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Fitch Rates Fullerton Joint Union High SD, California GOs 'AA'; Stable Outlook.



SAN FRANCISCO San Francisco (săn frănsĭs`kō), city (1990 pop. 723,959), coextensive with San Francisco co., W Calif., on the tip of a peninsula between the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay, which are connected by the strait known as the Golden  -- Fitch Ratings Fitch Ratings

An international rating agency for financial institutions, insurance companies, and corporate, sovereign, and municipal debt. Fitch Ratings has headquarters in New York and London and is wholly owned by FIMALAC of Paris.
 assigns an 'AA' rating to the Fullerton Joint Union High School District Fullerton Joint Union High School District (FJUHSD), founded in 1893 is a school district in Orange County, California that serves a fifty-square-mile area which includes the cities of Fullerton, La Habra and Buena Park. , California (the district) $30,000,000 general obligation (GO) bonds, 2002 election, series B. The bonds are scheduled to sell via negotiation through George K. Baum & Co. during the week of Feb. 25. Proceeds of the bonds will be used to renovate and construct various school facilities within the district and to pay issuance costs. The Rating Outlook is Stable.

The 'AA' rating on the bonds and Stable Rating Outlook reflect the district's solid financial condition, sound management practices, low debt burden, and diverse economic base. Consistently healthy unreserved general fund balances provide the district with significant financial flexibility. In addition, the district maintains a sizeable cash position. The district's conservative approach to capital borrowings and use of alternative funding mechanisms have resulted in low debt ratios and have positioned the district well for financing the renovation and construction projects approved by district voters in March 2002.

The district is located in northwestern Orange County, 22 miles southeast of the City of Los Angeles
For the city, see Los Angeles, California.
The City of Los Angeles was a streamlined passenger train jointly operated by the Chicago and North Western Railway and the Union Pacific Railroad.
. The district serves primarily the cities of Fullerton, La Habra La Habra (lə hăb`rə), city (1990 pop. 51,266), Orange co., S Calif.; inc. 1925. A suburb of Los Angeles, La Habra was settled in the 1860s by Basque sheepherders. , and Buena Park Buena Park (bwā`nə), city (1990 pop. 68,784), Orange co., S Calif.; inc. 1953. Food processing, the manufacture of aircraft, and tourism are important to the city's economy.  along with several neighboring communities and portions of unincorporated Los Angeles Los Angeles (lôs ăn`jələs, lŏs, ăn`jəlēz'), city (1990 pop. 3,485,398), seat of Los Angeles co., S Calif.; inc. 1850.  and Orange Counties. Accounting for 43% of district student enrollment, Fullerton is the District's largest city and provides a strong economic base. Major employers in Fullerton include California State University Enrollment
 at Fullerton, St. Jude Medical St. Jude Medical, Inc. NYSE: STJ is a $2.9 billion global cardiovascular device company, with headquarters in St. Paul, Minnesota, United States. The company sells products in more than 100 countries and has over 20 operations and manufacturing facilities worldwide.  Center, and the District. Population in both the city and Orange County has grown steadily over the past decade: Fullerton's population has increased by more than 18% since 1990 to approximately 134,000, and Orange County has seen its population grow 25% to 3 million currently. Population growth has supported steady increases in employment levels, and the unemployment rate has been consistently below county and state levels since 1995.

The district's tax base has also experienced steady growth in recent years. Assessed valuation (AV) in the district has increased at an above-average rate of 6.1% annually since 1999, to $19.6 billion in 2004. New building construction in the district is primarily residential, with 74% of 2004 building permits for residential construction contributing to the stability of the tax base. The top-10 taxpayers comprised 3.4% of total 2004 AV, indicating low taxpayer concentration.

The district's financial position is strong, with flexibility derived from good management, ample reserves, and cash balances, and steady but manageable enrollment growth. The fiscal 2004 general fund balance remains solid at $14.4 million, or 12.7% of expenditures and transfers out, although it decreased 11% from fiscal 2003 levels. The unreserved general fund balance for fiscal 2004 totaled a healthy $7.3 million, or 6.4% of expenditures and transfers out, and has averaged a sound 8.9% over the past three fiscal years. In addition, the district maintains a prudent 'Focus on the Future' special reserve fund that had an ending balance of $10.8 million in fiscal 2004, providing additional ample financial flexibility. The district's debt burden is low with direct debt at $282 per capita [Latin, By the heads or polls.] A term used in the Descent and Distribution of the estate of one who dies without a will. It means to share and share alike according to the number of individuals.  and 0.36% of AV, while overall debt is $1,605 per capita and 2% of AV. The series B bonds represent the second and final installment of a $67.9 million GO authorization approved by 60% of voters in a March 2002 special election under California's Proposition 39. The district does not plan to seek authorization to issue additional GO bonds in the foreseeable future.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Feb 17, 2005
Words:580
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