Lakewood Achieves Moody's Aa2 Bond Rating

The City of Lakewood recently completed our bond rating process with Moody’s Investors Service, and I am pleased to share that Lakewood was able to achieve a Moody’s Aa2 rating, which is an excellent credit opinion for our city. Maintaining this desirable bond rating is highly beneficial for our residents by allowing the City to pay lower interest when we must borrow funds for high priority capital projects.

My staff understands and appreciates your support of ongoing capital projects through your property taxes, and having low interest costs are a critical factor in avoiding increased tax burdens for you. This is why we champion a culture of fiscal stewardship and excellence as a top priority for our City leadership team. This extends into our bond rating, which is fundamentally important to Lakewood’s ability to continue providing the high level of service and public assets and amenities our residents expect and deserve. 

Each year as we compile the City’s budget, our department directors, my office, and City Council work to identify key capital projects within our 5-year capital plan and determine how to pay for them. With many projects in the multi-million dollar range, the City must spread costs over several years to ensure that we do not increase the tax burden on our residents. Through an annual borrowing process, the City issues note obligations to procure the necessary funding. When the projects are complete, we convert the notes into bonds and obtain the Moody’s rating. Key projects in our most recent bond issuance included Foster Pool, the Refuse & Recycling Center, our annual street improvements, and major improvements to our Water and Sewer system to comply with EPA requirements. 

The analysis and commentary contained in the bond rating document provides a positive view of the City of Lakewood’s fiscal health. Moody’s noted the City’s “strong financial position” which was “bolstered by a growing revenue trend and healthy local economy.” The Aa2 rating generally means that the City of Lakewood’s bonds are “judged to be of high quality and are subject to very low credit risk.” That puts Lakewood in the “high-grade” tier of Moody’s rating system.

This Moody’s bond rating is consistent with the excellence I see in the team serving you here at City Hall, who all buy into the principle that fiscal stewardship is core to everything we do. That starts with the Finance Department, which has received the highest level of awards from the State of Ohio for four years running. It also extends to all our department directors and their staff, who work diligently to keep their books clean and to stretch your tax dollars. With another excellent bond rating in hand, the City continues to save tax dollars and promote an affordable, high quality of life for our residents in Lakewood.

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Volume 20, Issue 10, Posted 5:36 PM, 05.22.2024