As presidents of two local banks, we serve on New Orleans' Stimulus Command Task Force, which is monitoring the city’s fiscal health during the COVID-19 pandemic.
We are pleased to report that the three major credit rating services (Moody’s, Fitch and S&P Global) have rated the city of New Orleans as STABLE and creditworthy, which is a testament to the responsible financial management by the city’s administration during the COVID-19 related near economic collapse over the past 18 months. The STABLE credit rating will yield $71 million in savings for the city.
The STABLE rating demonstrates the need for moderation and restraint when it comes to managing city resources and specifically the American Rescue Plan designed to fill the gaps created by COVID-19 mandated shutdowns. The city has operated with clear anticipation of future challenges, which has helped it to maintain high bond ratings. We must think five years down the road when the ARP funds runs out and the city will have to use its local and state resources.
Funds from bond sales will be used for street and subsurface infrastructure improvements that are not funded by the federal government. The first portion of $300 million in general obligation bonds will be sold in late September with work to follow later this year. Currently, the city has nearly 70 roadwork construction projects underway, valued at $671 million.
We salute the city for being a good steward of taxpayer monies and for keeping our city solvent and creditworthy during some very trying economic hardships and a public health emergency.
ALDEN J. MCDONALD, JR.
president, Liberty Bank and Trust Company
JOSEPH S. EXNICIOS
president, Hancock Whitney Bank