Holloway: Some old news, new news and good news

Mayor A.J. Holloway this morning gave a Biloxi Chamber audience an update on what he called old news — millions of dollars in public and private investment in the city — and he told the audience about something he thought was unprecedented.

Holloway reviewed timelines and progress on such projects as Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville, the Wal-mart Supercenter, the Sharkheads souvenir shop, and a host of downtown issues, but it was near the end of his presentation that the mayor spoke about one of his favorite issues: finances.

“Just a few weeks ago, we had something happen that we hadn’t see happen in many decades,” Holloway said. “We’ve been following interest rates and the financial markets, and we’ve been watching for any opportunities.

“The first thing that you have to do is have your finances reviewed by national firms. They want to see your past performance, your current condition and your future outlook. In short, they want to see how WE’RE managing YOUR money.”

The review, which had been coordinated by Director of Administration David Staehling, prompted Standard & Poor’s to upgrade the city’s credit rating to “AA-.”

Said Holloway: “But the best news is this. We used that improved rating to re-finance about $9 million in outstanding debt, and we hit the market at the right time.

“We have received an interest rate of 1.9 percent, which I think is the lowest rate this city has ever received. We’re going to save a total of $700,000 in interest payments.”

Texting: To see the prepared text of the mayor’s presentation this morning, including the latest timelines on a host of projects, click here.

Picture this: To see dozens of photos from this morning’s gathering, click here.