RiseMagazine | Sarasota

The Premier Lifestyle Magazine of Florida's Black Communities

Utilities Bond Rating Upgraded

The revenue bond rating for the City of Sarasota Utilities Department was upgraded this week to AA from AA-. The upgrade by FitchRatings signifies the Utilities Department is financially healthy and carries a very low risk of default into the foreseeable future. It also represents potential future savings on interest rates. AA is FitchRatings third highest rating, just behind AAA and AA+.

“This is good news for the financial state of the City,” said City Manager Tom Barwin. “Our Utilities debt burden is declining and our liquidity has greatly improved with the sale of the Hi-Hat Ranch property. Meanwhile, we’re executing a significant long-range capital improvement program to continue providing excellent sewer and water service to our customers without increasing our debt. Receiving this upgrade now truly speaks to the quality, professional job staff is doing to position the City to ensure its financial health.”

FitchRatings cites several factors which create a stable financial outlook for the Utilities Department, including:

  • Scheduled declines in annual debt service this year and in 2016
  • Increased liquidity due to the sale of 2,500 acres of City-owned property in 2011
  • Systematic, predicable rate increases

Bond ratings range from AAA, the highest investment quality, to D, which indicates default.

For more information contact:
John Lege, Finance Director: 941-365-2200 ext. 4104.

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