By John Anderson
Last week, Moody’s Investors Service upgraded Auburn’s bond rating from Aa3 to As2. This week, Standard and Poor’s affirmed Auburn’s AA+ rating. From the town’s press release:
“Standard & Poor’s Rating Services assigned a long-term rating of AA+ to the Town Auburn’s 2015 general obligation (GO) bonds and its SP-1+ short term rating to the town’s 2015 bond anticipation notes (BANs). The AA+ rating was reaffirmed by S&P based on an assessment of factors which include a Very Strong Economy, Strong Management, Strong Budgetary Performance, Very Strong Budgetary Flexibility, Very Strong Liquidity, Adequate Debt and Contingent Liability Position, and Strong Institutional Framework score. S&P gave the Town a Stable Outlook.
The Town first received an AA+ rating from Standard & Poor’s in 2014. AA+ is the second highest rating that Standard & Poor’s assigns to municipalities. Assistant Town Manager and CFO Ed Kazanovicz stated, “The Town has worked very hard to demonstrate a multi-year trend of increased reserves, increased fund balance, and strong budgetary performance. Recognition of these efforts by Standard & Poor’s as reflected in the AA+ rating will yield savings in taxpayer dollars.”
Key factors that enabled the Town to maintain the AA+ rating include the Town’s development of and adherence to the financial policies and practices; increased level of fund balance and level of reserves; and a strong economy.
Town Manager Julie Jacobson said, “We are very pleased to maintain the AA+ rating assigned by Standard & Poor’s. This reflects our multi-year commitment to the financial policies and the consistent implementation of strong budgetary practices. We acknowledge and thank the department heads and our financial advisors at Unibank as well as the Board of Selectmen, the Finance Committee and Town Meeting members for their support.”