Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett Wednesday announced the county retained its Aaa bond rating after being removed from a “watch list” by Moody’s rating agency.

Facing an unprecedented $1 billion shortfall in recent months, the county was in danger of damaging its borrowing power if its credit rating slipped.

With the highest rating, it allows the county to issue bonds at more favorable rates, ultimately saving Montgomery millions of dollars a year.

The County Council recently passed a six-year balanced spending plan that was meant to carry favor with creditors. Officials say the measure will keep them from using one-time money to pass the budget. Under the plan, reserves would gradually rise from 6 to 10 percent by the end of the decade.

“We made the hard choices necessary to reduce our tax-supported county budget for the coming year,” Leggett said.

The county already secured favorable ratings from Fitch and Standard & Poor’s, the two other major bond rating agencies.