Denham Springs held onto its A+ rating with Standard & Poor’s during a recent assessment of the city’s finances.
The review was conducted as the city prepared to reissue bonds with the hope of saving money. The large financial research firm remarked that the Baton Rouge area has a “broad and diverse” economy and that “Denham Springs is emerging as a retail center.”
The city government spends little on debt service, has a flexible budget and maintains ample reserves, according to the Nov. 24 report released during the most recent City Council meeting.
There were a few dings. S&P noted that the city used to perform long-term planning five years ahead, which stopped around the time of hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and has not yet resumed the process.
At a community level, Denham Springs’ projected per capita effective buying income is 84 percent of national levels.
Overall, S&P describes entities in the A-range as having a “strong capacity to meet financial commitments but somewhat susceptible to adverse economic conditions and changes in circumstances.”
The review was conducted as the city prepares to refinance about $7.8 million in 2008 bonds used to pay for upgrades to the city’s wastewater treatment facility.
Last week, Mayor Gerard Landry said the city was waiting for the most favorable conditions to seek refinancing but expects the city will end up saving about $300,000, allowing the city to pay off the bonds a little faster.
In other business, the City Council last week approved a noise ordinance variance for a March 19 car show at Denham Springs High being sponsored by the Reach Club.
The city accepted a donation from the state of about 250 cubic yards of asphalt, which can be used to plug potholes or retouch curbs.
In their penultimate meeting of 2015, council members also approved the regular meeting schedule for next year. Barring holidays or out-of-town business, the council meets on the second Tuesday and fourth Monday of each month. The only 2016 dates that will deviate from that schedule are: Feb. 9 will be moved to Feb. 11; March 8 will be moved to March 14; Dec. 26 will be moved to Dec. 27.
All meetings are held at 6 p.m. in the Denham Springs Municipal Building.
Follow Steve Hardy on Twitter, @SteveRHardy.