For Immediate Release
Date: April 30, 2015
The Savannah City Council today will consider once again taking advantage of the City’s upgraded bond rating to refinance a series of bonds, saving the City an estimated $4.48 million.
The action would be the fifth bond refinancing since Standard and Poor’s Rating Service upgraded the City’s bond rating to AA+ in October 2013 as a result of the City’s strong budgetary performance and fiscal strength. The AA+ rating is the second highest available, and is the strongest rating for Savannah in three decades.
The higher bond rating allows the City to access lower interest rates, which are currently at historic lows. City Council has already taken advantage of this high bond rating-low interest rate combination to refinance four other bonds, saving the City an estimated $3.624 million over their life. If approved today, City Council will have saved taxpayers an estimated $8.1 million since 2013 due to these timely refinancings.
City Council will consider the measure during the meeting at 2 p.m. today in City Hall.
In its 2013 report, Standard and Poor’s Rating Service upgraded Savannah’s bond rating based on the following factors:
• Adequate economy that serves as the retail, manufacturing, financial, and medical hub for coastal Georgia and neighboring South Carolina;
• Very strong budgetary flexibility and a strong fund balance, with projections indicating continued strong budgetary flexibility;
• Strong budgetary performance, with consistent general fund and total governmental funds financial results;
• Very strong liquidity providing very strong cash levels to cover both debt service and expenditures;
• Very strong management conditions with strong financial practices and policies;
• Very strong debt and contingent liability position, reflecting the city's low overall debt levels, rapid amortization, and manageable pension and postemployment obligations.