Standard & Poor's Ratings Service has assigned 'AA-' ratings to Evansville's Park District bonds, citing the city's "deep tax and employment base" and "overall strong financial position."
In a news release from the Mayor's office, the financial services company said the outlook on Evansville Park District refunding bonds and existing park district bonds is "stable." S&P's highest ranking is AAA.
"I am pleased Standard & Poor's recognizes the City of Evansville's financial management with the AA- ratings," said Mayor Lloyd Winnecke.
"The ratings mean S&P looks favorably on the City's strong financial position and acknowledges the availability of multiple funds to provide unrestricted cash flow for operations."
A summary of the city's credit profile, released June 7 on the S&P website, stated the ratings reflect the credit qualities of the district's tax base and low overall debt burden.
The report said although revenues have fluctuated in recent years, the city has maintained a constant level of expenditures through hiring and wage freezes and by saving money through purchasing consortium with Vanderburgh County and the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation.
The report also cited $4.4 million in general fund reserves and $3.1 million in a "rainy day" fund.
"The stable outlook reflects Standard & Poor's expectation that the city will continue to maintain strong cash reserves in its combined unrestricted funds," according to the report.
"The city has ample cash reserves, in our view, to weather short-term revenue disruptions or decreases without significant interruptions in operations."
The report described Evansville's financial management practices as "good," and while practices in all areas may not be formal, they are regularly monitored by government officials.
"We are working to improve performance and transparency, as well," said City Controller Russ Lloyd Jr., CPA.