Windsor's financial house in 'AA' good shape, says Standard and Poor's

Friday, February 26, 2016

The Windsor Star/Doug Schmidt

The City of Windsor could go on a borrowing and spending spree tomorrow because its finances are in such good shape, according to financial services company Standard & Poor’s.

But it’s because Windsor has restrained itself from spending what it doesn’t have that the city’s financial house gets such top grades, said city treasurer Onorio Colucci.

Crediting Windsor’s “strong financial management, exceptional liquidity position and strong budgetary performance,” Standard & Poor’s reaffirmed the city’s “AA” credit rating. It means the highly recognized international and independent ratings agency believes Windsor has a “very strong” capacity to meet its financial commitments.

“This sends the right message to potential investors and business and also serves as reassurance for our citizens — it’s a strong bill of health,” said Colucci. Investors looking at places to put their money always investigate how strong a municipality’s financial position is, he said, adding it speaks to how stable such a community might remain in the future provision of services or infrastructure maintenance.

For more than a decade now, Windsor city council has focused on holding the line on taxes and funding capital spending on a pay-as-you-go basis.

The $78-million Windsor International Aquatic and Training Centre, for example, is only two years old, but its construction was paid off in full last year. The city’s debt load of about $230 million in 2003 has shrunk to approximately $100 million now, “and it’s headed lower,” said Colucci.

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