Norwalk roundup: $50 million in bond debt, a grant and a gift

Norwalk death records dating to the 1880s and 1890s will be preserved via a $10,500 grant from the Connecticut State Library Historic Documents Preservation Program. (Contributed)

Editor’s note: This story was unreadable Thursday due to a glitch; it has been reposted to make everyone aware that it’s available now. 

NORWALK, Conn. — Some Norwalk announcements for you:

  • Norwalk sells $50 million in bonds
  • Grant awarded to support death record preservation
  • Norwalk to be gifted with addition beach wheelchair

Triple A rating ‘saves $1.5 million in interest expenses’

Norwalk on July 23 sold $50 million in general obligation bonds, a press release said. “A total of 11 competitive bids were submitted, with the winning bid awarded to financial services firm Raymond James at a 2.59% interest rate for the 30-year bonds. The sale will finance an estimated $45 million in school projects and $5 million in City capital projects.”

This was after all three ratings agencies reaffirmed Norwalk’s long-standing Triple A bond rating.

“As a result of carrying the best credit rating available, Norwalk taxpayers were assured the City would receive the most favorable interest rates available in the market when bonds were issued to finance capital projects. As a result of this top credit rating, Norwalk will save an estimated $1.5 million in interest expenses, as compared to the rates available with a lower ‘Double A’ credit rating,” the release from Norwalk Communications Manager Joshua Morgan said.

“Once again, the nation’s most prestigious credit agencies confirmed what we know: Norwalk budgets judiciously, saves prudently, and plans wisely. That is a credit to the exceptional and knowledgeable team of professionals we have brought together at City Hall,” Mayor Harry Rilling is quoted as saying. “These superior credit ratings demonstrate our commitment to strong financial planning and budgeting. We are investing in the future with important projects, all while being able to save taxpayer dollars. This is great news for Norwalk.”

Rilling is seeking reelection to a fourth 2-year term. Unaffiliated opponent Lisa Brinton recently scored the Republican Town Committee endorsement, but may be challenged in a Republican primary by former Democrat Darnell Crosland.

Last year’s bond sale press release said Norwalk had sold $30 million in bonds at 2.799428% interest.

“The rating reports issued by the credit rating agencies present a thorough, objective, and independent analysis of the City’s financial operations and credit strength,” this year’s press release states, offering these excerpts:

  • S&P states: “The rating is supported by the city’s very strong economy, with a growing and wealthy tax base and access to the Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk and New York City metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs). In addition, we believe the city’s consistently positive financial operations over the past several years and improved reserve position, backed by very strong management conditions and manageable retirement costs and liabilities, provide additional rating stability.”
  • Moody’s states: “Norwalk, CT (Aaa stable) benefits from a large tax base with strong growth trends and above average income and wealth indices. The city’s financial position is sound and will remain so given conservative budgeting practices, proactive management of long-term liabilities and formal policies.”

Preserving recently recovered records

Historic Norwalk death records. (Contributed)

A $10,500 grant from the Connecticut State Library Historic Documents Preservation Program will fund the preservation of Norwalk death records that more than a century old, a press release said.

The records from 1880-1890 were recently recovered and had been stored in envelopes and boxes, which made them susceptible to damage. They run the risk of further deterioration or irreparable damage, and the $10,500 of work includes restoring and reinforcing any paper tears or damage, binding the documents with archival grade polyester, and adding the records to 35-millimeter microfilm for public viewing.

“Each of these documents tells a story. They are historical records of those who came before us and needed to be preserved for future generations,” Mayor Harry Rilling is quoted as saying. “I am very appreciative to the Connecticut State Library for once again providing funding for this critical project.”

“Now in its nineteenth year, the Historic Documents Preservation Program has awarded more than $16 million in grants to municipalities,” the press release said. “The grants have supported a wide range of projects that allow municipalities to improve records preservation and management, increase efficiencies, and reduce costs. The death records will be archived over the next six to eight months and will be available for the public to view in the Norwalk Town Clerk’s office.”

“The public has been very interested in the historic preservation of these documents. Schools and historians have come to view them,” Town Clerk Richard McQuaid is quoted as saying. “Each record has a story and connection to our City. I am thrilled these will not be lost to history.”

SMILE Mass to donate floating wheelchair

SMILE Mass (Small Miracles in Life Exist) will be donating floating beach wheelchairs to three Connecticut towns – including Norwalk,” Norwalk Communications Manager Joshua Morgan said in an email. “…Norwalk already has two manual sand wheelchairs and one water wheelchair down at the beach, and this will further expand accessibility for residents and guests.”

This will be celebrated at noon Tuesday at Westport’s Compo Beach, located at 60 Compo Beach Road.

It’s SMILE’s first donation in Connecticut, a press release said. “The floatable wheelchairs, which resemble beach recliners, have shock-absorbing wheels that maneuver easily over sandy terrain.”

“Nothing makes us happier than creating recreational opportunities for disabled children, adults and their families,” SMILE Mass Co-Founder and President Lotte Diomede is quoted as saying. “These chairs allow wheelchair-bound children to float comfortably in the ocean, perhaps for the first time. They also make it possible for non-ambulatory adults to access and enjoy the beach, which is otherwise nearly impossible.”

“In addition to offering easy transport over sand, the beach wheelchairs provide the potential for therapeutic movement in the water,” the release said. “Exercising in a buoyant environment is considered important by those in the rehabilitation profession and pool therapy programs have become standard. Since salt water is more buoyant than fresh water or pool water, individuals who use the beach wheelchairs in the ocean are likely to find more movement possible.”


3 responses to “Norwalk roundup: $50 million in bond debt, a grant and a gift”

  1. Jerry

    Were is the money going ! They sure don’t spend on roads .just drive around!! Burns has been tarring up the roads and leveling them a in horrible conditions ! So great on saving 1.5 million let’s see how it’s spent ! Records? Floating wheel chairs ! For who the out of town people! Joke !

  2. AL

    I love how politicians brag about “saving” while going deeper into debt.
    Ever look at the “presumed returns” on the state pension money? Not eve close to reality.
    Spending caps? Recently Stamford bumped theirs up $50 Million to fight mold in schools…some cap.
    Don’t try that at home.

  3. Joe

    Millions to build more schools and feed the machine and infrastructure to support and educate Norwalk illegals.

    At the same time Norwalk is spending more taxpayer money to hire lawyers to fight the federal government who is withholding federal funds because our democrat and republican politicians want Norwalk to be a sanctuary city.

    None this is good for valid Norwalk citizens.

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