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FORT WORTH (TX) GO BONDS RATED 'AA' BY FITCH -- FITCH FINANCIAL NETWORK --

 NEW YORK, DEC. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Fort Worth (TX)' $23,555,000 General Purpose Improvement and Refunding Bonds, Series 1993 are rated AA' by Fitch. The bonds will be sold competitively on January 5. The AA' rating on $437.3 million in outstanding parity debt is affirmed. The credit trend is stable.
 Fort Worth's economy is in transition. Significant manufacturing and military job losses are being partially offset by continued growth in services and transportation. While job gains have just about kept pace with losses to date, the reduction in high paying manufacturing jobs is affecting the overall economy. The closing of Carswell Air Force Base, begun this year and completed in 1993, will result in a loss of more than 12,000 jobs, including civilian and related employment. The closing also will affect some of the numerous military retirees who receive services from the base.
 Offsetting some of the negative economic forces has been sizable growth in the area's services and transportation industries, as well as gains in non-aerospace manufacturing. Services continued to exhibit the significant growth experienced during the 1980s. Transportation has benefited from the opening of the nation's first specifically industrial airport in Fort Worth, as well as the expansion of American Airlines, Inc. and Delta Air Lines, Inc. at the Dallas/Fort Worth airport. Government employment growth also has been significant recently, including the U.S. Treasury Bureau of Engraving and Printing opening its first currency printing plant outside of the District of Columbia in Fort Worth. Long term, the city is well positioned for future development once the national economy recovers.
 To date, the city's financial operations have been strong, marked by effective response to projected revenue constraints and sound year-end balances. This trend continues despite the recent economic slowdown. Assessed value exhibited negative growth at each of the three most recent biennial reappraisals, the result of general market declines, to which the city responded with a combination of tax rate increases and budget constraints. The general fund ran a moderate operating deficit in fiscal 1991, with estimates for 1992 indicating nearly break-even operations. These results follow two years of surpluses and one break- even year. The estimated 1992 ending fund balance is a strong 11 percent of expenditures, and the city plans to maintain it at about this level. Debt service represents a high 25 percent of the budget, reflecting the debt's above-average maturity schedule and responsibilities taken on by the city that are performed by separate entities in other Texas cities. The overall debt burden is moderate to high as a result of the city's issuance to keep up with its growth- generated needs. Fort Worth plans to keep future issuance to about the level of debt maturing annually.
 -0- 12/22/92
 /CONTACT: Amy S. Doppelt of Fitch, 212-908-0514/


CO: City of Fort Worth ST: Texas IN: SU: RTG

TM -- NY062 -- 9310 12/22/92 17:10 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Dec 22, 1992
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