April 19, 2014 in Washington Voices

In Brief: Moody’s Investor Services upgrades Spokane Valley’s bond rating

 

Spokane Valley – Moody’s Investor Services has upgraded the city of Spokane Valley’s bond rating to Aa3.

“The upgrade … reflects the city’s low debt burden, sizeable tax base which is expected to expand into the medium-term, and healthy financial performance, which is maintained through strong management practices,” Moody’s said in announcing the upgrade earlier this month that also praised the Valley’s healthy financial reserves.

The Aa3 category is used by the rating company to reflect general obligation bonds it considers “high quality” with “very low credit risk.”

Moody’s noted that the city’s rating could continue to climb if its tax base keeps growing and if its structurally balanced operations are maintained. Conversely, the rating could slip if the tax base deteriorates or if the city’s financial reserves significantly shrink.

The upgraded rating affects about $7.4 million in existing debt from the city’s last bond issue, which was in 2003.

As a newer city, the Valley’s previous bond rating was A1, which Moody’s uses to reflect “upper-medium grade” investments. The company rates risk based on a scale ranging from its top rating of Aaa to C at the lowest level.

Special election ballots must be turned in by Tuesday

Spokane Valley – Ballots must be turned in or postmarked by Tuesday in order to be counted in the special election.

The Spokane County Library District is asking Valley voters for approval of a $22 million bond measure to build a new main branch at Balfour Park and a smaller branch in Greenacres, while also remodeling the existing Argonne branch to increase library space. It would increase property taxes in the Valley by about $14 per $100,000 of assessed value annually over the next 20 years if approved.

Also on the ballot is a $1.1 million bond measure that voters in the Newman Lake Fire and Rescue district are being asked to approve for a new fire station. If approved, it would increase property taxes about $31 per $100,000 of assessed value over 20 years.

Unpostmarked ballots can be dropped off until 8 p.m. Tuesday at special boxes located at some library branches, the downtown STA Plaza and at the county’s Elections Office, 1033 W. Gardner Ave. Voter service centers will be open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday at the Elections Office, STA Plaza and CenterPlace, 2426 N. Discovery Place.

Crime Prevention Office reopens in Valley mall

Spokane Valley – The Spokane County Sheriff’s Crime Prevention Office has reopened in the Spokane Valley Mall.

Now located on the second level but still on the west side of the shopping mall, the office is used by crime-prevention deputies and staffed by volunteers. It opened April 7.

A reopening ceremony is set for 4 to 6 p.m. April 30 at the new office. Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich, Spokane Valley Police Chief Rick VanLeuven and Spokane Valley Mayor Dean Grafos will make presentations.

The office is open 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.


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