[The following is a press release from Michele Madigan and the Finance Office. The highest rating by the S & P is AAA and the next highest is AA+]
MEDIA ANNOUNCEMENT: June 1, 2016 Contact: Commissioner of Finance, Michele Madigan Telephone: (518) 587-3550 ext 2577; (518) 526-9377 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Re: STANDARD & POOR’S SAYS SARATOGA SPRINGS IS AA+ AGAIN!
Commissioner of Finance Michele Madigan is pleased to report that Standard & Poor’s Rating Services (S&P) awarded the City a “AA+” for 2016 and affirmed its “AA+” rating on the City’s outstanding bonds. An exceptional rating for a municipality, this is the fifth consecutive year that the City has received AA+, all during Madigan’s tenure as Commissioner of Finance. Likewise, S&P retained the City’s “stable outlook”, as well as its Financial Management Practice Assessment of “good”.
S&P describes the City as a “commercial and industrial center for the surrounding areas”. In the course of its analysis of the City, S&P considered the following qualities:
Very strong economy;
Strong management conditions, with “good” financial policies and practices;
Strong budgetary performance, with operating surpluses in the general fund and at the total governmental fund level in fiscal 2015;
Very strong budgetary flexibility; Very strong liquidity, as well as strong access to external liquidity;
Strong institutional framework.
S&P states “The city has exhibited strong budgetary performance with positive operating result in each of the last six fiscal years. … Given the city’s strong historical results, and management’s expectations for fiscal 2016, we expect the city’s budgetary performance to remain strong. …Saratoga Springs’ budgetary flexibility is very strong, in our view. … the sewer fund has fully paid back its loan [to the general fund] and…the water fund will complete paying back its loan in fiscal 2016. … The city has consistently had very strong liquidity and we do not expect a change to these ratios.”
S&P expressed faith in the City’s management, stating “we believe management will continue to make the necessary budget adjustments to maintain balanced operations. As such, we do not anticipate changing the rating during the two-year outlook horizon.” It also anticipated raising the bond rate if the City continues to maintain its strong budgetary performance (and economic indicators increase) while mitigating the effects of fixed costs associated with long term liabilities (such as pension and other postemployment benefits (OPEB)).
Commissioner Madigan states: “The City and its taxpayers are benefiting from the excellent policies, practices, budgeting and fiscal management of my administration. I will continue to lead with the conservative fiscal practices and sustainable City budgeting that protects the City’s AA+ rating. It is critical to all departments and our constituents as we strive to improve City infrastructure, maintain beautiful historic buildings, provide trails, recreation and open space, and keep the City safe. I am very proud of this outstanding bond rating and pleased to bring it home to the City of Saratoga Springs.”
Commissioner of Finance
City of Saratoga Springs
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
518-587-3550 ext. 2557