Guelph, Ont., August 25, 2017 – Yesterday, S&P Global Ratings (S&P) announced the City of Guelph’s credit rating is strong and remains at AA+ with stable outlook.
“This is an independent, third-party confirmation of the City’s solid financial position and practices. It sends a strong signal that our municipal finances are in excellent shape,” said Mayor Cam Guthrie.
“For five years, the City has maintained the AA+ rating which reflects our strong financial position and staff and Council’s commitment to making strategic financial decisions,” says Derrick Thomson, chief administrative officer.
According to S&P, the rating (AA+) reflects Guelph’s “healthy liquidity, robust budgetary performance, and very low debt burden.” The stable outlook reflects the expectation that the City will maintain its liquidity position, the tax-supported debt burden will remain less than 30 per cent of its operating revenues and the City will generate moderate after-capital surpluses for the next two years.
The credit rating highlights S&P’s view that the City continues to demonstrate strong financial management practices as seen through the development of its detailed and robust annual budget, while maintaining a high degree of budgetary flexibility.
Part of the City’s practice is to maintain a low debt burden, which leads to low borrowing rates when the City needs to take on external debt. By using a pay-as-you-go financing model for some capital projects, the City limits its need for external borrowing.
“In addition to our sound financial policies, the City’s strategic action plan guides our annual budget, which is a realistic plan for our future,” says Tara Baker, city treasurer and general manager of Finance. “Financial planning for an organization of this size takes time and a coordinated effort from staff across the City. This credit rating is a testament to continuous good work.”
The S&P’s website offers further information about Guelph’s credit rating.
For more information on the City’s budget, visit guelph.ca/budget.
Guelph, Ont., August 24, 2017 – When buses begin to roll on the morning of September 3, Guelph Transit will be operating new routes, schedules and stops. Included in this route realignment is the introduction of the 99 Mainline that will run north and south along the Gordon/Norfolk/Woolwich corridor allowing passengers to travel though the city with greater ease.
Guelph Transit, and the City, is committed to building an efficient and effective transit system for Guelph. Realigning routes enables Guelph Transit to increase bus frequency in areas with heavy passenger loads, during specific times of day. These changes have been informed by public input, passenger data and transit operator feedback.
Community Bus Service:
In addition to changes to conventional bus service, some changes to Community Bus service are taking place. Guelph Transit has initiated these changes in response to passenger data but will continue to work with the community to ensure equitable access to transportation.
Most notable among the changes to Community Bus service is the type of vehicle Guelph Transit uses in the delivery of the service. Using conventional buses instead of mobility buses for this service means passenger pick-up at the door isn’t possible in every case.
But “without question, everyone who needs public transit will continue to have direct access. If not through the Community Bus then through our Mobility Service,” says Mike Spicer, Guelph Transit general manager.
About 65 residents were onsite at City Hall last night to hear information about changes coming in September, and to meet one-on-one with Guelph Transit employees for route-planning assistance.
The session was the latest in a community engagement process during which the transit operation has sought public input. “We’ve been listening to all of our passengers, and we’re still listening,” says Spicer.
About Mobility Service:
Mobility Service is a specialized service that provides convenient transportation from accessible-door-to-accessible-door within city limits and on the passenger’s schedule. This service is becoming more popular, so the City will continue to work with passengers and staff to improve its delivery.
Guelph Transit will be at Stone Road Mall on Saturday, August 26 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. to help community members understand the upcoming route changes and how they can get where they need to go.
The upcoming changes have been made within Guelph Transit’s current operating budget. There will be no additional cost to passengers or tax payers for these changes.
All September route information is available on guelphtransit.ca.
For more information:
Guelph Transit General Manager
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 3321
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Tonight is going to be awesome! Come downtown to Market Square and get ready to party, dance, eat lots of food and celebrate our city along with welcoming hundreds of visitors and athletes from the 2017 World Dwarf Games!
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