City of Midland maintains AAA credit rating during downturn

City of Midland maintains AAA credit rating during downturn

MIDLAND, TX (KWES) - Fitch Ratings gave the city of Midland a AAA rating. The rating means the city has maintained strong financial status.

The agency takes a look at the current state of the economy and how the city is preparing and modifying their budget to the needs of the community...

Mayor Jerry Morales says they made major changes to their budget when oil prices began to fall and they'll be ready when they pick back up.

"It's a good sign for the forecast of Midland," said Morales.

The city earned the rating by holding back on hiring, reducing spending, and not focusing on major projects. Instead, the city continued to operate as usual but back $2.8 million from their general spending. The city has lost 20 percent in sales tax revenue since last year.

In the end, the budgeting paid off. Morales says the credit rating could bring more opportunities to the city.
  
"It brings a lot of strength to our community for those who want to build in Midland. It shows that the staff is managing the community well," said Morales.

As the city moves on into a new budget season, they are looking at the past and finding ways to improve infrastructure to prepare for the future.

Some of these improvements include roads. Thirty percent need to completely be re-done. The credit rating could help the city in getting bonds with low interest to complete some of these projects.

"Just a lot of big ticket items to handle that next growth stage," said Morales.

All of these discussions will be taking place while the city works on their budget. Morales says its all about preparing for when oil picks back up and the city sees more growth.

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