Wicomico Names New Director of Finance

Wicomico County Acting Executive John Psota this week announced the appointment of Pamela B. Oland as Director of Finance. Ms. Oland has worked for Wicomico County for the last seven years, most recently as the deputy director of Recreation, Parks, and Tourism. In that role, Ms. Oland oversaw the financial activities of the Wicomico Youth & Civic Center, marinas, and other Tourism and Recreation events. According to a County press release: Prior to her employment…

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New Record: Montgomery Earns 50th Award for Excellence in Financial Reporting

Montgomery County earned a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) for its 2019 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR). The County has received this award 50 times since 1951 and for 48 consecutive years since 1972 – more than any other County in the nation. The Certificate of Achievement is the highest form of recognition in governmental accounting and financial reporting, and represents a significant accomplishment by…

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Howard Announces New Directors of Public Works, Finance Departments

Howard County Executive Calvin Ball last week announced Tom Meunier as the new Director of the Department of Public Works (DPW) and Rafiu Ighile as the new Director of the Department of Finance. The appointments are effective on August 31st and September 7th, respectively. As previously reported on Conduit Street, Howard County’s DPW Director Jim Irvin and his wife, Finance Director Janet Irvin, in June announced their retirement after 75 years of collective public service. “Our Department…

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Prince George’s Adds Innovative Procurement Platform

Prince George's is making it easier for small businesses to do business with the County with a new online portal designed to provide support to small and diverse businesses. Prince George's is launching "The Business Highway," an online portal with a comprehensive suite of online business capacity building platforms for small businesses. The portal centralizes resources to help businesses navigate the local government procurement process. Resources include the County's online business certification system that makes…

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NACo Webinar: Municipal Bonds, Credit Ratings, and Issuing New Debt

COVID-19 has impacted municipal finance on every level, altering revenue projects, municipal markets, and long-term planning for county governments. Each of these changes impacts how counties will meet our wide-ranging financial obligations. The National Association of Counties (NACO) will host a webinar to explain how counties can best navigate these changes and to hear from ratings agencies and municipal advisors on how COVID-19 could impact county credit ratings as well as existing and new issuances.…

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Fed Holds Interest Rates Steady as Economic Outlook Dims

The Federal Reserve today agreed to hold interest rates close to zero and continue buying Treasury bonds to support an economy badly battered by the COVID-19 pandemic. The benchmark lending rate will remain between 0% and 0.25%, where it has been since March 15 in the early days of the pandemic. The surge in U.S. coronavirus cases is beginning to weigh on economic activity, but the central bank pledged to “do what we can, and for…

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Fed Extends Several Emergency Lending Programs By Three Months

The Federal Reserve Board today extended most of its emergency lending programs by three months, through the remainder of 2020, to support an economy still grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic. "The three-month extension will facilitate planning by potential facility participants and provide certainty that the facilities will continue to be available to help the economy recover from the COVID-19 pandemic," the Federal Reserve Board said in a statement Tuesday. Since March, the Federal Reserve has…

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Maryland Generates $180 Million Premium from $1.1 Billion Bond Sale

The State of Maryland last week sold $1,011.4 million in general obligation (GO) bonds for capital projects. This included $540 million in new tax-exempt bonds, $115.8 million in tax-exempt refunding bonds, and $355.6 million in taxable advanced refunding bonds. Maryland typically issues tax-exempt GO bonds twice a year to support the State’s nontransportation capital program. The true interest cost (TIC) for the sale bonds is 1.11%. The TIC for the most recent bond sale on…

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Fitch Affirms Montgomery’s AAA Rating in Advance of $852 Million Bond Sale

Fitch Ratings this week affirmed Montgomery County's AAA bond rating in advance of the upcoming competitive bond sale. Fitch Ratings assigned a AAA rating to the following Montgomery County general obligation (GOs) bonds: $320,000,000 Consolidated Public Improvement Bonds of 2020 series A $167,275,000 Consolidated Public Improvement Refunding Bonds of 2020 series B $364,600,000 Consolidated Public Improvement Refunding Bonds of 2020 series C (Federally Taxable.) The bonds are scheduled for competitive sale on July 16. The…

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Fitch Affirms Maryland’s AAA Rating in Advance of $1.1 Billion Bond Sale

Fitch Ratings affirmed Maryland's AAA bond rating in advance of the upcoming competitive sale of State General Obligation (GO) Bonds. Fitch Ratings assigned a AAA rating to the following GO bonds, state and local facilities loan of 2020, second series: $540 million series A, tax-exempt bonds (competitive) $155 million series B, tax-exempt current refunding bonds (competitive) $375 million series C, taxable advance refunding bonds (competitive) According to the Fitch Ratings analysis: Maryland's 'AAA' IDR reflects…

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