Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

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May 22, 2014

Jacksonville earns A-plus rating

JACKSONVILLE — Jacksonville leaders are celebrating a recent A-plus rating from Standard & Poor's Rating Services for the city.

The credit rating that reflects Mayor Kenneth Melvin's and the city council's accomplishments during the past four to five years, according to Financial Director Freddy Thomas.

“It was the local governing body's goal to get the city's fiscal house in order,” Thomas said. “By this, I mean they wanted to assure the citizens of Jacksonville that the city will remain financially viable and will be run in a fiscally responsible manner.”

City manager Mo Raissi expressed excitement about the rating improving from an A rating to an A-plus. He said the city is doing well financially, and he plans to continue the trend.

Thomas noted that the city has reduced debt by approximately $3 million in the past four years.

“We have done relatively well financially for the past four years. However, a city has ongoing needs, and it will be a challenge to keep fund balances at current levels, as we will be required to address a new city hall, fire department needs for a new fire truck and ambulances, wastewater system upgrades and sanitation trucks,” Thomas said.

He said credit rating agencies look at the local economy, available fund balances in relation to annual expenditures, annual budgets and the ability to operate within the approved budget, amount of debt and ability to repay the debt when considering a city's rating.

 

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