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News Jul 13, 2018 - 8:39:19 AM

Norwalk Receives "Triple A" Bond Rating

By Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling

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Norwalk, CT - Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling announced on Thursday that the City of Norwalk received confirmation that the three major rating agencies, Moody’s Investors Service, S&P Global Ratings, and Fitch Ratings each have reaffirmed the city’s “triple A” bond rating with a stable outlook.

The city sought these ratings in advance of a $30 million bond sale planned for July 18, 2018. This sale will finance $11,050,000 in city capital projects; $18,400,000 in school projects; and $550,000 for urban renewal/redevelopment projects. The Aaa rating from Moody’s and the AAA ratings from Standard & Poor’s and Fitch represent the highest ratings awarded by each of these agencies. As a result of carrying the best credit rating available, Norwalk taxpayers are assured of receiving the most favorable interest rates available in the market when the city issues bonds to finance capital projects. As a result of this top credit rating, the city will save more than $600,000 in interest expense, compared to the rates that the city would achieve if it held a lower “double A” rating.

“I am thrilled Norwalk has once again achieved a top credit rating, which not only saves taxpayers money but allows us to continue investing in the future of Norwalk,” said Mayor Rilling. “I hope all residents, employees, and elected and appointed officials take pride in our superior credit, which is being put to good use as we invest in important projects like city infrastructure, urban renewal, facilities, and schools.”

The rating reports issued by the three credit rating agencies present a thorough, objective, and independent analysis of the city’s financial operations and credit strength.

Standard and Poor’s reports, “We view the city’s management as very strong, with ‘strong’ financial policies and practices under our FMA [Financial Management Assessment] methodology, indicating financial practices are strong, well embedded, and likely sustainable.” The agency goes on to say, “Norwalk’s budgetary performance is strong in our opinion” and that, “…we are unlikely to revise the rating during our two-year outlook period.”

Moody’s reports, “Norwalk's financial position will remain sound in the face of increasing debt service costs and state funding uncertainty given the city's long-term history of fiscal stability, budgetary flexibility, comprehensive financial planning and oversight, and formally adopted fiscal policies.”

Fitch reports, “The 'AAA' IDR [Issuer Default Rating] and GO rating reflect Fitch's expectation for the city to maintain healthy financial flexibility throughout economic cycles, consistent with a history of strong operating performance and sound reserves. The city's strong financial profile reflects a wealthy property tax base, expenditure growth that has generally been in line with revenue growth and the city's demonstrated ability to reduce expenditures during economic downturns.”

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