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July 3, 2003(DALLAS) — Two respected financial entities, Fitch Ratings and Moody's Investors Service, both have assigned AAA ratings to the Dallas County Community College District for $10 million in maintenance tax notes (series 2003). The prime rating - not often assigned to community colleges - and stable outlook, according to Moody's, "reflect the district's location in a sizable tax base, experiencing moderate growth; strong financial position (of DCCCD), despite recent reductions in state appropriations; and minimal debt levels."
The Moody's Investors Service report included a stable outlook for DCCCD's general obligation bonds that was based on "our expectations of moderate tax base growth, maintenance of strong balance sheet reserves, continued enrollment growth, positive operating performance and low debt burdens."
The assessment from Fitch's was similar: "The Dallas (County) Community College District's 'AAA' rating is based on steady population growth, modest debt position and rapid amortization, the strong planning processes in place for capital and operating needs and diversified revenue sources...the rating outlook is stable."
Dr. Bill Wenrich, DCCCD's chancellor, said in response, "Obviously, we are thrilled with their decision. They were impressed with presentations made by Bob Brown, our vice chancellor for business affairs, as well as three members of our board of trustees: Jerry Prater, Kitty Boyle and Charletta Compton."
Brown added, "Our excitement over the rating is driven by the fact that the higher rating will mean DCCCD and its taxpayers will pay the lowest possible interest rates on the new $10 million in debt. Both agencies recognized the district for outstanding planning in finance, facilities and educational programming which, in turn, recognizes the efforts of employees throughout DCCCD."
The bonds are being sold to fund maintenance and repairs throughout the district.