service payments.

He credited current low interest rates for the projected savings.

The county's new bond rating helped a little, too, he said.

"The fact that our bond rating is the highest it's been in 12 years allows us to get a little better interest rates," he said.

Bond rating agency Standard & Poor's announced in January that it was upgrading Allegheny County's long-term rating from A+ to AA-.

At Tuesday night's council meeting, council President John DeFazio, D-Shaler, referred discussion on the proposed bond issue to council's budget and finance committee.

Michael Finnerty, D-Scott and chair of the committee, said the bond issue would likely be discussed at the group's Wednesday meeting.

Kaitlynn Riely: or 412-263-1707.

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