The Berks County Commissioner's were told at their August 20 meeting that the county's bond rating had been increased by two major bond-rating companies.Commissioners Mark C. Scott, Christian Y. Leinbach and Kevin S. Barnhardt were notified by Administrator William Dennis that Standard & Poors as well as Moody's, two of the nation's leading bond raters, had increased the county's bond rating from A1 to AA2 and from A to AA, respectively, indicating that the county had done an impressive job reigning in taxes and spending.

Bond ratings are used to determine the economic health of region and the amount of money then can borrow at the lowest possible percentage rate. Standard & Poor's and Moody's are two of the world's leading providers of financial market intelligence, providing credit ratings, indices, investment research, risk evaluation and other data to major financial decision-makers throughout the world.

While most Berks County residents may not fully grasp the implication of such a ratings increase, Dennis noted that it was a huge boon to the county, especially in light of the fact that the bond rating increase was not a top priority for the commissioners. Dennis also indicated that the bond companies were obviously so impressed with the county's financial management plan - including its stated goal to not to raise taxes within the next four years - that the bond ratings were increased, thus substantially increasing the county's borrowing power.

Not escaping the irony that the county is so fiscally healthy it does not need to borrow, the commissioners and Dennis agreed that the ratings increase was a huge boost to the county's fiscal efforts as well as toward the overall economic success of the community at large.

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