One of the nation’s top rating agencies has improved the city of Rossford’s credit outlook to the highest rating cities can get, Rossford officials said.
Mayor Neil MacKinnon said Rossford learned last week Standard & Poor’s has given the city a AAA rating, an improvement over the previous rating of AA minus.
Karen Freeman, the city’s finance director, said the improvement is attributed to the money the city has in reserves for emergencies and the strong economy in Wood County, which includes per capita income of 121 percent of the national average and a 6.9 percent unemployment rate, below the national average.
Mayor MacKinnon said the city established a financial policy several years ago to maintain at least six months of operational expenses in the reserve account. Currently, the reserve is about nine months, he said.
“The city has had a conscientious effort to to do more with less and keep staff lean,” he said.
The improved bond rate will also help the city if it needs to borrow money to finance the construction of infrastructure projects.
“I think Karen Freeman, Administrator Ed Ciecka, and former Mayor Bill Verbosky put us on this course. I give them a lot of credit,” the mayor said.
In the city council meeting last week, council members amended the ordinance for snow and ice removal, which requires removal within 24 hours after the end of the snowfall. The ordinance change allows the city to charge residents and business owners for the cost of removal. The ordinance was effective immediately.
Council also gave a second reading to resolutions placing two 0.4-mill, five-year replacement levies for the recreational department on the May, 2014, ballot.
Mayor MacKinnon said council also is seeking information on two existing five-year levies — 0.6-mill and 1-mill levies — for fire department operation from the Wood County Auditor. Council is looking at putting the property tax issues on the ballot as renewals, replacements, or renewals with additional millage.
The deadline to submit the resolutions to the Wood County Board of Elections is Feb. 4.