Beacon Falls’ bond rating gets bump

BEACON FALLS — The town’s bond rating received an upgrade as the 2015-16 fiscal year came to a close.

Standard & Poor’s Financial Services increased the town’s rating from AA- to AA.

“I think that is great. It speaks well of the trajectory we are on,” First Selectman Christopher Bielik said. “There are only two ratings higher than this one.”

The report from Standard & Poor’s listed the town as “stable” and cited numerous reasons for the increase, including the town’s strong economy, strong budget flexibility, and strong institutional framework.

“The stable outlook reflects our opinion that we do not expect any change in the rating over our two-year outlook period,” the report stated. “The town also continues to demonstrate its ability to maintain balanced operations while managing its debt liabilities. These factors are further enhanced by the town’s very strong economy.”

Bielik said the increased rating will have an immediate financial impact on the town.

“When bonding, the cost to the town will be noticeably lower. Anything we can save in these kind of processes is good,” Bielik said.

The upgrade comes at a convenient time for the town, which is planning on bonding $4.3 million.

The town will soon be transferring $3.1 million in short-term notes to a long-term bond. The rest of the money in the bond will be for capital projects, including a new fire truck residents approved at a town meeting in June. The increase in the town’s credit rating will allow the town to receive a better interest rate.

Bielik added the higher rating shows that the town is heading in the right direction.

“The statement it makes from an independent review of the direction of town, where we are, and where we are going is important,” Bielik said. “We’ve taken off and we are climbing. That’s a good thing. It’s not just us saying that, it’s the leader in this industry.”

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