Moody’s Gives Fairhaven Improved Financial Review
The Town of Fairhaven's finances got a positive review after Moody's Investors Services issued a credit opinion on Tuesday that kept the exisiting bond rating of Aa2 while removing the negative outlook.
Town Administrator Mark Rees told WBSM News that an improved fund balance contributed greatly to an improved outlook ranking.
"One of the fundamental things they look at is our bottom line, or our fund balance, and whether we have positive fund balances over a number of years," said Rees "so previously the town had a negative fund balance and now it's moving up to a positive number at the end of our years."
Rees also said that the adoption of comprehensive financial polices and a structurally balanced budget for the 2017 fiscal year contributed to the improved outlook.
With the improved outlook Rees says the town will be able to secure funds for upcoming infrastructure projects at more favorable rates.
"When we go out to market for some bonding that we'll be doing in the near future for sewer plant improvements that may result in a lower interest cost because one of the things that people who invest in municipal bonds look at is the overall financial strength and management of the community," said Rees.
Going forward Rees said this announcement should help the town attract more investment and hopefully lead to even better financial rankings.
"What it speaks to is trying to make us as attractive a place as possible in terms of people who want to invest in the town by buying our bonds," said Rees "so the Aa2 rating is, I think, a very strong rating, it's not the highest rating but hopefully we'll be able to move up over the future."
During his announcement of the opinion from Moody's Reese credited the Board Selectmen for adopting prudent financial policies and Finance Director Wendy Graves and Town Accountant Anne Carreiro.
Rees also creditied his predecessor, retired executive secretary, Jeffrey Osuch, who Rees says, "laid the foundation and started the Town down the path of restoring its strong financial condition."
The announcement from Moody's Investors Services can be found here.