Village Bond Rating Upgraded to AAA by Standard & Poor’s

For Release: 
Jul 9, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

GURNEE, IL – The Village of Gurnee has received notice from Standard & Poor’s (S&P’s) Rating Services that its bond rating has been upgraded from “AA+” to “AAA,” the highest possible rating an individual agency can achieve. The upgrade reflects S&P’s opinion of the Village’s overall creditworthiness and fiscal strength and will be a major factor in determining the interest rates of future bonds issued by the Village.

“This is excellent news for both the Village and our local residents and businesses. The overall upgrade is not only going to save taxpayer dollars on future bond issues by lowering interest rates, it also reflects the overall strength of the Gurnee community and the hard work and careful attention the Village team puts into watching the bottom line. I could not be prouder of this achievement,” said Mayor Kristina Kovarik.

In a report explaining their rationale for the upgrade, S&P analysts noted that the Village’s local economy, management conditions, budgetary flexibility, liquidity, budgetary performance and debt are all either “strong” or “very strong.” In particular, analysts identified the Village’s financial policies, practices and plans as “strong” under their Finance Management Assessment (FMA) methodology, meaning that S&P views the Village’s current financial management methods as well-embedded and sustainable. Further, analysts see the Village’s low debt service (annual principle and interest payments on current debt) to total expenditures ratio, proactive approach to pension funding, high reserves and strong retail and tourism economy as other fundamental strengths in awarding the upgraded rating.

“With an AAA rating, the Village has joined a very distinguished group.  The rating is based on four criteria: local economy, finances, management and debt profile.  This is an upgrade to ‘prime’ from ‘high grade;’ this means the Village has been classified as having an ‘extremely strong’ capacity to meet its financial commitments, as opposed to a ‘very strong’ capacity,” said Finance Director Diane Lembesis.

For more information on the Village’s finances, please see the current fiscal year 2014/2015 budget and other reporting documents on the Village’s website at www.gurnee.il.us.

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Contact: 

Date:  Monday, July 7, 2014
Contact: Erik Jensen, Assistant to the Village Administrator
Phone:  847-599-7514
Email:  ejensen@village.gurnee.il.us