ASHLAND – The Town of Ashland is excited to announce that Standard & Poor’s (“S&P”) Rating Agency recently affirmed the town’s “AAA-stable”
bond rating, the highest credit rating given to municipalities nationally.
This rating is related to future borrowings that are being issued for previously authorized and potential future projects, land acquisitions, etc.
Acknowledging the recent economic slowdown, the report states that, “Ashland enters the national recession triggered by the outbreak of COVID-19 with very strong budgetary reserves and flexibility, and well-embedded financial management policies, particularly in the areas of budgeting and planning.”
Standard & Poor’s analyzes communities in advance of borrowings to assess the creditworthiness & financial condition of a city or town. They do this by looking at all aspects of the Town’s finances, including Economy, Management, Budgetary Performance, Budgetary Flexibility and Liquidity, and Debt and Liability Profile.
Notably, S&P praised the town’s financial management, rating the administration, “Very Strong, “which is the top category available. S&P also highlighted the town’s, “Adequate budgetary performance,” “Very strong budgetary flexibility,” “Very strong liquidity”, “Strong institutional framework,” and “Strong debt and contingent liability profile.”
Additionally, S&P highlights the significant pension and benefits liability (OPEB), but expressed confidence that the town would manage this liability based on its record of solid financial planning and budgeting.
Town Manager Michael Herbert said, “Bond ratings are critical independent and objective verification of the town’s financial management practices and financial planning. Our “AAA” rating is a testament to the collaborative work environment that we have fostered among the Town’s key stakeholders to both set and achieve our financial goals.”
As a “AAA” community, Ashland will secure favorable rates when entering the capital markets when borrowing for large infrastructure projects.
This will lead to significant taxpayer savings when financing large projects such as the future public safety building, Mindess School project, and downtown streetscape work, as well as the Pond Street reconstruction project.
Town Manager Herbert is quick to highlight that the town’s financial success is based on the town’s ability to build consensus among various volunteer committees in town, as well as the town’s financial management team, led by Finance Director Brittany Iacaponi.