Rating agency Standard & Poor upped the city's rating two points, from A- to A+ -- the highest bond rating in the city's history, its leaders said. The agency's action came two weeks after five
"We had to get our finances in order -- it's been the major issue for
They were rewarded with a rating increase in late 2012. In
Earlier this month, Olivares, Mayor
The city is planning to issue
They hope the new bond rating will help with that process.
"The better your rating is, the lower your cost of debt is or, if you get insurance, the cheaper your insurance is going to be," Mann said.
Suarez said that though the cost of the water treatment project itself is controversial, the need to pay for it is unavoidable. He added that he hoped having the fund balance in place would allow the city to move forward on other services.
The Standard & Poor bond report cited the city's actions taken to restore budget reserves, budgetary flexibility, access to external borrowing and "strong management, supported by 'good' financial management policies" as reasons for the upgrade.
The economics of the city's residents -- including per-capita taxpayer income and unemployment rates -- kept the rating from increasing more. But overall, leaders called themselves pleased.
"It's really good when you can see an outside independent agency evaluate you -- especially when they rate cities in the Valley, around the country and around the world -- and give you a two-notch increase," Mann said.
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