Moody’s Upgrades City of Woonsocket’s Rating Outlook to Positive
City’s progress results in positive feedback from Moody’s
WOONSOCKET, R.I.: Mayor Lisa Baldelli-Hunt today announced that Moody’s Investors Service has upgraded the outlook on the City of Woonsocket’s ‘Ba3’ rated General Obligation Bonds to ‘Positive’ from ‘Stable’. The outlook upgrade was made by the credit rating agency while the City is in the midst of refunding Rhode Island Health and Educational Building Corporation (RIHEBC) bonds used to fund construction of the middle schools in 2009.
“Receiving a positive outlook from Moody’s, following a two-step rating upgrade in September, shows that they continue to recognize the City’s progress,” said Mayor Lisa Baldelli-Hunt. “Today’s news is a signal to the taxpayers of Woonsocket that our City continues to move in the right direction.”
The outlook upgrade announcement is the latest in a series of upgrades the City has received over the past year. In September, 2016, Moody’s upgraded the City’s credit rating to ‘Ba3’ following an upgrade from Fitch to ‘BBB’ with a ‘Stable’ outlook, in June.
“The Moody’s report noted that the upward revision to the City’s rating outlook reflects improved operating flexibility following four years of surpluses,” said Adam Krea of FirstSouthwest, the City’s financial advisor. “Moody’s credits ‘management’s conservative approach to budgeting and careful adherence to the five-year financial plan. Trends are important to the rating agencies and Woonsocket has demonstrated strong financial management over multiple fiscal years.”
“Restoring fiscal stability through responsible budgeting and avoiding borrowing has placed the City on a path to success,” said Mayor Baldelli-Hunt. “Recent economic development in our City is another important indicator that Woonsocket is succeeding. This administration is committed to improving our City’s finances while addressing the challenges this community faces.”
The review was conducted in connection with the planned RIHEBC refunding of the bonds it issued for the City in 2009 to fund the new middle school. RIHEBC’s bonds will be rated ‘A1’ due to the school housing aid and available intercept of basic education aid. The City’s underlying rating and outlook are important to investors as principal and interest payments are made by the City.