Mount Washington pleased with upgraded bond rating for city

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By Mary Barczak

 Even though the economy seems to be at a standstill for most, one city has been able to rise above.

The city of Mount Washington’s series 2012 general obligation refunding bonds was recently raised from “A+” to “AA” by Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services. This is one step below the highest rank of “AAA.”

The rating measures a city’s financial health and S & R have determined it to be “stable.”

In 2012, the city funded a series of bonds to pay for the wastewater treatment plant.

With interest, the city still owes about $7 million on it.

Mayor Joetta Calhoun said the company’s criteria changed so they contacted them to reevaluate. Some of the items they review include spending versus income ratio and how much reserve an entity has.

“If you have bonds you are required to have some sort of rating before people will purchase them,” she said.

S & R’s assessment lauds the “management’s conservative budgeting” during the past four years for keeping the city in the green as well as being able to maintain and add to reserves despite growing healthcare cost.

Calhoun said she was not expecting this, but is glad they were upgraded. It will help the city in the future, she said.

“This is a good thing for the city,” Calhoun said. “It means should we need to issue future bonds, we will be able to get it at a very very good rate. The higher the rating, the lower the interest you’d have to pay on it.”