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City of Rio Grande City’s strong finances earn high rating

City of Rio Grande City

(L-R) Rio Grande City Finance Dept. director Leonel Cantu, Commissioner Dave “Chachi” Jones, Commissioner Hernan Garza III, Robert A. Tijerina with Tijerina Galvan Lawrence Financial Consulting, Mayor Joel Villarreal, Commissioner Rey Ramirez, and City Manager Alberto Perez.

The City of Rio Grande City’s finances have earned an “A” bond rating with a stable outlook from the Standard & Poor (S&P) ratings scale. This high rating enables the City to take advantage of the low interest rates currently available in the open market and opens the door to more grant opportunities.

“[With this high rating] the city is now able to pursue grant opportunities that are being offered [to municipalities],” stated Robert A. Tijerina with Tijerina Galvan Lawrence Financial Consulting, which serves as the City’s financial advisor. “These grant opportunities can be in the form of water and sewer infrastructure projects,” added Mr. Tijerina, highlighting just one of the possibilities now open to the city with the new bond rating.

At the regular meeting of the City Commission held at City Hall on Wednesday, October 30, Mr. Tijerina announced to the Commission that the new rating is already projected to save the City well over 2 million dollars in lower interest rates. “The numbers are great when you’re looking at the savings to the residents,” stated Rio Grande City Mayor Joel Villarreal. “We have plans to continue to increase our fund balance, and the metrics of strong fiduciary responsibility that the Commission is promoting. The goal now is a “AAA” rating.”

The City’s high financial rating is credited primarily to the current Commission and administration who have made maintaining a fiscally responsible budget and positive fund balance a top priority. Maintaining a healthy budget, and continually improving City operations is key to infrastructure investments, which can translate to successful growth with more business development and job opportunities for the citizens of Rio Grande City.

S&P developed the standard rating scale used by the other big credit rating agencies to rate both short- and long-term debt. Ratings can be useful to understand the creditworthiness of bonds and bond issuers. An ”A” is typically awarded to an entity considered to have a strong capacity to repay loans.

Standard and Poor’s is one of the most prominent financial intelligence companies in the world. S&P is a division of the McGraw-Hill Companies and has more than 150 years of experience providing financial services to investors worldwide.



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