Standard and Poor’s Global Ratings now considers Wayne County’s General Obligation bonds investment grade, Wayne County announced today. The ratings agency upgraded the bonds to BBB- as part of an overall reassessment of ratings following S&P’s revision of its methodology.
“Improved credit ratings enable Wayne County to borrow money at lower interest rates, so we can provide more efficiency in delivering services to our taxpayers,” says Warren Evans, Wayne County executive. “While this rating upgrade is the result of S&P’s methodology review, it reflects the progress we’ve made in stabilizing the county’s finances. It shows we are continuing to move in the right direction.”
When Evans took office in January 2015, the county faced the threat of bankruptcy. Since then, his administration produced a recovery plan and had three consecutive budget surpluses, including in 2017.
The county filed a comprehensive annual financial report (CAFR), as it does every year.
“We are confident that as rating agencies review the CAFR and the county’s operational results, they will continue to project a positive outlook for Wayne County’s bonds,” says Henry Dachowitz, CFO for Wayne County. “Tremendous progress was made under the recovery plan to pull Wayne County back from the brink. We are now in a position to leverage our new standing to rebuild the county’s aging infrastructure and facilities in a cost-effective manner.”
The county is launching a website, WayneCountyInvestors.com, to connect investors with bonds offered by the county and tell the story of the county’s turnaround.
S&P’s BBB- positive outlook mirrors the upgrade fellow ratings agency Fitch provided last year.