Evanston aldermen Monday are scheduled to approve selling $16.2 million in general obligation bonds — and the sale has gotten a clean bill of health from two bond rating agencies.

Moody’s Investor Service and Fitch Ratings have assigned their top rating to the new bond issue, and to the rest of the city’s existing $118 million in general obligation bonds.

Fitch said the city has “superior socioeconomic fundamentals, a strong and diverse economy and a healthy financial position with manageable debt levels.

But Fitch said the city could face a rating downgrade if it fails to maintain a sufficient financial cushion or fails to “meaningfully address its large pension liability in the intermediate term.”

Moody’s said the stability of the city’s major high education and health care institutions supports an affluent and diverse tax base, but said the city faces challenges because of some reliance on economically sensitive revenue sources including sales taxes, and the underfunded status of its police and fire pension plans.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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5 Comments

  1. Good news on city finances

    These ratings are good news for our community's finances and contrary to naysayers'  perpetual harping about fiscal mis-management.

  2. City finances

    Just wait. We have to pay those loans. The new rating systems are not in place yet.

  3. From same raters as credit default swaps

    Remember they rated credit default swaps and other mortgage securities AAA when we found they were really 'junk' rated just re-packaged.  The fact that they rated Evanston high when we all know the terrible financial mess we are in, makes me believe they again did not do due diligence.

  4. Naysayers

    I find it interesting the auditors don't even sign their names to the reports, that is someone writes in the firms name, wonder why no one takes any responsibility?  Take a look at the comprehensive finanical plan – the auditors don;t sign it.  

    Why last year did Wally say the city had too much debt and he need to use operating funds?   Now the about face by the why what are these funds for?  More phony capital plan items they don't do?

    I wonder how these same raters were rating Stockton, prior to its default?  Last night on a news show they thought Detriot would be next to default.

  5. Affluent tax base allows the sale of bonds

    Moody's might be right- Evanston does rely heavily on its affluent tax base. Unfortunately, as I see it,  the affluent and those who live off them will be the only ones left who can afford living in this town — so much for economic diversity.

    Evanston will pay back its debt, but not without increasing, yet again, taxes, or raising fees, or stealing from one fund (water) and moving it to another. 

    This is what the naysayers are complaining about. if you are like my family, the thousands of dollar increases are hurting. And if you are like me, you are wondering why you continue to pay these crazy high taxes and receive relatively little when compared to many other suburbs — especially when you see that the city council is literally throwing away money daily.  

    I am not against paying taxes.  I'm against seeing my hard earned money thrown at for-profit businesses, while city council simultaneously makes it hard for non-connected legitimate businesses to open due to red tape and  various moral posturing of a few individuals.

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