For the City of Huntsville, it is the same song, 12th verse.
And it is sweet music.
For the 12th time in 12 years, since Mayor Tommy Battle first assumed office, Moody’s Investors Service and Standard & Poor’s Rating Services have awarded Huntsville Triple-A credit ratings.
Triple-A is the highest mark a city can achieve and is awarded to a minority of government entities in the nation. Further, just 1 percent of 19,502 cities and counties receive the top ratings from both services.
The credit rating agencies cited the strength of Huntsville’s economy, which is considered broad and diverse.
Strong city management with strong financial policies and practices and budget flexibility were noted as consistent qualities in the credit rating.
“Huntsville continues to show its strength in conservative fiscal management and a thriving economy,” said Battle. “I am grateful to my outstanding administration and to our elected council members for supporting a responsible, balanced budget and prudent investments that make Huntsville a great place to live and a great place for business.”
The rating services pointed to a robust economy mentioning several key developments in the city along with expansion of existing employers.
“Despite the onset and continued impacts of the pandemic, the local economy remains stable,” they said.
The reports also considered the community’s above average wealth, below average unemployment, strong regional tax base and Huntsville’s position as an economic engine for northern Alabama.
City Finance Director Penny Smith said the recent rating was set for the city to refund/refinance more than $100 million in warrants, which will provide average savings of some $1.5 million in interest per year over the next 10-plus years.