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Marketing and Public Relations
5885 Haven Avenue, Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91737-3002
909/941-2114 or 909/941-2115
Fax: 909/466-2820
 

June 20, 2005


Contact:

Peggy Cartwright
Director of Marketing and Public Relations
909-941-2115

John Husing
Economics & Politics, Inc.
909-307-9444


For Immediate Release

CHAFFEY COLLEGE RECEIVES SUPERIOR BOND RATING

In California, there are 72 Community College Districts. Until May, only five of them had received a top-rated "AA" rating from Standard & Poor on their general obligation bonds. The five are in some of the state's wealthiest areas:
  • San Francisco
  • San Mateo (Silicon Valley)
  • San Diego
  • North Orange County (Anaheim)
  • Foothill-DeAnza, Cupertino (Silicon Valley)
Now, there are six with the announcement that Standard & Poor has given an "AA" rating to Chaffey College.

In their statement, the bond rating service stated:
"Standard & Poor's Ratings Services raised its rating on Chaffey Community College District, California's outstanding GO bonds to 'AA' from 'AA-', because of the district's continued strong financial operation and liquidity position, despite the recent unfavorable appropriation environment in California. At the same time, Standard & Poor's assigned its 'AA rating" to the district's $75 million GO bonds, series 2005B.

The 'AA' rating reflects:
  • A rapidly expanding local economy with a large, diverse and growing property tax base;
  • Continued strong enrollment growth;
  • Above average wealth levels;
  • The inherent ability of California community colleges to cut class offerings and costs as needed; and
  • A moderate debt burden."

A one level increase in a bond rating has a measurable impact on interest costs of about 20 basis points (0.20%). While that does not sound like a lot, it will represent $150,000 a year in lower interest rate costs on a $75 million bond issue. Those are funds that can be used for additional investment in upgrading the aging Chaffey College campus in Rancho Cucamonga and work on the new Chino campus slated to break ground with funds from this segment of the bond issue.

A three person team composed of Dr. Marie Kane, Chaffey College President; Earl Davis, Vice President Business Service; and Dr. John Husing of Economics & Politics, Inc. made the district's presentations to Standard & Poor's offices in New York.

Said Husing, "this bond rating is not just good news for the taxpayers of the Chaffey College district, it also validates the view that the Westend of the Inland Empire has become one of California's strongest economies. This rating occurred because of the strong management practice at the college as well as the extraordinary and continuing assessed valuation and employment growth within the college's boundaries." The Chaffey College district includes Chino, Chino Hills, Montclair, Ontario, Rancho Cucamonga, Upland and most of Fontana.

The bond $75 million issue is the second installment of borrowing from the $230 million authorized by 57.9% of the Chaffey Community College District's voters when they passed Measure L in 2002. Said Dr. Kane, "I am obviously excited about this acknowledgement that Chaffey College is well managed. It is a tribute to our governing board, faculty, and staff that they have helped build such a financially viable institution."

Kane indicated that the funds will be used for continued work on improving and restoring the college's main campus in Rancho Cucamonga which opened in 1960. They will also go to the ground breaking of its new Chino campus on land donated to the college by the State of California. The new campus will be adjacent to Ontario's New Model Colony. Some of the bond funds will also be invested in the college's satellite center in Fontana.

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