Standard & Poor's doubles Springfield’s bond rating - CBS 3 Springfield - WSHM

Standard & Poor's doubles Springfield’s bond rating

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SPRINGFIELD, MA (WSHM) -

Standard and Poor's Ratings Services issued a double bond upgrade to the city of Springfield.

"Faced with the worst economy since the Great Depression, natural and man-made disasters; the Sarno administration continues to solidify the city's fiscal foundation," Mayor Domenic J. Sarno stated. "I am extremely proud of our whole financial team headed by Chief Administrative and Financial Officer (CAFO) TJ Plante."

The long-term rating was upgraded from A to AA-. This is the first time Springfield's credit rating has been an AA-.

"Our goal will continue to be efficient, effective and compassionate delivery of city services as we move our Springfield forward," Sarno said.

Standard and Poor's Ratings Services cited the following factors in increasing the City's credit rating:

  • "Strong budgetary flexibility, with available reserves above 8 percent of general fund expenditures.
  • Very strong liquidity providing very strong cash levels to cover both debt service and expenditures.
  • Very strong management conditions led by formalized financial policies and an experienced and capable management team.
  • Very strong debt and contingent liabilities position, mostly reflecting the city's rapid amortization and low debt burden, which is being offset by sizable pension and other post-employment benefits (OPEB) liabilities.
  • Weak economy, with lower wealth and incomes, but that is considered broad and diverse.
  • Adequate budgetary performance due to costs related to rising pension and other post-employment benefits, as well as subsidy from general fund to trash enterprise fund."

"This is a tremendous accomplishment for our city and demonstrates our commitment to our strict financial policies. This is considered a double upgrade because it jumped two notches on the bond rating scale and demonstrates that Standard and Poor's believes so strongly in our financial management and ability to make difficult decisions to balance our budget," said Plante.

"I am happy to report that we as a city have not only taken ownership and accountability for our finances, we did so while grinding out the great recession and maintaining vital services," he said.

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