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City and schools get excellent bond rating

By By Thomas Tingle
Record Managing Editor
Madison City Councilman Marc Jacobson said the city of Madison and Madison City Schools have received excellent bond ratings – paving the way for several major priority projects.
In early September, representatives from the city and the school board met in New York City with analysts from Standard and Poor's and Moody's. Standard and Poor gave the city an AA- with stable outlook and Moody's gave the city an A1 with positive outlook.
Jacobson said the purpose was to discuss the city's financial condition and credit ratings in light of the school board's plan to issue more than $21 mil in bonds needed for capital projects.
"The analysts were very complimentary of the professional manner and content of the entire presentation," Jacobson said. "The stable outlook reflects Stand and Poor's expectation that the city will continue to demonstrate sound financial performance and manage its growth while keeping the debt burden manageable."
Jacobson said the ratings are among the highest in Alabama and will ensure Madison favorable interest rates in the bond market.
"The upshot is that the city will pay thousands of dollars less to borrow the money for infrastructure, education and quality of life projects," Jacobson said. "Those savings can be used for other purposes in the city."
Among the priority projects for the Madison City Schools are additional classrooms at Discovery Middle School, a system-wide, multi-purpose stadium, technology upgrades in the classrooms, a new elementary school, practice fields at Bob Jones High School, a new central office and teacher resource center, and building repairs.
At the Oct. 14 meeting of the Madison City Council, members approved the issuance of more than $21 million in bonds for the school system for the projects.
"Having a good rating means we can sell the bonds at a better interest rate and save thousands of taxpaying dollars," Jacobson said.

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