Fitch Ratings cited the town's budget management and low debt burden for maintaining the AAA bond rating.
In a release announcing the decision, Fitch cited “conservative budgeting and the Town’s demonstrated ability to control expenses,” noting at another point that, “Continued good financial management and willingness to raise revenue and/or continue cost containment measures to maintain positive operating margins and high reserve levels are key to the ‘AAA’ rating.”
“The town’s debt is low on a market value basis and amortizes very rapidly. Fixed costs are moderate and capital plans are reportedly limited,” the release said at another point, adding, “The town’s practice of annually dedicating current funds to ongoing capital investment further contributes to overall financial flexibility and a low debt burden.”
Fitch also classified the outlook as “stable,” an expression of confidence in the Town’s continuing ability to manage through difficult economic circumstances, both in the past and going forward.
“I am gratified that Fitch continues to recognize the way I have
managed town finances since becoming supervisor 20 years ago,”
Supervisor Frank P. Petrone said. “As the report
notes, under my administration, the Town has made and will continue to
make the difficult decisions that control spending, hold down taxes and
limit borrowing. I am proud that, through effective management, we have
been able to maintain necessary and desired
services while achieving our financial goals.”
The AAA rating applies to the $13.43 million in bonds the Town expects to sell later this month to finance various capital projects, as well as the Town’s $83.9 million in outstanding debt.
Councilwoman Susan A. Berland added, “Fitch’s decision affirms that our Town government continues to rise to the challenges posed by a difficult economy, continuing programs that contribute to Huntington’s stellar quality of life while holding down the financial effects on taxpayers.”