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Buffalo Grove Receives Highest Marks for Financial Management

Two agencies give the village high scores for current and proposed debt. The following information was provided by the Village of Buffalo Grove.

The Village of Buffalo Grove recently received the highest marks for its progressive and stable financial management from three organizations that evaluate and monitor governmental financial conditions on a national and international level.

As part of the proposed Series 2012 general obligation bond issue, the village recently sought ratings of its existing and proposed debt through Standard & Poor’s Rating Service and Moody’s Investor Service. Both companies gave the village their highest award of confidence by affirming the existing AAA and Aaa ratings (respectively) for all current debt, as well as assigning AAA and Aaa ratings for the 2012 issuance of $6 million in bonds to provide for street repair and maintenance.

Standard & Poor’s stated, “We consider the village’s financial management practices 'strong,'" indicating a view that "practices are strong, well embedded, and likely sustainable.” The agency also upgraded its financial management practices rating of the village to “strong...given the village’s implementation of long-term financial planning...” The prior rating of financial management practices was “good.”

The rating bestowed by Moody’s Investor Service cited the village’s small debt burden ($6.28 million outstanding as of Dec. 31, 2012, excluding new debt), correction of recent operating deficits and budgetary flexibility provided by home rule status as contributing factors.

In addition to the key ratings assigned to the village’s overall financial management, the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) has also presented the village with its first “Distinguished Budget Presentation Award” for the Fiscal Year 2012 budget. This national award program is conferred to government agencies whose budgeting process represents the highest quality commitment to developing the budget as a policy document, a financial plan, an operations guide and a communications device.

Village staff undertook a complete redesign of the budget document for 2012, adding significant enhancements to budget summaries, organization and strategic outcomes. Throughout North America, only 1,289 entities received the award in 2010, representing the highest tier of local government excellence.

Village President Jeff Braiman praised the village's long-term stability stating, “While many other governments have faced downgrades, or worse default, the Village of Buffalo Grove continues on its long-term track of superior financial management. Recognition goes to everyone who had a part in achieving these notable accomplishments.”

Village Manager Dane Bragg commended the Village Board and staff for their commitment to financial excellence, adding, “These distinguished benchmarks are the result of perseverance and strict adherence to the strongest financial management principles in local government. Without the ongoing commitment to these principles across every layer of the organization, we could not have achieved or continued any of these milestones.”

The Village Board is expected to approve the sale of bonds in September.

Ratings Summary

  • Existing Debt: $7.2 million (as of Dec. 31, 2011)
  • New Debt: $6 million
  • Total Debt: $13.2 million 
  • Debt Burden (Direct): 0.3 percent (debt as a percentage of Equalized Assessed Value - EAV)
  • Total Debt Burden (Overlapping) 1.8 percent (debt as a percentage of EAV)
RELENTLESSCRITIC July 31, 2012 at 03:15 AM
Good finances and excellent water quality. Life is good in BG these days. Congrats to the staff for their prudent financial management. Keep up the good work.
Must rankle at least 1 VBG resident though that the experts, and S&P and Moody ARE experts, rate the fiscal responsibility of the current administration and workers so highly. Good to see VBG getting good 'press'!

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