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NEW: Worcester Gets Bond Rating Bump from 2 of 3 Agencies

Thursday, November 08, 2012

 

For the first time in more than a decade and after seven years of reforms, two of the three independent credit rating agencies have upgraded the City or Worcester's municipal bond rating.

Standard & Poor has upgraded by two grades from A- to A+ and Moody's from A1 to Aa3 with a positive outlook. Fitch Ratings reaffirmed their rating of AA- with a stable outlook.

Both Standard & Poor's and Moody's cite the city's financial management and operating stability, as well as recent efforts to address a crippling retiree health care liability, as reasons for the upgrades. All three cite the city's robust redevelopment plans and diverse tax base and highlight the construction progress relative to the CitySquare development project, Union Station, North Main area and CSX expansion.

"This is a positive signal to investors who hold and purchase our bonds, to potential and prospective developers and business owners and to the residents of our community. We are a solid, long-term investment," said City Manager Michael O'Brien.

"I am grateful to the preparation and the efforts of my team, which included Acting Assistant City Manager Kathleen Johnson, Chief Financial Officer Thomas Zidelis, City Auditor James DelSignore, Chief Development Officer Timothy McGourthy, City Treasurer Mariann Castelli Hier, Cable Services Director Judy Warren, and Communications Specialist Colleen Bamford as well as Lisa Dickinson and Kim Pare of Unibank Fiscal Advisors. I would also like to thank the members of my Cabinet and all our City employees for the body of work that resulted in this rating. Finally, I am most grateful to you, the Worcester City Council, for your collective efforts, guidance, tough decisions and support. It is truly all about the team."

 

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