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Mayor's Office Heading City Letter Head

June 12, 2003

For More Information Contact:
Diane Gonzolas, Citizen Information Center, 441-7831
Don Herz, Finance Director, 441-7411

Top ratings from two major agencies put City in elite class

Mayor Coleen Seng announced today that the City’s bond rating has been upgraded, which is positive for the community’s economic development and infrastructure financing efforts. Moody’s, a national bond rating agency, has awarded its top rating of Aaa to the City’s general obligation bonds. The City had Moody’s second highest rating for 30 years. The City has had the top AAA rating from Standard and Poor’s for 25 years. Only 39 cities in the nation have the top bond rating from both agencies, according to available ratings.

“These consistently high ratings are important to keep the interest rates low on money borrowed by the City,” said Mayor Seng. “This sends a strong message that Lincoln is a good investment. It’s also positive as the City pursues increased bonding for infrastructure financing.”

The City requested a review of its rating by Moody’s in preparation for the issuance of the storm sewer bonds approved by voters in May. One reason for the City’s high bond rating is a strong general fund balance. For nearly 10 years, the administration has followed a guideline of maintaining a general fund reserve of at least 15 percent. The Mayor requested the City Council to adopt the guideline as a formal policy, and the City Council approved the policy on a vote of six to zero on Monday, June 9. The rating agency recognized this policy as important to a city’s financial stability.

Moody’s review focused on local economic factors; the debt of the City and other local governmental subdivisions; a thorough evaluation of the financial performance of City government; and an evaluation of management and administrative factors related to the financial health of the City.

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