Westborough achieves second bond rating upgrade in three years
Westborough – On May 30 Standard & Poor upgraded the town's bond rating from AA+ to AAA, the highest rating given. Previously, only 21 of the state's 351 communities have attained this rating. This is the second bond rating upgrade since 2011.
“It's great to see positive results of actions the town has taken over the past few years in establishing formal fiscal and debt management policies and building the town's reserves and eliminating the practice of using reserves to fund the operating budget,” Town Manager James Malloy said. “For this to translate into two bond-rating upgrades in the past three years is excellent news for the taxpayers as it will result in lower interest rates paid on debt the town issues.”
He added that the upgrade is the direct result of the coordination between the town's management team, Board of Selectmen and Advisory Finance Committee.
Standard & Poor's notice included the following reasons for the upgrade: a very strong local economy; strong budgetary flexibility with 14.9 percent in reserves; strong budget performance with consistent operating results; strong liquidity providing strong cash levels to cover expenses; strong management conditions with formal policies and practices; and the town's contributions toward funding its Other Post-Employment Benefits (OPEB) liability.
“I am pleased that the town is now able to begin funding and balance its budget without using reserves,” Treasurer Joanne Savignac said. “A lot of municipalities are not as fortunate as Westborough.”
Board of Selectman Chair George Barrette thanked the voters at last March's Town Meeting for approving the funding of the budget article, including the OPEB funding, that helped reach the milestone.
“This rating upgrade will help reduce our finance costs as we complete our important renovation projects,” he said.
These projects include major improvements to the fire station and Town Hall.
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