CHESTERFIELD — For the first time, the county will sell approximately $50 million in bonds, offering them first to the public, meaning Chesterfield residents...

CHESTERFIELD — For the first time, the county will sell approximately $50 million in bonds, offering them first to the public, meaning Chesterfield residents and other Virginians can buy bonds and invest directly in their community.

The sale of these bonds will fund projects from the 2013 bond referendum, including a new Old Hundred Elementary School, and replacing Matoaca, Harrowgate, Reams, Crestwood, and Ettrick elementary schools, and major maintenance on other schools.

That news came when the nation’s top three ratings agencies – Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s and Fitch – reaffirmed Chesterfield County’s AAA bond rating last week. The county’s status was reviewed in preparation for a bond sale this month.

Only about 1 percent of counties nationwide currently hold the AAA credit rating from each of three agencies. The county has earned an AAA rating since 1997, which county officials say is the result of its strong and diverse economy and record of fiscal conservatism and strong financial management.

“Chesterfield’s sound fiscal management has been reaffirmed by the highest and rarest of all possible bond ratings…,” county administrator Joe Casey said. “Our residents have asked for this opportunity and we are pleased to be able to offer it.”

The AAA rating ensures the county can borrow funds for the community’s capital and infrastructure needs at the lowest available interest rates.

The rating review process also provides residents and businesses with a thorough, independent assessment of the county’s management and financial practices.

Interested buyers can contact underwriter firm Raymond James at (804) 225-1129, Bank of America Merrill Lynch at (804) 780-1400 or Wells Fargo Securities at (804) 651-7077.

The sale date for local purchase only is expected to begin July 11.