As the national economic challenges continue and we increasingly feel the impacts from declines in state revenue, it's nice to get some good news about our local financial picture.
For the fifth consecutive year, Moody's Investors Service has rated the city Aaa and Standard & Poor's has reaffirmed the city's AAA status.
Our efforts to effectively manage the community's assets can now be further enhanced by our ability to secure exceptionally low interest rates as a result of these ratings.
The Triple A rating is the highest that can be attained and is considered the gold standard for government entities when selling bonds to finance projects. Proceeds from the 2012 bonds the city plans to issue will finance improvements along Lane Avenue as part of the new mixed-use development, as well as various capital improvements throughout Upper Arlington.
Because the city has a strong financial profile, characterized by healthy reserves and sound fiscal policies, it is expected to maintain its stable financial position. The city's financial management policies and long-term planning are important factors contributing to the high credit rating.
Standard and Poor's financial management assessment methodology considers the city's financial management practices "strong," indicating that practices are well-embedded and likely sustainable. During the last year, the city has strengthened its contingency general fund reserve policy to 30 percent of the current general fund operating budget from 20 percent.
To retain top ratings from two of the nation's finest rating agencies is an impressive achievement. We owe this milestone to the strong leadership and vision of both our present-day and previous city councils. They have worked hard to establish exceptional financial policies that help us balance our assets with the provision of cost-effective day-to-day services and long-term reinvestment needs to maintain and enhance our public infrastructure and facilities.
They have also long recognized the importance of diversifying and growing our income tax revenue-generating business base.
I also applaud our Finance and Administrative Services Department. Under the strong leadership of Director Cathe Armstrong, finance performs its vital organizational functions to the highest standards of integrity and competency.
For additional details of Upper Arlington's financial practices, call the Finance and Administrative Services Department at 614-583-5280.
Recycling political signs
The lifespan of a typical political sign ends once the election has passed, and if you're environmentally minded, just throwing these signs in the trash is not ideal.
The Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio (SWACO) is stepping in to help by scheduling a political sign recycling event from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, Nov. 10, at Veterans Memorial on Broad Street in Columbus.
Since our code compliance staffers will be taking down all the signs they have recently removed from the public rights of way, they thought it would be a good idea to invite residents to bring signs here and we'll get them to the SWACO collection.
If you would like to take advantage of this opportunity, please drop off any political signs to the Community and Economic Development Department by 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 9, and we'll do the rest.
Of course, if you miss our collection, you can still get with your neighbors to gather signs and take them down yourselves on Saturday morning. Visit swaco.org for additional details.
Theodore J. Staton is Upper Arlington's city manager.