City maintains strong bond rating

The City of Milford has received positive feedback on its financial management and affirmation of high bond ratings from the three premier rating agencies, according to a press release from the mayor’s office Tuesday.

Fitch Ratings, Moody’s Investors Service, and Standard & Poor’s Rating Services described Milford’s finances as stable, prudent, and healthy, Mayor Benjamin G. Blake reported.

Blake said he received reports this week that continue to confirm the ratings of recent years.  “We will continue to make conservative, prudent, common sense fiscal management our number one priority. But we will not rest – the city will look to continually improve every day,” Blake said.

Fitch rated Milford’s general obligation bonds AA+, noting that “Management’s conservative budget practices, moderate property tax increases, and prudent debt policies have contributed to the maintenance of solid reserve levels and financial stability” in Milford. The rating denotes a very high credit quality, and the agency cited several key factors supporting the high rating: sound financial management, healthy reserves, moderate debt levels, well-funded retiree costs, and a history of successful access to the municipal bond market, Blake reported. Fitch also commended the city for its careful management of other post employment benefit liabilities.

Similarly, Moody’s affirmed the city’s Aa1 rating, noting that it reflects the city’s stable financial position with adequate reserves, and manageable debt profile. According to the mayor’s press release, Moody’s noted the city’s strong long-term credit quality, as reflected in its Aa1 rating, and its consistent access to the bond market.

“Further, the agency expects Milford’s financial position to remain stable given the history of balanced operations and maintenance of adequate reserve levels,” the mayor’s press release states.

In addition, Standard & Poor’s assigned its AA+ long-term rating to Milford’s general obligation bonds with a stable outlook. The ratings agency confirmed many reasons for the strong rating including: “strong budgetary performance, very strong liquidity, adequate management with standard financial policies and practices, and a strong debt and contingent liabilities position,” the mayor’s office reported.