City of Huntsville heads to market
February 21, 2018
In a special session Wednesday afternoon, Huntsville City Council approved the sale of a series of general obligation warrants valued at approximately $131 million. The monies will be used to fund a series of public improvement projects in Huntsville’s capital plans and to help finance incentives for the Toyota-Mazda project.
“Every borrow is carefully budgeted and planned,” said Peggy Sargent, Finance Director. “We are always looking at the budget, to look at future years when the payments occur to make sure we are able to sustain those payments.”
10-years of triple-A credit ratings from Standard and Poor’s and Moody’s Investor Services has put Huntsville in an enviable financial position. These are the highest scores a city can receive from Wall Street, with less than one percent of municipalities in the nation earning the top endorsement.
“Because it’s Huntsville, people are willing to buy our debt at a premium. That means we won’t need to borrow all of the money we need because that premium makes up the difference between what we sell and what we’ve budgeted for specific projects,” said Sargent.
Huntsville uses its debt to pay for long-term projects that benefit the city for years to come. These are amenities budgeted in 10-year capital plans such as the new Aquatics Center, John Hunt Park renovations, greenways, bike trails and roads.
“We work to be totally transparent to the public, publish our balanced budget and consistently try to maintain our expense within those boundaries,” said Sargent.