July 23, 2016

Mostly sunny

Moody’s rating firm gives Medina Aa1 rating

MEDINA — Credit rating firm Moody’s Investor Service has awarded the city’s latest bond issue an Aa1 rating — the second highest rating possible.

Moody’s also re-affirmed the city’s overall credit rating at Aa1.

“Most of the entities that are Aaa (the highest possible rating) are either much larger or much, much wealthier,” said city finance director Keith Dirham. “Essentially this is the highest rating we can get, and we’ve maintained it.”

Since 2002, Medina’s credit rating has gone up two grades, from Aa3 to Aa1.

Dirham said Moody’s cited the city’s “strong and conservative management team with internal controls and multiyear forecasting.”

The city does long-range, five-year budget forecasting, which is not something Moody’s sees from cities very often, Dirham said.

The city will sell about $6.5 million in bonds by the end of this month. Most of the money, $5.3 million, will be used to refinance the city’s water and recreation center bonds — a move Dirham said will save the city $1 million because of lower interest rates.

The remaining $1.2 million in new bonds will be used for parking improvements surrounding Public Square. A small portion — $60,000 — of the $1.2 million will be spent on sidewalk, curb and parking lot improvements surrounding Public Square.

City Council President John Coyne said council is leaning toward using the bulk of the new money to build a second parking deck.

But Council has not yet decided on a location for the deck.

“Building a parking facility doesn’t happen overnight,” Coyne said.

Council will discuss the capital improvements further at a Nov. 28 meeting, Coyne said.

Contact Kiera Manion-Fischer at (330) 721-4049 or kfischer@medina-gazette.com.