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Moody's New Rating Reflects 'Town's Stable Financial Position'

Moody's Investors Service has assigned the Town of Framingham a MIG 1 rating, its highest.

Moody's Investors Service has assigned a MIG 1 rating to the Town of Framingham's $47.9 million bond anticipation notes dated June 15 and Dec. 14 2012. The notes finance ongoing water and sewer improvement projects.

Concurrently, Moody's has affirmed the Aa2 rating assigned to $94 million of outstanding long-term general obligation debt. The Aa2 rating reflects the town's stable financial position, sizeable and diverse tax base, and manageable debt profile, reported Moody's.

The MIG 1 rating incorporates the town's satisfactory long-term credit profile as well as its proven access to the capital markets, reported Moody's. An MIG 1 rating denotes denotes superior credit quality.

Moody's listed the Town of Framingham's strengths:

  • Sizeable tax base located on major transportation routes
  • Structurally balanced operations over the last two fiscal years
  • Improved reserve levels

 Moody's listed the Town of Framingham's challenges:

  • Town relies on annual free cash appropriations to supplement budget
  • Elevated debt burden due to overlapping state debt

 Moody's noted the rating could go up if:

  • Maintenance of structurally balanced operations and increased reserve levels
  • Significant tax base growth

Moody's noted the rating could go down if:

  • Reduction of General Fund Balance and free cash
  • Deterioration of the town's tax base
  • Failure to address long term pension and OPEB obligations

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