Streetsboro -- The city's bond rating has been upgraded from "AA-" to "AA" by Standard & Poor's in New York, one of the nation's top credit-rating agencies, and the rating is the second highest category possible, announced Finance Director Jenny Esarey at a July 28 City Council meeting.
The highest rating is "AAA."
"This upgrade actually makes the city more attractive for borrowing," said Esarey, adding the city would get a better interest rate on projects. "We are absolutely thrilled to have earned the upgrade. The administration has worked hard."
Mayor Glenn Broska agreed, saying the administration and City Council have worked hard "to create a financially stable, economically vibrant city."
"The city has been focused on its economic development efforts, attracting businesses to the community and has finalized a deal to extend Philipp Parkway, opening up additional commercial development and reducing commercial traffic downtown," said Broska.
Esarey said there are no plans to refinance in the near future due to the costs associated with refinancing and that 2013 water tower and judgment bonds will be unable to be refinanced until the call option is available.
Council President Julie Field said the rating upgrade is "excellent news."
"This is a positive reflection on our administration, our mayor and our department heads," Field said.
Esarey said the upgrade occurred after Brian Cooper, the city's financial adviser from ACI Financial Advisors, suggested because of all of Streetsboro's positive budgetary adjustments in the past year, the city should have a review of its bond status with Standard & Poor's. She said she gathered information that was sent to a Standard & Poor's rating committee on July 23.
The last review was done in August 2013, and the bond rating issued was AA-minus, Esarey said.
The news about the upgraded rating was received by the city July 25, she said.
Reasons for the upgrade, according to Esarey, were: "The city's per-capita buying income is very strong; the city is maintaining a balanced budget; the city's budgetary flexibility is very strong; and the city has exceptional access to capital. We are very happy to see our conservative fiscal policies are paying off."
Broska noted that the bond rating upgrade occurred while Esarey has been on the job in Streetsboro for less than one year.
"It was a very short period of time that we've gone from AA-minus to AA," Broska said. "It's a very positive reflection on the city, overall."
Council Vice President Bridget Pavlick added, "What Jenny has been able to accomplish in a short amount of time [is impressive]."
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