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OCEAN COUNTY (N.J.) $34.6 MILLION GENERAL IMPROVEMENT BONDS RATED 'AA' BY FITCH -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --

 OCEAN COUNTY (N.J.) $34.6 MILLION GENERAL IMPROVEMENT BONDS
 RATED 'AA' BY FITCH -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --
 NEW YORK, Aug. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Ocean County, N.J.'s $34.6 million general improvement bonds, Series 1992 are rated 'AA' by Fitch. The bonds are selling competitively on Aug. 18. The rating also applies to the approximately $196 million in other outstanding general obligation bonds. The rating reflects Ocean County's sound financial management, strong financial position, and its economic transformation to a year- round job tax base. The credit trend is stable.
 Once dominated by seasonal tourism, the county now has a year-round economic base. Ocean County's population increased by 25 percent during the 1980s to 433,203 in 1990, making it the state's fastest growing county. Population growth and development continues, but at a much slower rate as a result of recession. Because of recession, resident employment levels are down by over 3 percent from 1990's peak.
 Although debt levels have increased because of growth-driven capital needs, they are affordable. Overall debt per capita of $1,309 is in the upper moderate range and debt as a percent of the large full value of property is well below average at 1.7 percent. Debt payout over 10 years is an above-average 71 percent. However, debt service's share of the budget has increased to 14 percent in 1992 due to the frequent issuance and rapid payout.
 Nevertheless, the unreserved current fund balance of $25.4 million in 1991 represents a strong 12.4 percent of revenues. This year's budget was balanced primarily through expenditure actions, including some employee layoffs, and by keeping capital spending from current appropriations at last year's lower levels. Cash flow is aided by 100 percent property tax collections remitted by underlying municipalities four times per year.
 -0- 8/12/92
 /CONTACT: Stewart Simon of Fitch, 212-908-0508/ CO: Ocean County ST: New Jersey IN: SU: RTG


SM -- NY087 -- 6386 08/12/92 16:56 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 12, 1992
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