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Monday, May 15, 2017

Positive Results From Bond Sale; Aaa Rating Reaffirmed

Town of Westport officials today announced positive results from a $6.9 million bond sale.

The sale, which occurred May 9, yielded competitive interest rates on the strength of solid reviews from Moody’s Investors Service, an announcement said.

“I am very pleased that our bonds were in such a high demand,” said First Selectman Jim Marpe. “These great results will keep our debt service costs, and the burden on the taxpayers, as low as possible.”

The town received a total of eight bids on the bonds with Fidelity Capital Markets submitting the winning bid. Fidelity beat out firms such as Roosevelt & Cross, J.P. Morgan Securities, Janney Montgomery Scott, and FTN Financial Capital Markets, among others, the announcement said.

The interest rates bid on the bonds ranged from a winning bid of 2.45 percent to a high bid of 2.65 percent.

It was a tightly contested competitive sale with bids from the top five firms within a range of only 12 basis points (0.12 percent). The bonds will provide the financing for the town’s various school renovation and construction, general purpose and sewer/waterline construction projects.

“The results were driven by the town’s exceptional credit rating and prudent long-term financial management of the town,” said Matthew Spoerndle, senior managing director of Phoenix Advisors and Westport’s municipal advisor.

“Moody’s continues to recognize the work town officials have done to keep Westport’s fiscal health strong over the years.”

Moody’s affirmed Westport’s rating at Aaa, which is the highest rating available. 

Within the report, Moody’s referenced the town’s “high wealth and income levels” and “strong funding of pension and OPEB liabilities” and also notes the town’s diversification in tax base with the 10 top taxpayers representing only 3.7 percent of the total fiscal 2017 Net Taxable Grand List, the announcement said.

Also of note is the fact that the town is now paying off debt much faster than adding new debt, it said. The town will be retiring roughly 90 percent of all existing debt over the next 10 years, which is viewed very favorably.

Moody’s also mentions the town’s “history of financially stable operations, conservative budgeting practices and target fund balance policy” among the factors influencing its high credit rating.

The settlement date for the sale is May 19, after which the funds become available to the town.


Posted 05/15/17 at 10:19 AM  Permalink


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