NORWALK, Conn. — Norwalk has retained its “Triple A” bond rating, a press release from the City said.
Moody’s Investors Service, S&P Global Ratings, and Fitch Ratings each have reaffirmed Norwalk’s top-level rating and stable outlook, the release said, explaining that the City sought the ratings in advance of the $30 million bond sale planned for July 18.
“The Aaa rating from Moody’s and the AAA ratings from Standard & Poor’s and Fitch represent the highest ratings awarded by each of these agencies,” the release said. “… As a result of this top credit rating, the city will save more than $600,000 in interest expense, compared to the rates that the city would achieve if it held a lower ‘double A’ rating.”
“I am thrilled Norwalk has once again achieved a top credit rating, which not only saves taxpayers money but allows us to continue investing in the future of Norwalk,” Mayor Harry Rilling is quoted as saying in the release. “I hope all residents, employees, and elected and appointed officials take pride in our superior credit, which is being put to good use as we invest in important projects like city infrastructure, urban renewal, facilities, and schools.”
The bond sale will finance $11,050,000 in city capital projects; $18,400,000 in school projects; and $550,000 for urban renewal/redevelopment projects, the release explained.
Excerpts from the ratings reports:
- “We view the city’s management as very strong, with ‘strong’ financial policies and practices under our FMA [Financial Management Assessment] methodology, indicating financial practices are strong, well embedded, and likely sustainable… Norwalk’s budgetary performance is strong in our opinion” and that, “…we are unlikely to revise the rating during our two-year outlook period” – Standard and Poor’s
- “Norwalk’s financial position will remain sound in the face of increasing debt service costs and state funding uncertainty given the city’s long-term history of fiscal stability, budgetary flexibility, comprehensive financial planning and oversight, and formally adopted fiscal policies” – Moody’s
- “The ‘AAA’ IDR [Issuer Default Rating] and GO rating reflect Fitch’s expectation for the city to maintain healthy financial flexibility throughout economic cycles, consistent with a history of strong operating performance and sound reserves. The city’s strong financial profile reflects a wealthy property tax base, expenditure growth that has generally been in line with revenue growth and the city’s demonstrated ability to reduce expenditures during economic downturns” – Fitch