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Rock Island County receives jump in credit rating
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Rock Island County receives jump in credit rating

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Rock Island County has received an increase in its credit rating from Moody's Investors Service, bumping the county's score from A3 to A2.

County Administrator Jim Snider shared the news with board members during Tuesday night's meeting.

"We've been living within our means, and in the last few budget years, we've underspent," Snider said. "Last year was a year of austere approach to everything. Overall, the primary reason for our improved credit rating is the sale of Hope Creek. We are no longer spending over $2 million each year on (employee) IMRF and FICA."

Board members voted in June 2020 to sell Hope Creek Care Center, the county-owned nursing home, to Infinity Health Care Management for $4 million.

Snider said the county lost an additional $2 million per year on running the facility, bringing the total annual loss to $4 million per year until Hope Creek was sold. 

"The last two years, we've had to conduct these interfund transfers," he said. "There were so many reasons it was difficult for the county to stay above water with the home. As we continue to pay down the Hope Creek debt, we'll hopefully see another step up in the (credit) rating.

"If we ever have to borrow money again, we can borrow it at a lower rate. It puts us in a much better financial position moving forward. It's a byproduct of us divesting ourselves of the nursing home."

Snider said another financial boost for the county was the allocation of $27.5 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds from the federal government. 

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