Knox County, Tennessee, issued $70 million in bonds to finance a wide swath of improvements to the county’s facilities.
The bonds mature between 2024 and 2043, yielding between 2.69% and 4.06%. They received a rating of Aa1 from Moody’s Investors Service and AA+ from S&P Global Ratings.
Affirming the county’s Aa1 rating last year, Moody’s said the rating “reflects the county’s regionally significant economy, sizable tax base which is supported by the institutional presence of the University of Tennessee, the Department of Energy and the Tennessee Valley Authority. The rating also takes into consideration a solid financial position and an above-average but manageable, debt burden.”
The issuance follows the publication of the county’s capital improvement plan, which calls for $40 million in annual investment over the next four fiscal years. The majority of the program’s cost is attributed to school debt. The next-largest expenditure is engineering and public works.
The bonds will finance improvements to the county’s courts, prisons, schools, libraries, parks, and assorted infrastructure, including its water and transportation systems.
Knox County is the third-most populous in Tennessee and is anchored by the city of Knoxville. The bonds are general obligations of the county, backed by its full faith and credit.
Mesirow Financial Inc served as underwriter on the issuance, purchasing the bonds for $73 million. The price reflected a premium of more than $3 million.