Mayor Eddie Lowe says Phenix City has reached a major financial milestone. He announced the city's history making credit rating during a news conference at the Municipal Building. The new rating is expected to boost business and benefit city workers and citizens.
The Standard and Poor's report shows Phenix City's credit rating has been raised a notch,
to a AA-, the first time in the city's history. Mayor Lowe says it's evidence of successful
money saving measures and that's good news for city growth.
"Phenix city has a Standard and Poors credit rating of AA- and that is something to be proud of," Mayor Eddie Lowe told a room of city leaders and council members.
The S&P rating says the outlook is stable. That's due to ongoing economic development and strong budgeting.
Other beneficial factors include the 2011 sales tax raise. Also, proximity to the Kia Motors plant and Fort Benning. The city's population has increased 20 percent since BRAC and fairly large operating surpluses are projected for fiscal years 2012 and 2013.
"Every person in this city is important.....They are a part of the process to make this happen," said Lowe.
Lowe says the school system is already benefiting from the results. It saved thousands after refinancing recently, which lowered the interest rate.
Lowe says the city can save thousands, because it doesn't have to buy insurance now to enhance its credit. He expects the rating will attract new industries and business.
Lowe hopes the financial boost will free the city up to invest in infrastructure and capital improvements. He also wants to better equip departments.
"We're going to have to do things to equip these people because they are working in some environments that from this council's position are not kosher. The council has to do something about that. We want to equip our people to enable them to do their jobs for the citizens," said Lowe.
The council says it's on the right path to a better Phenix City.
"One of the things that this council says and believes in their heart is we've gone from sin city to God's country and this is the indication of it today. First time in the history to get this credit rating."
Mayor Lowe says the city is somewhere around $68 million in debt. He tells News 3 the city has just landed an industry that's expected to bring in 37 jobs with potential to move up. He also gave an update on revitalization plans already underway. The groundbreaking for the Troy University Riverfront Campus is set for June. There will be a groundbreaking for the
Marriott Hotel on May 10th.