F.C. Maintains AAA Bond Rating Despite Losing Water Case

Falls Church City Manager Wyatt Shields reported to the Falls Church City Council tonight that a meeting with Fitch, one of the three leading Wall Street bond rating agencies, following the City’s loss of its final appeal in its lawsuit vs. Fairfax Water earlier this month determined that Fitch has maintained its perfect AAA bond rating for the City.

The heartening report was underscored by Joe Mason of the Davenport Group that advises the City on fiscal matters, who said that bond rating agencies these days are handing out more downgrades than upgrades. He said that Fitch was impressed by Falls Church’s willingness to restore its fund balance to levels established by City policy guidelines by Fiscal Year 2012, and that it will be watching carefully to see that the City maintain accurate revenue forecasts so there are “no surprises,” and that an “early warning system” be in place through long range planning.

“This shows it is not all doom and gloom,” F.C. Mayor Nader Baroukh commented. “The City has managed well through a tough environment,” he said, noting there are positive signs going forward. In addition to Fitch’s AAA rating, Falls Church enjoys a AA-1 rating from Moody’s and a AA rating from Standard and Poors.