Across the country, cities, towns and other municipalities are going broke, unable to pay for pensions and services.
But that's not the case for Warren County, which received an A+ rating from Standard & Poors Rating Service.
During the Warren County Commissioners' meeting Wednesday morning, Commissioner Chairman Stephen Vanco introduced the report.
In the summary, the ratings company stated, "The stable outlook reflects Standard & Poors opinion of Warren County's very strong financial position, supported by very strong budgetary flexibility, liquidity and budgetary performance."
"It also reflects the county's limited capital needs and very strong debt and contingent liability. We believe that the economy, while stable, is weak and constrains the rating. Therefore, we do not expect to change the rating, or the outlook within the two-year parameter of the outlook."
Retiring Warren County Fiscal Director Toby Rohlin said the county had a A+ rating last year as well, and was of interest primarily to creditors.
Commissioner John Eggleston noted that the rating would enable the county to get better interest rates on bond issues, like upcoming renovations to the county jail.
Vanco and Commissioner John Bortz agreed that it reflected good financial management decisions over the years.
Incoming Fiscal Director Paul Pascuzzi gave the commissioners the fiscal report, saying that surplus funds are up about $629,000 from this time last year.
Bortz wondered if there would be another surprise from Highmark. Several years ago, the insurance company withheld payments while it completed an internal audit, "giving us a false impression and a sense of security," he said.
He added that Highmark promised that it wouldn't do that again, but Vanco said, "We aren't sure, we're holding our breath," in fear of being surprised again with a large unexpected health care bill in March.
The commissioners also signed a contract with BI Incorporated which provides electronic monitoring for the county juvenile probation department, noting there is no cost to taxpayers, as the individuals who wear the monitors must pay for the use.
In an anti-climatic conclusion to last year's battle over bed taxes for tourism, the commissioners unanimously approved Resolution 3024 to supercede 3018.
The new resolution provides all bed tax receipts to the Warren County Vacation Bureau, effectively ending efforts to turn the money over to the Warren County Chamber of Business and Industry.