Mayor Blake reports positive feedback from bond rating agencies

The City of Milford has received positive feedback on its financial management and affirmation of high rankings from three rating agencies, Mayor Ben Blake said in a statement to the press.

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

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 solid reserve levels providing for financial stability” in Milford.

The agency cited several key factors supporting the high rating: Sound financial management, strong and stable reserves, moderate debt levels, well-funded retiree costs, and a history of successful access to the municipal bond market, Blake said. Fitch also commended the city for its ongoing commitment to mitigate its other post employment benefit liability with its OPEB trust.

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.” Moody’s noted that over the last six years, Milford has maintained an adequate total general fund balance for fiscal year 2013.

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: “Adequate budgetary performance, very strong liquidity, adequate management environment, standard financial policies, and a very strong debt and contingent liabilities position.”