Moody’s upgrades Wilmington’s bond rating outlook

 (Brian Drouin/WHYY)

(Brian Drouin/WHYY)

The latest rating of Wilmington’s financial outlook shows modest improvement as Moody’s Investor Service affirms the city’s Aa2 bond rating.

 In addition to affirming the bond rating for the city, Moody’s also revised its outlook for the city’s rating from “negative” to “stable.”

“The affirmed bond rating is very significant,” said Mayor Dennis Williams in a statement announcing the new rating. “It bolsters the city’s borrowing power and better enables the city to borrow money for projects such as road repairs, building improvements or additions and water and sewer infrastructure upgrades.”

In a release announcing the rating last month, Moody’s credits the city’s large tax base and financial management policies as its biggest strengths. The biggest weaknesses cited include “weak socio-economic characteristics and moderately heavy debt burden.” The city has $286 million of general obligation debt.

Regarding the improved outlook for Wilmington’s finances, the Moody’s report states, “The revision of the outlook to stable from negative reflects the consistent build-up of financial reserves in the city’s General Fund and the ongoing strengthening of some of the city’s most important tax revenues. We expect the city to continue maintaining strong cash reserves.”

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