3 Bond Rating Services Reaffirm City's Best-Ever Credit Ratings

Communications Director

Eric Vreeland
evreeland@knoxvilletn.gov
(865) 215-3480

400 Main St., Room 654A
Knoxville, TN 37902

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3 Bond Rating Services Reaffirm City's Best-Ever Credit Ratings

Posted: 06/07/2018
Citing the City of Knoxville’s strong financial management and affordable tax burden, three bond rating services have independently reaffirmed the City’s best-ever credit ratings. 

The reaffirmation came as the City seeks to borrow up to $15.6 million to retrofit the City’s nearly 30,000 streetlights with light-emitting diodes (LEDs) – a move that will cut in half the approximate $4 million that the City spends annually to operate and maintain the streetlight system. 

With anticipated energy and maintenance cost savings of $2 million each year, the project will pay for itself in less than a decade while the City surpasses its goal of reducing municipal greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent by 2020.

Fitch assigned its highest possible AAA rating. Standard & Poor’s assigned a AA+ rating, and Moody’s Investors Service assigned an Aa1 rating – their second-highest possible ratings.

The City enjoys historically strong credit ratings, which allow the City to pay less money in interest for bonds to finance one-time capital projects, like the LED switch-over.

“Our bond ratings have climbed four grades in the three decades I’ve worked here,” said Finance Director Jim York. “That reflects fiscal responsibility and careful stewardship by Mayors, City Councils and staffs over the long haul.”