The city of Burien announced that it had seen its bond rating raised to its highest level to date – from “Aa2” to “Aa1” – after a credit opinion issued on August 24, 2021 by Moody’s Investor Services.
“The Aa1 rating shows that our municipal government is well managed and has strong financial policies and practices in place to benefit our community,” said Brian J. Wilson, City Manager of Burien.
According to City Finance Director Eric Christensen, the Aa1 rating is based on the following factors: proven track record of strong financial reserves, strength of the local economy, sound budget management, City financial policies and experienced management of the city. operation of the City in an efficient manner.
On August 12, 2021, Moody’s rating analysts heard a presentation from City Manager Brian Wilson, CFO Eric Christensen, Financial Analyst Rebecca Hodge, Director of Community Development Susan McLain, Director of Economic Development Chris Craig and DA Davidson’s bond underwriter Jim Nelson. & Co. The team presented information and answered questions on city management, finances, economic growth and long-term planning.
The last presentation of the City’s bond rating dates back to 2016. Since then, City management and staff have strengthened and new policies and plans, such as the Housing Action Plan, the Climate Action Plan and Urban Center Plan have been developed. Intentional efforts to build up General Fund reserves and a contingency fund have had a positive impact on the City’s financial outlook. Another fact that helped the presentation is that City leaders acted quickly in April 2020 to address the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic by implementing substantial spending cuts.
The City is refinancing the Limited Tax Repayment Bonds issued in 2010 and 2011 to take advantage of today’s lower interest rates. The 2010 Series B bonds were issued with interest rates of 5.13 to 6.13% to pay for a major street overlay project. The 2011 bonds were issued at an interest rate of 4% to pay for street improvements as well as to refinance existing bonds. The refinanced bonds will carry a significantly lower interest rate of 0.91%, resulting in interest cost savings of $ 1,277,754 over the ten-year term of the bonds.
The city of Burien has obtained an Aa1 bond rating! The refinanced bonds will allow the City to save more than $ 1.2 million in interest on the debt over ten years. https://t.co/uwQNtASxzH pic.twitter.com/m7BieEc4eE
– City of Burien, WA (@Burien) September 29, 2021