Moody's Keeps City Bond Rating at Aa1

MTT News Desk's picture

Moody’s Investors Service reaffirmed the City of Middleton’s credit rating of Aa1 in a report issued last week, according to statement issued by the city’s finance department. The higher the rating, the less money the City of Middleton is likely to pay in interest costs for bonds.

The rating was made as part of the city refunding approximately $5.1 million in general obligation bonds for projects in Tax Increment Financing District (TID) 5.

In addition, the rating relates to the upcoming sale of approximately $4.5 million in general obligation promissory notes to be used to finance various construction projects in the city, according to city finance director John Lehman.

The TID 5 projects include making financial contributions to aid in the redevelopment of housing on Amherst Road and the new Heritage senior housing campus at the corner of Allen Boulevard and Maywood Avenue.

Major projects financed with the $4.5 million notes include the 2013 capital improvement program and reconstructing and improving the intersection of Terrace Avenue and High Point Road. (The project was featured in a page 1 Middleton Times-Tribune article last week.)

An amount is also included for land acquisition from the State Department of Transportation for eventual construction of a municipal operations center to replace the current Middleton Public Works Garage, and for construction of a waterline extension along Parmenter Street to serve the municipal operations center and other future projects.

Significant projects in the 2013 capital improvement program include the reconstruction of much of Middleton Street, increasing the street chip seal and crack filling budget in 2013 from $125,000 to $300,000, designing the reconstruction of Branch Street and making improvements to the Aquatic Center and to the Tiedeman Pond Conservation area.

“The Aa1 rating is exemplary for cities of Middleton’s size,” Lehman wrote. “Aa1 is one level below the highest rating of Aaa, and it is the best rating for a City of Middleton’s size in the State of Wisconsin.”

The Moody’s report stated: “Assignment of the Aa1 general obligation rating reflects the city’s sizeable tax base … and satisfactory financial operations… .”

As with its last report, Moody’s again acknowledged a number of economic development projects in Middleton, stating: “several new economic development projects are underway [or planned].” These include Meriter Hospital, Inc., a healthcare service provider, which is planning to add a new ambulatory care facility in Middleton, marking the beginning of the development of a new west side hub medical campus. The Community of Bishops Bay is a primarily residential project with some mixed use that will include a range of housing types. The project has been approved by the city and the developer has begun construction in 2012. Heritage Senior Housing is a complex of 56 independent senior housing units along with 36 memory care units and the project is nearly completed with initial occupancies occurring. Tribeca Apartments, a 64-unit apartment building is now complete with new occupants. These endeavors, as those of the City’s in the past, will continue to strengthen Middleton’s tax base and overall value.



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