ANCHORAGE, Alaska -

Anchorage has been updated to a AAA rating by Standards and Poors. Mayor Dan Sullivan calls it a huge accomplishment.

"It is the highest rating you can achieve and it means significant savings in the long run when we sell municipal debt," Sullivan said.

Sullivan also praised the work of his Chief Financial Officer Lucinda Mahoney. Mahoney says the rating is in part due to the remarkable accomplishment and hard work by employees -- something echoed by Municipal Manager George Vakalis.

"I really applaud all the department heads, Lucinda and her folks and all the employees that basically hunkered down and did everything they could to cut costs and deliver the services in an efficient manner," Vakalis said.

Last year Anchorage had a rating of AA+. In order to increase the rating, according to Mahoney the municipal increased its fund balance policy, reduced expenditures for departments, developed precise revenue forecasts and will continue to monitor the budget versus actual performance.

With the AAA rating when Anchorage sells bonds the city can do so at a reduced interest rate, meaning it would save the city money over the period of the loan.

Mahoney says the next step is maintaining the rating.

"Our goal is to keep it. We've reached the gold standard as far as ratings and we want to stay there."