Giving "only good news," Mayor John Engen announced Missoula's credit rating and new utility supervisor Wednesday to the City Council Committee of the Whole, as the city's water company acquisition inches forward.
Engen said Standard & Poor’s credit rating service gave Missoula an “A” for its water bond rating.
A Jan. 31 entry on S&P's website confirms the rating.
That gave Barclays, the international bank financing Missoula’s purchase of the utility, the confidence it needed to issue their loans, Engen said.
In November 2016, Engen, along with Chief Administrative Officer Dale Bickell, presented city council with its financing option, which consisted of an 18- to 36-month short-term loan, followed by a long-term loan.
That was done so Barclays could get an idea of the water company's financials before locking in a 30-year loan with the city, Engen said at the time.
According to Standard & Poor's rating definitions, the "A" rating means the city has a "strong capacity to meet financial commitments, but (is) somewhat susceptible to adverse economic conditions and changes in circumstances."
Engen also introduced Dennis Bowman as Missoula Water Co.’s first employee, superintendent of operations.
Bowman worked for Mountain Water Co. for 35 years in Missoula, Engen said, and is the first official member of the city’s water utility transition team.
More employees are expected to come on board in the near future.