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Upgraded bond rating & accounting award demonstrate sound financial management

Posted: January 22, 2014 9:55:19 AM PST

The City of Bellingham has received recognition for sound financial management by two independent organizations: Standard and Poor’s Ratings Services and the Government Finance Officers Association.

Bond rating upgraded
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services (S & P) recently raised its long-term rating to 'AA+' from 'AA' on the City’s limited-tax general obligation (GO) bonds.

City Interim Finance Director Brian Henshaw said that in 2011 the city issued $6.4 million of Qualified Energy Conservation Bonds to finance the upgrade of more than 20 facilities to improve energy conservation.

Henshaw said a strong bond rating helps lower the cost of borrowing when the City needs to issue bonds, and is an indicator of a government's financial health. 

The S&P report indicates that factors considered in raising the City’s bond rating included strong management practices, budgetary flexibility and a strong economy.

Excellence in financial reporting
The City recently received a certificate of achievement for excellence in financial reporting, for meeting high standards and demonstrating a “spirit of full disclosure,” by the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA).

Henshaw said the award is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting, and assures citizens, bondholders and others that the City uses accurate and sound accounting and financial reporting practices.

The GFOA is a nonprofit professional association serving approximately 17,500 government finance professionals with offices in Chicago and Washington, D.C.


More information:
Standard and Poor’s Ratings Services (S & P) report upgrading City's bond rating 

Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) website award search page

Media contact:
Brian Henshaw, Interim Finance Director, 360-778-8036

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