- Associated Press - Thursday, April 3, 2014

ROCKFORD, Ill. (AP) - Moody’s Investors Service has downgraded Rockford’s bond rating, citing the Illinois city’s limited ability to raise revenue, high debt and pension burden.

The Rockford Register Star reports (https://bit.ly/1i5dz79) that despite the downgrading Thursday from Aa3 to A1, the city’s bonds still have the fifth highest rating available and is considered to be a low credit risk.

Rockford officials say Moody’s downgrade will increase the cost of borrowing money by about 5- to 10-100ths of a percentage point. The change in bond rating has no effect on current debt.

Officials say Rockford may issue a $10.7 million bond to pay for downtown parking improvements. Finance Director Chris Black says the downgraded rating could cost the city approximately $7,200 more per year, or $144,000 more over the 20-year life of the bond.

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