On Wednesday evening, Hattiesburg received good financial news from Moody’s Investors Services that its Aa3 bond rating, which was restored in December 2018, had been renewed.
“We knew in 2017 that we had a lot of work to do to regain a good financial foundation for the city," Mayor Toby Barker. "I am proud of our team’s expeditious work in producing five financial audits in three years - three of which were completed in 17 months and the last two which were completed on time."
Moody’s assigned this rating to the $15.15 million Special Obligation Bonds, Series 2020 sale, which will primarily be used to fund long-term capital needs, such as the city's first railroad overpass on Hall Avenue.
The rating was issued based on the rationale that the city’s active management of revenue and expenses will maintain healthy reserves over the ratings horizon, in addition to “the city's robust tax base, low resident incomes, growing debt burden, and elevated pension burden.”
“In the financial uncertainty wrought by COVID-19, many cities around the country have had to make painful decisions to maintain financial stability," Barker said. "The City of Hattiesburg has made some tough calls in three years, but all of these things - up to date audits, a restored and steady bond rating and more responsible budgeting practices - will set the course toward a sound financial future."