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Moody's Upgrades City of Wenatchee's General Obligation Bond Ratings with Positive Outlook

Post Date:10/16/2017
The City of Wenatchee recently received a credit rating upgrade from Moody’s Investors Service (Moody’s). As a result of a routine update review, Moody’s raised its long-term issuer rating for the City of Wenatchee to ‘A3,’ with a Positive Outlook, from its previous rating of ‘Baa2.’ At the same time, Moody’s upgraded the City’s Limited Tax General Obligation (LTGO) bond rating to ‘A3’ from ‘Ba1’.

Moody’s stated that the rating reflects their view of the City of Wenatchee’s financial and economic profile, including:

• Strong reserves and liquidity that have grown;
• Modest debt and pension profile;
• Limited exposure going forward related to the Public Facilities District obligations;
• Management has implemented strong financial policies and is expected to outperform its peers;
• Conservative budgeting, combined with increased revenues for the Old Station annexation, and reduced expenses from the annexation of fire services are expected to provide stable financial health.

This is the second significant rating increase in a year. In November 2016, S&P Global Ratings assigned its long-term rating of ‘AA-’ to the City of Wenatchee. Mayor Frank Kuntz said, “We are pleased that rating agencies have recognized the significant progress we have made over the past few years in building healthy reserves while maintaining prudent stewardship of the City’s services and assets.”
The rating upgrades are expected to help the City obtain lower interest rates (than what the City may have been able to obtain at the prior ratings) as the City looks to issue bonds in the future. City administrators believe this improved financial outlook not only applies to the City’s ability to meet its long-term financial obligations, but also reflects its credit quality as a partner in economic development initiatives.
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