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LAGUNA BEACH : Canyon-Land Bond Issue Gets Top Rating

The $20-million bond issue for purchase of Laguna Canyon property has received one of the highest financial ratings possible from a New York-based bond rating house, Laguna Beach officials announced Friday.

“This is the highest rating you can get without getting insurance,” city Finance Department Director Rob Clark said of the AA rating issued by Moody’s Investors Service.

Clark said the high bond rating, which translates into lower interest rates when the bonds are sold, was largely due to the city’s low debt.

The bonds, expected to be sold next month, will help meet the city’s first $33-million payment due in June for purchase of 2,150 acres of land owned by the Irvine Co. The city has agreed to pay $78 million over a five-year period to preserve one of the last undeveloped coastal canyons in Southern California.

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