2024-03-12T21:04:58-04:00March 12th, 2024|

Ottawa County is an amazing place with wonderful people, great jobs, low unemployment, economic growth, strong churches, thriving communities, and people who love freedom.

I want to share three updates with you.

1. County Bond Rating

In great news for citizens, on January 12, 2024, Moody’s assigned a AAA bond rating to Ottawa County’s bond issuance, which is the highest possible rating. This continues the county’s excellent AAA bond rating and reflects the county’s strong financial position.

Counties with a AAA rating can get lower interest rates for projects, which saves taxpayers money. Ottawa County has strong operating reserves, and the county savings remain solid compared to national peers.

Over the past year, local news outlets like MLive, the Holland Sentinel, and the Washington Post have published articles falsely claiming and insinuating the county would lose its AAA bond rating due to reforms made by our Conservative board of commissioners (like closing the DEI Department).

I am thankful the county’s strong financial position, conservative board, and capable staff have continued to make decisions for good governance. The AAA rating is the highest possible rating, and the Board should continue to promote policy to support financial stability and minimize debt.

2. Financial Stability

Ottawa County is financially stable. We are blessed with a stable local economy and conservative fiscal management. The unemployment rate is around 2.5%, which is one of the lowest in the state of Michigan. For fiscal year 2024, the County budget is $264M.

2024 Budget

As reported on September 30, 2023, the county had over $200M in investments.

Other financial highlights include the $6M+ settlement funds the county received last year. The county also has over $4M in Board Initiative funds.

The Insurance Authority also maintains a large balance of reserves of over $30M.

Fiscal Services has been hard at work and the annual audit will be released soon. When it is, the Board will review more information and financial highlights at a future meeting.

3. County Debt

The county’s leverage ratio is low and maintained consistently. This helps us remain financially stable and maintain a AAA bond rating.

Ottawa County’s assessed value in 2023 was about $21B. This means the debt carried by the county is only 7.5% of the actual maximum amount the county can carry. Low debt helps us keep an excellent bond rating and boosts our financial position.

The future is bright for individuals and families of Ottawa County!

Together we will continue to be guided by the county vision statement, Where Freedom Rings, and do everything in our power to secure the blessings of liberty for our children and grandchildren.