Hannibal moves up two notches for bond and lease ratings
HANNIBAL, Mo. – The city of Hannibal has started out the year with an improved credit score.
City Manager Lisa Peck recently announced that the city of Hannibal’s bond and lease ratings have been upgraded two notches by Moody’s Investor Service.
The issuer rating was upgraded to Aa3 from A2 and the lease rating to A1 from A3.
Peck said the improved score will lower future municipal bonds, debt securities to fund day-to-day obligations and to finance capital projects such as building schools, highways or sewer systems.
“It’s sort of like your credit score. So if your credit score is higher than the cost of interest, or in this case bonding also, it will be less,” she said. “It’s pretty exciting.”
Peck said they are not currently seeking any bonds.
The upgrades come after a thorough review of the city’s financial and managerial operations by the rating agency earlier this month in connection with Moody’s regular surveillance review of Hannibal.
Peck said she is encouraged that Moody’s has acknowledged the city’s improving financial position with these upgrades.
“I thank the many hard working members of our departments who have collaborated to create more financially stable conditions for the taxpayers.
Mayor Pro Tem Mike Dobson said Peck should be commended for the rating. “This is an example of great teamwork. We still have some tough decisions to make and we will be forced to prioritize.”
Dobson said Peck has been working with each department head one on one as we work to formulate a five-year plan. “The hard work and tough decisions are represented in our bond rating.”
The Moody’s report listed a number of rating drivers that helped result in the upgrades, including: the city’s healthy economic base, solid financial position and moderate leverage.
The economic growth rate is in line with the nation and resident incomes are below average however,housing affordability somewhat mitigates this risk.
According to Moody’s “The city’s full value per capita is lower than peers but will continue to grow as assessed value increases. The city’s financial position is solid, reflecting strong available fund balance and liquidity across all governmental and business-type activities. The city’s leverage and fixed costs are low relative to revenues, providing the city with significant financial flexibility.”
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