With a new AAA bond rating – the highest possible – Fuquay-Varina will now be able to borrow money at a lower interest rate.
With seven large “preferred growth areas” around Fuquay-Varina that are in need of town-funded projects, officials are pleased with the news.
Mayor John Byrne said that as Judd Parkway transitions into a sort of beltline around Fuquay-Varina, more developers will want to come to town.
By expanding utilities in the designated growth areas – most of which border Judd Parkway – local leaders can welcome development while controlling where it happens.
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“That part is really important to a growing community, that you’re investing in the right places,” Byrne said.
He also said one of his goals as mayor is to save residents money, and that this will help.
Property tax rates haven’t gone up on his watch, and he said the new rating from Standard & Poor’s means that when the town does borrow money – to build a road, extend utilities or finance some other project – it won’t have to pay as high of an interest rate as in the past.
There are many projects on the drawing board.
“We’re investing in our downtown areas, our transportation and the infrastructure,” Byrne said.
When the town saves money on interest payments for such projects, it can put those savings to other uses without having to come up with more revenue, including through taxes.
Fuquay-Varina last issued a bond in 2012, for $3.5 million in street projects. It will pay between 2 percent and 2.6 percent interest depending on how quickly it repays the loan.
The AAA rating announced recently is the highest Standard & Poor’s bestows.
Fifteen North Carolina municipalities have the AAA rating; most of them are in the Triangle, including Apex, Cary and Morrisville.
Fuquay-Varina and Carrboro are the only North Carolina municipalities with fewer than 25,000 residents to receive the rating.