Champaign County Nursing Home sign

The Champaign County Nursing Home is shown in 2015.

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URBANA — A potential threat to Champaign County’s credit rating has been removed as a result of the sale of its former nursing home.

Champaign County Executive Darlene Kloeppel said this week that Moody’s Investors Service has affirmed the county’s Aa2 credit rating.

The rating is used in part to determine interest rates for a governmental body’s tax debt.

“People look at a credit rating to determine rates for bonds,” Kloeppel said.

While the county had an Aa2 credit rating before, Moody’s had characterized it as having a "negative outlook," influenced by the money it was spending on the nursing home.

“Moody’s thought they needed to review us because something was at risk,” Kloeppel said. “In this case, it was the nursing home.”

Following the sale of the home earlier this year to a private company, Moody’s re-evaluated the county’s financial situation and determined that the negative outlook was no longer necessary.

“We had to fill out a long narrative describing where we are financially,” Kloeppel said. “Because the county’s general fund is no longer at risk anymore, they took away the negative outlook.”

Kloeppel said the change indicates confidence in the county’s ability to pay back loans and will help with interest rates on any future borrowing.

Reporter

Tim Mitchell is a reporter at The News-Gazette. His email is tmitchel@news-gazette.com, and you can follow him on Twitter (@mitchell6).