THUNDER BAY – Thunder Bay’s strong economy, low municipal debt burden, exceptional liquidity and improved municipal budgetary performance has led Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services to reaffirm the City`s ‘AA-’ credit rating, and boost the City’s outlook to from stable to positive. “A good report card on finances,” states Mayor Keith Hobbs.
“Despite what some suggest out there, the City of Thunder Bay continues to manage finances in a very responsible manner with respect for public dollars, as evidenced by the continual climb in our ratings and by another good financial report card,” added Mayor Keith Hobbs.
“We are very pleased the City’s finances have once again been rated positively by Standard & Poor’s and performance improvements recognized,” said Rob Colquhoun, Acting City Treasurer/CFO & General Manager – Corporate Services & Long Term Care. “Administration, with direction and guidance from Council, takes its financial responsibilities very seriously. Thunder Bay remains committed to sound and thorough long-term financial planning, and this rating by Standard and Poor’s reflects that.”
The ratings also reflect Standard & Poor`s view of Thunder Bay’s strong economy, and the “very predictable and well-balanced” institutional framework for Canadian Municipalities. Thunder Bay’s average budgetary performance has improved in the past year according the Standard & Poor`s assessment.
The positive outlook reflects Standard & Poor’s expectation that, in the next two years, Thunder Bay will will continue to demonstrate healthy operating balances, decreasing after-capital deficits, a low debt burden, and maintain exceptional liquidity, with free cash and liquid assets in excess of 100% of next 12 months’ debt service. The outlook also reflects Standard & Poor’s expectation that the City’s budgetary performance will remain average an improving, with operating surpluses of above five per cent of operating revenues and after-capital deficits close to current levels. A positive rating action is possible if strong revenue growth and significant cost containment result in a five-year average after-capital deficit smaller than five per cent.
The financial guiding principles support the City’s strategic objective of being one of the best-run cities in Canada. More information is available on the City’s website at www.thunderbay.ca/performance