The city of Butler’s general obligation credit rating has been downgraded by S&P Global Ratings.
“It’s serious,” Butler Mayor Tom Donaldson said Thursday. “It paints a bleak financial outlook for the city.”
Donaldson is speaking of a report the city received notifying of a change from an ‘A’ rating to a ‘BBB’ rating, which is a downgrade of three notches. The city has also been placed on a negative credit watch. The report pointed out “very weak budgetary flexibility,” “weak liquidity,” and “persistent structural imbalances.”
Donaldson wants to see immediate action taken to increase revenue through parking or decrease expenses through union contract negotiations.
Director of Accounts and Finance Councilman Mike Walter agrees that changes need to be made.
“It should be a wake-up call for everybody concerned with the well-being of the city that we have to do a better job with what we are doing here,” Walter said. “We need to do things to attract people to come to Butler, not force them away.”
Both city officials agreed the loss of business privilege tax when K-Mart closes later this year will be significant especially at a time when the city needs to make expensive repairs to their fire department ladder truck.
Written By: Ryan Saeler for the Butler Radio Network