Category Archives: D1 News

Fitch upgrades Surprise revenue bond and long-term default ratings to ‘AA+’

City Manager Bob Wingenroth announced Tuesday night that Fitch Ratings, one of the “Big Three” nationally recognized credit rating agencies, has upgraded the city’s Excise Tax and State-Shared Revenue Obligation (ETRO) bond rating to ‘AA+’ from ‘AA-’.

Fitch stated the “rating reflects a solid coverage cushion and expectations for strong pledged revenue growth.”

Fitch also upgraded the city’s Long-Term Issuer Default rating (IDR) to ‘AA+’ from ‘AA-’.

In reviewing the city’s economic base Fitch noted, “The city’s 2015 population of 128,422 has realized a rapid 10% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) over the past 15 years and its median household income exceeds that of the U.S. by 16%.”

In commenting on the city’s operating performance Fitch reported, “Fitch expects Surprise to maintain a high level of financial flexibility through economic downturns based on its ample revenue raising capacity and solid financial flexibility, supplemented by its ample reserves.”

“We are very pleased with this news,” says Finance Director Lindsey Duncan. “In following the financial policy direction as set by City Council, we have been able to do an amazing job of managing city revenues in a responsible manner and these favorable ratings verify that.” A city’s credit rating is important due to its impact on interest rates in the bond market.  A better rating means the city can sell bonds to finance capital projects and pay a lower interest rate to the buyer.

The agency also issued a rating outlook of Stable.

View Fitch’s news release.

Arts and Cultural Advisory Board’s Arts Bus Tour

City breaks ground on new water industry training facility

The city of Surprise, in partnership with GateWay Community College, broke ground today on the future site of the Surprise-GateWay Training Center, a facility that will provide new, mission critical labs, assembly facilities and classrooms for city water professionals and individuals interested in water resource management careers.

The 13,100 square foot training center is being constructed on the grounds of the South Plant (SPA1) Water Reclamation Facility, located near the intersection of Cactus and Litchfield roads. SPA1 currently processes over 8 million gallons of water per day.

When completed, GateWay Community College enrollees in the West Valley will have an opportunity to train adjacent to professional staff and experience the complete water reclamation and treatment process for both groundwater and drinking water.

Mayor Sharon Wolcott is pleased with the opportunities the new facility will bring to individuals interested in water resource careers.

“This is an industry losing many to retirement and this training facility will help usher in the next generation of highly skilled water and wastewater professionals who understand the lifecycle of water in Arizona,” said Wolcott.

Construction on the Surprise-GateWay Training Center is anticipated to be completed this summer and training opportunities opening as early as this fall.

For information about the training center, call 623.222.6000.