Minneapolis earns top credit ratings, despite budget and economic challenges

The City of Minneapolis has again been assigned top credit ratings by all three ratings services, despite financial challenges facing both the public and private sectors in this challenging economy. As a result of the high ratings, the City of Minneapolis was able to sell $5.95 million of general obligation assessment bonds today to Robert W. Baird & Co., Inc., at an average interest rate of 2.3%. The bonds will finance various capital improvements in Minneapolis for streets and alley projects.

 Prior to the bond sale, Fitch Ratings and Moody’s gave the City top Aaa ratings, and Standard and Poor’s Ratings Services assigned the City of Minneapolis the highest rating possible, AAA. All three rating agencies noted Minneapolis’ strong financial management as key to earning high ratings. For example, Standard & Poor’s noted that its rating reflects the City's deep and diverse economic base, its role as a regional economic center, its strong financial management, its history of actively managing long-term expenditure pressures, and its well-managed capital program with moderate debt levels.

 In the last several years, City leaders have taken significant steps to streamline City services, find efficiencies and address financial challenges. Long-term financial planning has maintained City reserves and assures that ongoing expenses are supported by ongoing revenue. Each year, the City plans five years in advance and implements streamlining and reductions to planned growth. City leaders have also focused on decreasing Minneapolis’ debt burden over the past five years. Since 2002, over $139 million in general obligation debt has been eliminated.

Nov. 17, 2010

Published Nov 17, 2010