The City of Webster Groves was awarded the Aa1 credit rating from Moody’s this past week in recognition of the City’s financial stewardship and planning. The Moody’s Aa category of rating indicates “Obligations rated Aa are judged to be of high quality and are subject to very low credit risk”. The City’s rating of Aa1 is the second highest possible credit rating from Moody’s. Additionally, Moody’s did not require a further rating review of the City finances which would have indicated a potential downgrade in credit standing.
“This is good news for our community as it assures our ability to borrow for big projects at excellent rates,” said Laura Arnold, Mayor of Webster Groves. “It is also a reflection of the hard work done by our employees and City Council to create our budget plan and ensure it is one target.”
The City’s credit rating is an important feature for lowering borrowing cost for City improvements. As the City prepares for the possible reconstruction of the Aquatic Center, the optimal credit rating will allow more of the public resources to be invested in the infrastructure rather than paying interest. Additionally, the lack of a rating review is noted a success for the City’s intentional work this year on financial planning and review by the City Council and City leadership.
“I am pleased that the hard work that the City Council and City leadership have undertaken on our finances. maintaining a highly sought-after credit rating considering the pandemic recession is an outstanding accomplishment,” stated City Manager, Dr. Marie Peoples. “Creating a guiding five-year general fund fiscal plan and expanding our future outlook for other funds shows the strength of Webster Groves’ position to manage the debt and investment necessary in coming years for the community. Working together with the community, we can continue the progress toward a sustainable financial model and plan for our City.”
The City’s debt is from the issuance of bonds in 2011 for the Street Improvement program and in 2019 for the construction of the new Fire Station #2. Debt, in the form of Government Obligation Bonds, may only be issued by the City upon a vote of the people.