City of Lubbock to borrow $171.5 million - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

1/7/10

City of Lubbock to borrow $171.5 million, with good word from Fitch

By James Clark | email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Lubbock gets an above average credit rating on approximately $171.5 million of new debt. The city is scheduled to sell bonds in that amount on January 13th. The AA rating from Fitch Ratings on Wednesday is good news for the city at a time when many other cities are not doing well.

"Although the city has experienced economic contraction in the past 12 months, the local economy remains healthy," says Fitch in a written statement.

Fitch also rated Lubbock's outstanding debt of $720.2 million as AA, at a time when the average rating nationwide is AA-.

"The city's direct debt burden is moderate at $1,310 per capita," says Fitch. And when other government agencies such as Lubbock ISD and Lubbock County are added to the equation, Lubbock taxpayers owe "a still moderate $2,849 per capita," according to Fitch.

Lubbock's good credit rating should translate into relatively low interest rates on the new debt, saving taxpayers money in the long run.

"Lubbock has a long history of having excellent financial management and the 'AA' is proof of that," says Lubbock Mayor Tom Martin.

Martin tells NewsChannel 11 that, "Our community is growing" with several new developments and a pipeline project to Lake Alan Henry. "Receiving this bond rating is proof that we're doing these major projects in a fiscally prudent manner."

Challenges are forthcoming in Lubbock's future. The fiscal 2010 capital improvement plan is more than $1 billion through fiscal 2015. Much of that is for water and sewer improvements.

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