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Posted on: June 28, 2018

Arden Hills Receives S&P AAA Bond Rating Upgrade

Standard & Poor’s, one of the nation's bond-rating agencies, has upgraded the City of Arden Hills general obligation bonds to AAA from AA+ for the first time in the City’s history. Arden Hills now shares this top rating by S&P with 22 other cities in the State and is the fifth smallest city in population to earn this S&P recognition.

A certificate of award was presented by Ehlers, the City’s financial advisors, at the June 25 regular City Council meeting. “This is a big accomplishment for a city of our size, and is due to the hard work of both the Arden Hills City Council and City Staff,” said Mayor David Grant. “It is reassuring to see the finance community review city operations and give the City such a high rating.”

S&P rated the City very strong in economy, management, budgetary performance, budgetary flexibility, liquidity, and debt and contingency liability profile. “The AAA rating is a good indicator to the residents of Arden Hills that their elected officials are acting in good faith and as fiduciaries with their tax dollars,” said City Administrator Dave Perrault.

S&P assigned the AAA long-term rating to the city’s series 2018A general obligation utility revenue bonds, and the designation results in lower interest costs for the issuer. The City sold $2.415 million in bonds for multiple water and sewer utility improvements.

In the agency’s rating summary, S&P said the City’s general obligation bonds are rated “above the sovereign because we believe the city can maintain better credit characteristics than the nation in a stress scenario.”

The City also received a clean audit opinion of its Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR), presented to the City Council June 25th by officials with MMKR, the City’s auditing firm.

The annual audit examines all of the City’s financial accounts and assets. Audit results are used by rating agencies to evaluate the credit worthiness of cities and corporations.

Photo caption (L to R) Mayor David Grant, Councilmember Dave McClung, Councilmember Fran Holmes, Councilmember Brenda Holden, and Stacie Kvilvang, senior municipal advisor, Ehlers Inc.