Westerville Again Earns AAA Credit Ratings
WESTERVILLE AGAIN EARNS AAA CREDIT RATINGS
City Maintains Best Credit Ratings from Moody’s Investor Services, Standard & Poor’s
Westerville, Ohio – The City of Westerville has earned the AAA rating from Moody’s Investor Services and Standard & Poor’s (S&P) for the third consecutive year. AAA represents the highest achievable bond ratings for governmental entities, reserved for the highest quality, lowest credit risk agencies.
The full report from both agencies is available on the City of Westerville website at www.westerville.org/finance.
Bonds with AAA ratings are judged to be of the highest quality by all standards and comprise what are generally known as high investment-grade bonds. The amount of interest paid by the City is dependent not only on the current prevailing interest rate, but also upon its credit rating, with the AAA designation providing the best interest rates available for City debt issues.
Finance Director Lee Ann Shortland says this year’s rating assignments are a recognition of a strong local economy working in tandem with fiscal management policies that feature a conservative approach to debt.
“The rating agencies’ reaffirmation of Westerville’s AAA status will benefit our residents. The favorable effect of this rating will be measurable upon the sale the City’s bond issue within the next two weeks. We will be able to obtain historically low interest rates on these financing transactions, saving the community thousands of dollars,” said Shortland.
The City Council and Administration maintain a financial management strategy focused on strong community planning and economic growth, which are often recognized as key rating qualifications. It is also evidence that sound management practices and positive operating results contribute to exceptional reserve levels and significant financial flexibility for the City.
Both reports highlight Westerville’s financial management strategies as their basis for the AAA assignment. The S&P report also notes that Westerville's tax base has remained very strong, in spite of the recent economic downturn.
“This is a point of pride and prestige for Westerville,” said City Manager David Collinsworth. “There are only a select handful of communities in Ohio that hold the AAA rating, and few that can consistently demonstrate the fiscal management and strength required to maintain it. It characterizes Westerville’s commitment to being good stewards of our financial resources while keeping the community a desirable place to work, play and live.”
Another factor which plays a large role in the City's bond rating is the quality of its audited annual financial statements. Results from the City’s 2010 financial audit were notably positive, including no findings for recovery, non-compliance citations with regard to federal, state and/or local laws, and no internal management control issues or recommendations.
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