Standard and Poor’s Ratings Services (S&P) raised its rating on Bessemer City’s series 2004 general obligation refunding bonds from ‘A+’ to ‘AA-‘. Rating agencies such as S&P routinely update their bond ratings of municipalities to reflect recent financial status. The new rating is a high grade, indicating that the City has a very strong capacity to meet its financial commitments.
The upgrade reflects recent improvements to the City’s policies and procedures, very strong reserves and sound debt and liquidity metrics. The benefits of a higher credit rating include broader access to financial markets, greater investor interest, and a lower cost for borrowing money. The upgrade reflects the ratings service’s view of management’s recently improved policies and procedures, the city’s sustained, very strong reserves in recent years, and debt and liquidity metrics that Standard & Poor’s now deems consistent with the higher rating.
Mayor Becky S. Smith stated that the higher bond rating “is a reflection of the commitment by the elected board and the staff of the city in moving the city forward while protecting the financial status of the City.” Mayor Smith went on to state, “the city is in the best financial state that it has been in many years as reflected in the confidence of Standard and Poor in increasing our bond rating.”