Grand Prairie’s credit rating has been raised to AAA from AA-plus by Standard & Poor’s in recognition of its strong municipal financial policy and central location in the North Texas region.
The city of almost 170,000 residents, which is located between Dallas and Fort Worth, is set to issue $22.4 million of revenue and general obligation bonds for its water utility system.
“The upgrade reflects the system’s healthy financial position, which we believe will be sustainable given management’s strong financial policies and the system’s limited additional capital needs,” said analyst Theodore Chapman.
Grand Prairie’s credit is rated AA-plus by Fitch Ratings and Aa3 by Moody’s Investors Service.
Grand Prairie ended fiscal 2009 with an unreserved general fund balance of $29.8 million, which was 36% of operating expenditures. The city posted an operational surplus of $1 million in fiscal 2010 and expects a $600,000 surplus in fiscal 2011.
Assessed property valuations in the city fell to $9.6 billion in fiscal 2010, down almost 2% from fiscal 2009, and to $9.3 billion in fiscal 2011. Grand Prairie has maintained a property tax rate of $6.70 per $1,000 of assessed valuation since fiscal 2007.
City officials have identified more than $120 million of capital projects to be financed with GO debt. Grand Prairie plans to issue an additional $8 million in fiscal 2011, $6 million in 2012, $6 million in 2013, $8.8 million in 2014, and $91 million in 2015 and beyond.
Grand Prairie has around $190 million of outstanding GO bonds.