Kurt L. Schmoke may be mayor of Baltimore, but his heart is still with the municipal bond community.

"I once fancied myself as a municipal bond lawyer," he said last week before designating Sept. 21 through Sep. 27 "Built by Bonds Week." "But my firm fancied me as mayor, and had me run for office."

Mayor Schmoke said his bond training did not go to waste, however, because he knows what the city is doing when it goes to market.

The mayor's proclamation was coordinated by members and staff of the Public Securities Association, which is undertaking a national "Built by Bonds" campaign aimed at increasing awareness about the role bonds play in American life. Similar events are expected in about 10 other cities.

Montgomery County is slated to hit the market next week with a $115 million general obligation bond issue. Sealed bids on the competitive offering are due Oct. 6 by 11 a.m., eastern daylight time, in the conference room of the county's Office of Economic Development.

Proceeds of the bonds will be used to finance construction and improvement of general public facilities, roads and bridges, storm water drainage systems, public schools, the community college, mass transit facilities, parks, and firefighting facilities.

The county's debt is rated triple-A by the major bond rating agencies.

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