A replacement for Chester Fire and EMS Station 1 is one of the projects that will be funded with this week's $105 million bond issuance.
Chesterfield will issue about $105 million in General Obligation bonds this week to begin work on a slate of county and school capital projects that were overwhelmingly approved by voters last November.
The bond sale is expected to take place Wednesday, June 14, said Gerard Durkin, the county’s budget director.
Approximately $55 million of the proceeds from this year’s issuance have been designated to get started on the following county capital improvements: River City Sportsplex enhancements; Horner Park development; replacement of the Chester fire station and Enon library; construction of the new Falling Creek police station; and creating public access to conservation areas for passive recreation.
Another $50 million will provide initial funding for the replacement of A.M. Davis and Bensley elementary schools, as well as construction of new elementary, middle and high schools in the western Route 360 corridor.
Those projects and others were part of a $540 million bond referendum that passed with 76% approval on Chesterfield’s 2022 general election ballot. In total, $375 million of the funding will be used for schools and $165 million for county facilities.
Because General Obligation bonds are backed by the “full faith and credit” of the local government, they are considered to be among the safest investments available.
The bonds will be issued over a period of five to seven years, Durkin noted. As other debt is paid off, Chesterfield will be able to address growth and meet community needs by completing the referendum projects without significantly increasing its overall debt service obligations.
Wednesday’s sale follows the recent reaffirmation of Chesterfield’s Triple-AAA bond rating for the 27th consecutive year, keeping it among the 1% of counties nationwide that hold the highest possible rating from each of America’s “Big 3” rating agencies: Standard & Poor’s (S&P), Moody’s and Fitch Ratings.
Three of them are located in the Richmond region: Chesterfield, Henrico and Hanover.
A locality’s bond rating is similar to your individual credit score – the higher the score, the lower the cost to borrow money.
Amid rising interest rates, maintaining the Triple-AAA rating will save Chesterfield millions of dollars over the 20-year repayment window for the bonds issued as part of the 2022 referendum.