Steubenville’s bond rating shows improvement

STEUBENVILLE – City Manager Tim Boland announced Friday Standard & Poor’s Rating Service raised the city’s underlying rating from an A- to an A+ on general obligation bonds.

“Standard & Poor’s has also affirmed a stable outlook for the city,” added Boland.

“This rating upgrade is a key indicator illustrating the city is moving forward in the right direction as we emphasize financial responsibility, targeted expenditures and fiscal restraint,” said Boland.

“This is a major and significant step forward. And it is even more significant to see our bond rating increased two levels in one step. We anticipate the decision by Standard & Poor’s will have a positive impact on the city’s future plans to finance our infrastructure projects. And this move will reduce the cost of borrowing money for us,” continued Boland.

“This is an objective view of our financial stability by a bond rating agency. Standard & Poor’s has determined the city has improved financially and I believe the outside markets will see the city’s credit improving,” he added.

According to the Standard & Poor’s summary, the rating is based on several factors for the city, including a very weak economy but very strong budget flexibility and reserve funds considerably higher than reserves in 2011.

The summary also cited a strong budgetary performance, very strong liquidity and adequate management conditions with standard financial practices.

“We consider the Institutional Framework score for Ohio cities as strong. The stable outlook reflects our view of the city’s generally strong financial profile and very strong debt profile. If the city’s financial flexibility or performance weakens during the next two years we could lower the rating. We believe the city’s very weak economic profile limits any upward rating potential during the two-year outlook period, although if finances are maintained at a strong level in the long term we could raise the rating,” the summary concluded.

The latest Standard & Poor’s rating was issued March 19.

Boland said information regarding the city’s rating will be available on the city’s website at