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ALAMEDA COUNTY (CA) $61.6 MIL. COPS RATED 'A+' BY FITCH -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --

 ALAMEDA COUNTY (CA) $61.6 MIL. COPS RATED 'A+' BY FITCH
 -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --
 NEW YORK, June 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Alameda County's, Ca. $61.6 million Certificates of Participation (1992 Capital Projects) are rated 'A+' by Fitch. The certificates are expected to sell by negotiation through a syndicate led by The First Boston Corp. on or about June 9. The credit trend is stable.
 Alameda County, with a population of about 1.3 million, is located on the east side of San Francisco Bay and includes the city of Oakland. Since 1980, the county's population increased by 13 percent and in recent years the assessed valuation of property has increased at an average annual rate of 10 percent. The county has a diverse employment base which grew at a faster rate than population in the 1980s. Despite some employment loses due to the recession, the unemployment rate remains well below state and national averages. Per capita personal income levels are 106 percent of the state average and 119 percent of the national figure. Continued growth prospects are good.
 Strong planning and management have resulted in sound finances despite budget pressures resulting from the impact of recession on revenues and social service caseloads. The county has adopted a "value- based" budgeting approach with community and business input that prioritizes programs and spending decisions. The unreserved general fund balance of $27.4 million in fiscal 1990-91 represents an adequate budgetary reserve of 3.1% of revenues. Balanced financial operations are anticipated at the end of the current fiscal year on June 30. The county has taken a conservative fiscal posture in developing its budget for fiscal 1992-93 as there is uncertainty surrounding state actions to address a large projected budget shortfall. The proposed county budget is balanced and slightly over $1 billion, which is 2 percent lower than the current year's budget levels.
 After this issuance, debt levels will remain in the moderate range with overall debt per capita of $1,529 and the debt burden 2.9 percent of the large tax base. Debt payout is slow at 33 percent in ten years. The county has no plans to issue additional debt at this time, but it may request voter approval of general obligation bonds to construct a new hospital to replace the two current facilities.
 Lease provisions are strong. The county covenants to budget annually and appropriate sufficient lease rental payments subject to abatement. Although there is a court case pending in California in which, among other things, it is contended that a specific school district's lease violates state constitutional provisions requiring voter approval of long-term debt, California case law has a long history of upholding lease-secured financings.
 -0- 6/4/92
 /CONTACT: Stewart Simon of Fitch, 212-908-0508/ CO: ST: California IN: SU: RTG


KD -- NY081 -- 7239 06/04/92 17:23 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jun 4, 1992
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