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Press Release

S&P Global Ratings reaffirms the County of Simcoe’s AA credit rating

 

Midhurst/December 3, 2019 – S&P Global Ratings has reaffirmed the County of Simcoe's strong AA long-term issuer credit rating for 2019.

For the fifth consecutive year, the rating agency has affirmed an AA rating along with a stable outlook for the County of Simcoe based on its healthy budgetary performance with high operating balances, very low debt levels, and robust liquidity. S&P Global Ratings also notes that the County demonstrates political and managerial strength with a good degree of transparency and disclosure.

“Our latest S&P rating is another confirmation that the County operates prudently and efficiently," said Warden George Cornell. “Our strong financial oversight and fiscal responsibility enable us to invest in our local communities, leverage opportunities to enhance service delivery and provide strong value to taxpayers and our municipal partners."

The rating affirmation reflects S&P Global Ratings' expectations that, throughout the two-year forecast horizon, the County will maintain robust liquidity, its after-capital deficit will not surpass 5 per cent of total revenues, and tax-supported debt will remain well below 30 per cent of operating revenues.

The stable outlook reflects S&P's expectations that the County will generate healthy operating surpluses, although large capital requirements will keep after-capital results in a slight deficit. S&P stated that they expect the County to keep managing its capital program prudently, with a strong reliance on pay-as-you-go financing, avoiding the need to issue new debt over the next two years. As a result, S&P expects the County's tax-supported debt ratio will decrease slowly to about 7 per cent of operating revenues in fiscal 2021. S&P also notes that the County's liquidity remains strong. By its calculations, the County's average free cash and liquid assets will total approximately $70 million in the next 12 months and represent more than 22 times the estimated debt service. S&P expects this ratio to remain well above 100 per cent during the forecasted outlook.

About S&P Global Ratings
With 26 offices around the world and a history that dates back more than 150 years, S&P Global Ratings provides high-quality market intelligence in the form of credit ratings, research, and thought leadership.

About County of Simcoe
County of Simcoe is composed of sixteen member municipalities and provides crucial public services to County residents in addition to providing paramedic and social services to the separated cities of Barrie and Orillia. Visit our website at simcoe.ca.

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CONTACTS

Chris Hedley
Public Relations Consultant
County of Simcoe, Service Simcoe Branch
705-726-9300 ext. 1030
705-715-7654 (mobile)
Chris.Hedley@simcoe.ca

Collin Matanowitsch
Manager, Public Relations
County of Simcoe, Service Simcoe Branch
705-726-9300 ext. 1430
705-734-8386 (mobile)
 Collin.Matanowitsch@simcoe.ca