Friday, 23 April 2010 00:00
Standard & Poors Financial Services LLC (S&P), the world’s global leader in municipal bond credit rating, this week granted the Village of Westbury a bond rating upgrade from the current A1 rating issued by Moody’s Investor Services. S&P granted the village a AA- rating in connection with the village’s latest bond offering. In issuing the upgraded rating, S&P cited the village’s “strong financial position,” “moderate debt burden,” and “still-strong” unreserved fund balance as key factors to its rating.
Westbury Village Clerk/Treasurer Ted Blach stated that he, Mayor Peter I. Cavallaro and David Tanner of Liberty Capital Services, the village’s bond consultant, made a detailed presentation to S&P regarding the state of the village’s finances, budget proposals, economic trends and future plans. Blach indicated that the agency seemed impressed by the village’s management, accounting and financial systems, financial discipline, and overall financial health.
“Our current A1 rating from Moody’s, of which we are very proud, is the highest rating that Moody’s grants to a village of Westbury’s size and make-up,” said Blach. “S&P’s ratings approach is somewhat different than Moody’s in that S&P focuses on a wider variety of factors in analyzing the village’s overall financial picture, not primarily on one or two items.”
In commenting on the credit upgrade, Cavallaro said, that “S&P would see fit to grant us a rating increase in this challenging economic environment is especially meaningful. I and the members of the board of trustees are very gratified that an independent, objective agency acknowledges and affirms the fiscal discipline that we exercise with respect to village finances.”
The mayor indicated that the village has no current plans for additional borrowing, but that the new upgraded credit rating would allow the village to obtain the best possible terms and the lowest possible interest rates on any borrowing that the village may seek in the future.
“Hopefully this upgrade will give our current residents and business owners, as well as those looking to do business or live here, the comfort of knowing that the village continues to be fiscally strong and well-managed even in these difficult times, and the sense that Westbury is an economically attractive place to live, work and do business,” concluded Cavallaro.