Rocky Fork Enterprise

From AA to AA+

Standard & Poor's upgrades Gahanna's credit rating

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Gahanna has received an improved rating from Standard & Poor's Rating Services, showing the city is financially stable.

City finance director Jennifer Teal said Gahanna utilized Standard & Poor's as the rating agency when the city issued bonds in 2007.

"We provide them with our annual financial statements every year and provide a more detailed questionnaire every two," Teal said. "Upon review of our most recent submissions, they upgraded our rating."

The city learned Dec. 4 that Standard & Poor's raised its rating of the city's general obligation bonds from AA to AA+.

"The AA+ rating will be important if or when the city enters the credit market to finance future capital needs," Teal said. "Higher ratings provide cities with access to lower interest rates and better financing terms."

The city's rating was upgraded based on Gahanna's strong local and regional economy, budgetary flexibility, ample reserves, strong management and financial policies, she said.

"The improved rating is a testament to Gahanna citizens of our continued commitment and ability to responsibly manage the city's finances," Mayor Becky Stinchcomb said. "I see this as recognition of the hard work our team has done over the past few years to improve the city's budgeting and capital planning processes and increase our transparency and accountability to citizens and stakeholders."

AA+ is the second-highest rating available from Standard & Poor's -- AAA is the highest -- and is comparable with the Aa1 the city received by Moody's Investors Service earlier this year as a part of the 2013 refunding bond issuance.

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