Warren bond rating holds steady

Warren bond rating holds steady


Vintage Bond - BackgroundWarren’s finances appear to have rebounded from a slump two years ago. But the town could do more to improve its finances.

That is the recent evaluation of Moody’s Investor Services, which last week assigned the town a stable Aa3 bond rating — unchanged from last year, and up from two years ago, when Warren’s rating declined.

In assigning the new rating, Moody’s noted that Warren has strong cash reserves, manageable debt and a lower than average pension liability compared with other towns across the state. However, those positives are balanced by the town’s recent trend of deficit spending, a decline in the tax base and the state property tax levy cap.

To improve the bond rating even further — and thus obtain lower rates for financing long-term projects — Warren would have to show significant improvement in its overall financial position, increase the tax base and reduce debt, Moody’s reports.

The report comes as Warren prepares to bond out several capital projects totaling nearly $3.2 million. They include drainage, road paving, curb and sidewalk construction, equipment and vehicle purchases, wastewater management upgrades and dock repairs. Warren currently carries $13.9 million in outstanding debt.