This, today, from Mayor Winnecke's office...

Moody’s Investors Service today reaffirmed the “Aa3” bond rating on the City of Evansville’s Redevelopment Authority Lease Rental Revenue Bonds. “Aa” rating means Moody’s has judged the city’s financial obligations “to be of high quality and are subject to very low credit risk.” The bonds represent $122.4 million of outstanding debt related to the Ford Center.

“The announcement from Moody’s Investors Services is good news and a testament to the administration’s handling of city finances. The agency reviewed the city’s bond rating on the Ford Center arena project following the 2011 State Board of Account audit findings,” said Mayor Lloyd Winnecke. “Reaffirming the “Aa3” rating is confirmation of the city’s continued financial strength.”

Moody’s analysts stated: “The city has been experiencing some growth in the manufacturing sector, with expansions planned at Berry Plastics and Toyota. The city’s growth in the Downtown area is expected to continue as well, with an upscale hotel expected to be built near the Ford Arena and the convention center.”

Moody’s cited the city’s strengths as “strong coverage” of the Ford Center arena’s debt service costs and the “broad nature of pledged revenues” to pay-off the debt, including additional gaming tax revenues.

“Moody’s ratings are forward looking, echoing a recent review of the city’s parks bonds by Standard & Poor’s, which appreciated the city’s proactive management of the software conversion issue,” said Evansville City Controller Russell Lloyd, Jr., CPA.