Thursday, January 14, 2010

Council Committees Vote Thumbs Up on Music City Center, Fitch Ratings Votes Thumbs Down

Posted By on Thu, Jan 14, 2010 at 10:38 PM

Two Metro Council committees--the Budget and Finance Committee and the Convention, Tourism, and Public Entertainment Committee--approved the proposed Music City Center this evening by near-unanimous vote: Budget 9-1, Public Entertainment 7-0. But the optimism reflected in that ringing endorsement wasn't shared by global credit-rating powerhouse Fitch Ratings. As reported this evening in Business Wire:
Fitch Ratings takes the following action on the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County, Tennessee (Metro) as part of its continuous surveillance effort: --approximately $1.6 billion general obligation (GO) bonds, rated 'AA', placed on Rating Watch Negative; --approximately $71 million district energy system bonds rated 'AA-', placed on Rating Watch Negative.
"While Fitch believes that the convention center may enhance economic activity in Nashville's downtown," the report says in summary, "even the moderate amounts of general fund support that appear possible for debt service and operations would contribute to increased strain on the government's finances to a point where the rating is no longer consistent with the current rating category." UPDATE: The CP's Joey Garrison has details of the vote.

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