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City of West Bend Receives Upgraded 'AA' Bond Rating

Standard & Poor (S&P) Global Ratings has assigned its 'AA' long-term rating to the City of West Bend series 2020A taxable general obligation (GO) community development bonds. The AA rating declares the City to be at a very strong capacity to meet financial commitments due to its leadership, organizational policies, and financial stability. It will position the City to receive the best possible interest rates on future borrowings.

“The City of West Bend has made a tremendous commitment to its short- and long-term financial wellness,” said City Administrator Jay Shambeau. “This improved rating reflects the hard work and dedication of City Council members, the Finance Department staff, and our department head team.“

S&P upgraded the City’s bond rating, last conducted by Moody in 2019, from Aa3 to AA. In summary, the rating reflects S&P’s assessment of the City's:

  • Strong economy with access to a broad and diverse metropolitan statistical area (MSA). The city has a projected per capita effective buying income of 98.3% of the national level and per capita market value of $93,945. Overall, the city's market value grew by 6.9% over the past year to $3.0 billion in 2020. The county unemployment rate was 2.5% in 2018.
  • Strong management with good financial policies and practices under our Financial Management Assessment (FMA) methodology. West Bend conducts line-by-line budgeting, relying on historical information to determine trends.
  • Very strong budgetary flexibility with an available undesignated fund balance in fiscal 2018 of 28.3% of operating expenditures.
  • Very strong liquidity with total government available cash at 78.8% of total governmental fund expenditures and 3.3x governmental debt service, and access to external liquidity we consider strong. 
  • Adequate debt and contingent liability profile, with debt service carrying charges at 23.9% of expenditures and net direct debt that is 128.7% of total governmental fund revenue, as well as low overall net debt at less than 3% of market value and rapid amortization, with 89.3% of debt scheduled to be retired in 10 years.
  • Strong institutional framework score.
“The Finance Department is very pleased with the upgraded bond rating,” said Finance Administrator Carrie Winklbauer. “The City of West Bend is continuing to move in a positive financial direction.”

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Media Contact:
Jessica Wildes, Marketing and Communications Director
(262) 335-5170 | wildesj@ci.west-bend.wi.us
1115 S. Main Street
West Bend, WI 53095
(262) 335-5100

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