Citing the maintenance of high level of financial flexibility, regular operating surpluses, conservative budgeting and tenured management, Fitch Ratings has upgraded the City of Southlake to an AAA bond rating with an outlook of stable.
According to the Fitch Report, the upgrade to ‘AAA’ from ‘AA+’ reflects “management’s evidenced ability to maintain its historically high level of financial flexibility, characterized by regular operating surpluses and high fund balance levels, supported by conservative budgeting.”
“We are pleased that Fitch has upgraded the City to its highest rating,” said City Manager Shana Yelverton. “This is a goal the City has been working towards for several years and it reflects the hard work of City Staff and the City Council.”
The report notes that the City’s debt profile will decline in the coming years as the Carroll Independent School District completes its current bond projects, and the City is able to pay down the direct debt and continue the practice of pay as you go spending on capital projects made possible by City’s strategic initiative fund.
The City also was rated AAA by Standard and Poor’s, a confirmation of last year’s rating. S&P report noted that the City has a strong and diversified economic base, and a historically sound financial position with conservative management practices and long term planning.
Yelverton added, “These ratings are important because they allow us to pursue funding for new projects or refinance funding at lower interest rates. The money that might otherwise be going to interest payments can be used to make further investments into other public services.”
“Our residents expect us to use their tax dollars wisely, and I think this affirms that we have done just that. Step by step Southlake has evolved into one of the premiere places to live, work and play in North Texas and it is a result of the careful fiscal and strategic planning.”