(March 6, 2014) –Today, Standard & Poor’s Rating Services (S&P) upgraded the City of Hartford's rating on its general obligation (GO) bonds by two notches from “A” to “AA-“ based on its local GO criteria released in September of 2013. Several factors drove the upgrade including the City’s improving reserve levels, its commitment to fully fund the City’s annual required contribution to the pension plan, its debt position and the City’s steady budgetary performance. Standard & Poor’s also raised the rating on the City’s bond anticipation notes (BANs) by one notch, from “SP-1” to “SP-1+”. These upgrades allow the City of Hartford to borrow money in the future at lower interest rates helping to reduce taxes.
“Since my time on City Council as Chair of the Operations, Management and Budget Committee, I have been worried about the City’s bond rating,” said Mayor Pedro E. Segarra. “And that’s why it was critical to resolve our deficit and hold the line on spending so we do not place further burden on our taxpayers. The bottom line is that we need to encourage investment in our City if we are going to improve our infrastructure, our schools and grow our grand list. This was a collaborative effort, across many city departments, and city employees should share in this good news with our citizens and taxpayers.”
S&P emphasized that the City’s strong financial management and stable budgetary performance were the reason for elevating the City’s rating. Other considerations included Hartford’s broad and diverse economy and position as the state capital. “The stable outlook on the long-term rating reflects our view of the city’s adequate budget performance and flexibility due, in part, to its strong financial practices,” said Standard & Poor’s credit analyst Hillary Sutton.
“I am very pleased to see the City of Hartford receive an upgrade from S&P” said Hartford City Treasurer Adam M. Cloud. Treasurer Cloud went on to say, “As the co-issuer of the City’s debt along with the Mayor, I am proud of this accomplishment. This upgrade is a testament to the efforts of everyone at the City of Hartford to maintain strong financial management practices. However, we should not rest on our laurels, instead we should be even more focused on creating stronger policies, tighter budgeting processes and smarter revenue enhancement strategies that will benefit the taxpayers and residents of this great city”.
Webster Bank, the City of Hartford’s Financial Advisor added, “Standard & Poor’s double notch upgrade of Hartford’s bond rating to AA- is a reflection of the City’s strong management practices, budgetary flexibility and strong financial policies. The rating upgrade reflects a higher degree of confidence in the City and will lower borrowing costs for all future bond issues - saving the City millions of dollars for important capital projects while mitigating the impact on taxpayers.”
Mayor Segarra will kick off the 2014/15 budget season next Monday, March 10 during his State of the City address. The Mayor’s recommended budget will be submitted to the Court of Common Council on April 21.
**Download full Standard and Poor's report: http://www.hartford.gov/images/S&P_Rating_Report_March_2014_-_Upgrade_to_AA-.pdf
For Immediate Release: March 6, 2014
Contact: Maribel La Luz
“I applaud the President’s leadership, both as an elected official and personally as man of color who benefitted from the type of programs he is promoting. Nearly 1 in 4 Hartford residents aged 16-24 are high school dropouts, more than 90% of them are Latino or Black, and 53% of them are male. As the President said, we’ve begun to assume statistics like these are an inevitable part of American life, instead of the outrages they are.”
“Hartford has initiatives like our Summer Youth Employment Program, but we need to do more. The ability of the My Brother’s Keeper Task Force to assess and promote the programs most effective in combating these numbers is the sort of ambitious solution that we as a City could never carry out alone. Because young men of color are an important part of our future workforce, these steps aren’t just the right thing to do—they’re an economic necessity.”
For Immediate Release: February 27, 2013
Contact: Maribel La Luz
p. (860) 757-9731
c. (860) 539-5485
(February 26, 2014) – On Thursday, February 27th, at 100 Trumbull St, Mayor Pedro E. Segarra will take part in a grand opening ceremony for Naturally Dogs & Cats, the latest Downtown storefront to open as part of the City's iConnect program.
Naturally Dogs & Cats sells all-natural, US-made, locally sourced pet food and products, and offers an automatic re-order program with delivery to downtown apartments or curbside pick-up. They will also host nutrition and care seminars, weekly social events, and adoption programs through the City of Hartford Animal Shelter and local rescue groups.
"The iConnect program is an example of what Hartford will be like in the future," said Mayor Segarra. "Business owners are very excited to be opening shops in Hartford. This is positive step in bringing more foot traffic to the streets, improving Hartford's economy and encouraging the success of startup entrepreneurs."
iConnect is partially funded through a grant from the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) Office of the Arts for the purpose of converting empty storefronts into mixed use spaces. This program has brought over 3,000 visitors to downtown Hartford for retail and pop up storefront activities.
"The iConnect Program offers great opportunities to entrepreneurs like us who are trying to open their first store," said Bob Marshall, co-owner of Naturally Dogs & Cats. "We are excited to serve the community of pet owners from Hartford and beyond."
"Trumbull on the Park is pleased to be able to provide retail space to spark economic development in the City while providing Hartford residents and visitors with a much needed service," said Maria Lamari, Property Manager.
WHO: Mayor Pedro E. Segarra
WHAT: Naturally Dogs & Cats ribbon-cutting and grand opening
WHERE: 100 Trumbull St, next to Salute
WHEN: Thursday, February 27th, 3:30pm to 8:00pm, (ribbon-cutting at 3:30pm)
For Immediate Release: February 26, 2014
Contact: Kristina Newman-Scott
(February 24, 2014) – The City of Hartford will host a crash course on the basics of zoning at the Hartford Public Library, February 26th at 6pm. Zoning is how the City determines what buildings and businesses can be built in different areas of the city and has a significant impact on how Hartford grows and changes. Over 500 zoning applications are filed each year. Mayor Pedro E. Segarra is encouraging all Hartford residents and businesses to attend Zoning 101, a fun and understandable workshop on the basics of zoning.
“Understanding how zoning works is critical in helping to make Hartford the city we all want it to be”, said Mayor Segarra. “It can protect neighborhood & community character, encourage growing business sectors, or dedicate underused land to new purposes. This workshop is a great first step for residents and businesses that want to know more about the process, and for anyone curious about our future plans for developing our City.”
“This will be a great opportunity for Hartford residents, both renters and homeowners, to learn why zoning is so important,” said Jackie McKinney, Co-Chair of Hartford 2000. Bernadine Silvers, her fellow Hartford 2000 Co-Chair added, “Understanding zoning empowers you to make economic and design changes in your community.”
The workshop will be interactive and includes sketches from HartBeat Ensemble, a Hartford -based award-winning theater company. The City plans to rewrite the zoning regulations over the next two years. Zoning 101 is presented by the City of Hartford’s Department of Development Services, in partnership with Hartford 2000 and the Hartford Public Library.
WHO: City of Hartford Development Services, HartBeat Ensemble
WHAT: Zoning 101, workshop on the basics of zoning
WHEN: Wednesday, February 26, at 6:00pm
WHERE: Hartford Public Library, Downtown Branch, 500 Main Street
For Immediate Release: February 24, 2014
Contact: Maribel La Luz