Standard and Poor’s raises East Providence’s bond rating

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EAST PROVIDENCE — Standard & Poor’s Rating Services upgraded the East Providence’s bond rating to “A” from “BB+,” City Manager Peter Graczykowski touted in a press release Tuesday, Oct. 1.

The City’s outlook from the bond rating agency is “Stable.”  The upgrade of the general obligation rating reflects the City’s improved financial performance and financial and liquidity position.

Work done by the East Providence Budget Commission over the last 18 months helped guide the city out of financial peril and helped it amass an $8.7 surplus for the Fiscal Year 2012-13.

“The fact that Standard and Poor’s increased our rating to ‘A’, five levels above the former rating of ‘BB+,’ is a real positive,” said Mr. Graczykowski, also a member of the Budget Commission. “We are very pleased and proud that the hard work of the East Providence Budget Commission as well as the City Council, School Committee, and City and School management teams has been recognized so soon.”

Added fellow Commission member and Council President James Briden, “The City of East Providence now has an investment grade credit rating. This is a great day for our City and our taxpayers. This should create significant savings in future borrowing costs for the City.”

Factors contributing to the rating include: adequate budgetary flexibility; strong financial performance in last fiscal year due to significant expenditure reductions and consolidations; stronger financial management practices and institutional framework; as well as the City’s low debt to market value and improved pension funding. The stable outlook reflects the City’s focus on rebuilding its operating flexibility and enhancing financial management controls.

“I would also like to recognize Finance Director Malcolm Moore and Finance Advisor Paul Luba, along with State Director of Revenue Rosemary Booth Gallogly and Deputy Director of Revenue Christy Healey, and representatives of FirstSouthwest, our Financial Advisor, who recently joined me on the rating call with Standard and Poor’s to discuss the City’s progress. Our goal now is to continue to sustain balanced operating results after the departure of the Budget Commission,” Mr. Graczykowski added.

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