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Dooley Responds to Councilwoman’s Concerns Over Credit Rating

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(EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/GettyImages)

(EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/GettyImages)

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CLAYTON, Mo. (KMOX) - A St. Louis County Councilwoman who demanded answers after the county had its bond rating lowered says she has received them.

On Nov. 7, the ratings agency Standard & Poor’s lowered St. Louis County’s bond rating from AAA to AA-plus.

After Colleen Wasinger, R-Town and Country, inquired about the downgrade, St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley responded with a letter last week.

In the letter, obtained by KMOX News, Dooley argues the credit rating downgrade was a result of new criteria by S&P and there isn’t much the county can do to raise its rating again, writing “the new methodology established by S&P makes it unlikely that any Missouri county can be desigated Triple A at this time.”

He goes on to say that interest rates on existing debt won’t change because of the drop from AAA to AA-plus.

The remarks to Wasinger are similar to Dooley’s response to the announcement last month.

“Nothing has changed in St. Louis County. The ratings system changed their categories,” Dooley told KMOX News on Nov. 7. “St. Louis County is still very solid and is still the best-run government as far as a fiscal responsibility and a budget process, it is still intact.”

Dooley finished the letter by saying he won’t be changing next year’s budget as a result of the downgrade but he will be asking the county council to adopt a debt management and fund balance policy soon. That policy could result in saving more and spending less in coming years.

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