The City of Ridgefield applied for their first-ever credit rating, in connection with its planned bond issuance to finance the Ridgefield Outdoor Recreation Complex. The City received a high credit rating of “AA” with a stable outlook from Standard & Poor’s (S&P) Global Ratings.
Credit ratings are forward-looking opinions about credit risk and express the agency’s opinion about the ability and willingness of an issuer, such as a city government, to meet its financial obligations in the future. As a result of the strong credit rating, the City expects to realize lower interest rates, resulting in cost savings to taxpayers.
The AA rating is the third-highest rating available to any bond issuer, and reflects S&P’s view that the city has a very strong economy, and strong management with good financial policies and practices. The credit agency also reported that the City has very strong budgetary flexibility and liquidity.
S&P commented that Ridgefield’s proximity to the Vancouver/Portland metro area employment centers and Ridgefield’s development as a base for employment with existing and anticipated commercial and distribution-based employers played a factor in the City’s strong economy. S&P also noted that the City has a strong management team, with good financial policies and practices. S&P listed multiple financial practices that stood out such as the city’s long range planning, three year trend analysis for budget forecasting, cost allocation models, investment and debt management policies and strong reserve policies. In addition S&P mentioned strong budgetary performance over the past few years has provided strong liquidity and flexibility for the future.
“The high credit rating is a result of council and staff working together to build a strong financial foundation for the City. We are proud that our long-term planning and financial policies have been recognized and have put us in a position for continued success into the future,” said Kirk Johnson, Finance Director for the City of Ridgefield.