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Chicago Credit Crunch Continues With Park District Downgrade

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In a development that will likely become fodder for the runoff election, Moody's Investors Service downgraded the debt rating of the Chicago Park District, which is currently carrying $616 million in taxpayer-backed debt. According to the Tribune, while the park district still can boast a slightly better rating than the city, it joins the school district as another government entity that's being dragged down by the city's credit woes.

Before anyone panics about new projects and infrastructure improvements being sidelined due to budget issues, The Park District, which is a completely seperate unit of government (as the Obma Library land transfer drama has shown), shot back at the demotion. In a statement, the organization said its financial future isn't as closely tied to the city as the investment service thinks, and it's already enacted a responsible plan to pay back its debt. How does Moody's suggest the Park District regain a higher rating? One of the suggestions -- "A change in governance framework that reduces the influence of the city on the district" -- doesn't do any favors for the city's financial reputation.

·Moody's downgrades Chicago Park District's debt rating [Chicago Tribune]
·Previous Chicago Park District coverage [Curbed Chicago]