$35 million in savings coming Fresno, Mayor Brand says

FRESNO, Calif. - Due to the Fresno's credit rating getting an upgrade, millions in savings will be coming in, which can help fund things like infrastructure and public safety.

The upgrades come from Standard & Poor's Global Ratings and Moody's Investors Service. S&P in particular bumped the city's rating five levels from 2016 to 2017, from a BBB- to A+. The expected savings over 22 years is $35 million, which will come when the city refinances its bonds.

Mayor Lee Brand said close to $2 million could come into the city annually during the first 15 years. The money would be used to help fund police, parks, potholes, among other things.

"This generates that kind of cash flow to at least restore services to the level we want in the city over the next two to three years," said Brand.

Brand and city manager Bruce Rudd say this is a great step in the right direction. The plan moving forward is to expand Fresno's economy. One way is by bringing big business in, like the Ulta distribution center set to come to the city.

"You're going to see us continue to shift and create some other incentives to bring other large employers in," said Rudd. "Until we change the underlying economic base in this city, we are still going to struggle."

City leaders credited past fiscal policies and strategies for the upgraded ratings. However, also saying the city needs to stay the course.

"Standard & Poor, for example, was very clear (in telling us) this rating improvement could go the opposite if we go the ways of the past," Rudd said.

On its bonds, Fresno typically pays a 4-percent interest rate. With these upgrades, it'll likely change to 3.75-percent, according to city staff.Due to the Fresno's credit rating getting an upgrade, millions in savings will be coming in, which can help fund things like infrastructure and public safety.

The upgrades come from Standard & Poor's Global Ratings and Moody's Investors Service. S&P in particular bumped the city's rating five levels from 2016 to 2017, from a BBB- to A+. The expected savings over 22 years is $35 million, which will come when the city refinances its bonds.

Mayor Lee Brand said close to $2 million could come into the city annually during the first 15 years. The money would be used to help fund police, parks, potholes, among other things.


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