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Wednesday, March 13,2013

'Stable'

Lansing gets good news on its bond rating, economic outlook

by Andy Balaskovitz

Monday, Dec. 17 — Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero announced some welcome economic news today: the city’s economic outlook has gone from “negative” to “stable,” according to the rating service Standard and Poor’s.


“The revised outlook reflects our view of the city’s efforts to trim costs in 2012 and 2013, avoiding further use of reserves,” an agency report says.


Standard and Poor’s also affirmed the city’s AA bond rating.


However, “The city’s adequate financial position leaves it vulnerable to revenue fluctuations; additional budget gaps, if not eliminated, could lead to a downward rating action within the two-year outlook horizon,” the report also says.


The city faces a projected $11 million budget deficit heading into the next fiscal year. According to City Charter rules, Bernero must present a balanced budget to the City Council in late March, with final adoption in May.


The announcement comes as the city seeks to refinance a series of bonds that the administration has said could save up to $4 million over the life of those bonds.


An agency report cites Lansing’s “diverse economy,” the use of budget cuts to “close the gap created by economically sensitive revenue fluctuations” and a “moderate debt burden” to back its bond rating.


“This is good news for Lansing and another positive sign of our economic recovery as we continue to work our way out of the national recession,” Bernero said in a statement.

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