Friday, November 1, 2013

Raymond earns AAA credit rating from Standard and Poor's - By Michelle Libby

Raymond has learned that they have earned a AAA credit rating from Standard and Poor’s and are only one of three towns in the State of Maine to have received that rating. 
Raymond is selling a bond for $2 million to do road repairs and rehabilitation projects. In order to do this work, it needed to have a rating assessing its financial strength and overall management of the town.
This was the first time that Raymond sought a rating and by earning the AAA rating it became the first town in Maine to ever earn that score on the first time, said Joe Bruno, a member on the Raymond Select Board.
“Getting a AAA is unheard of on the first time,” said Bruno. “It’s just the affirmation that we’re doing well. It means a lot.” 

“I’m really excited about it,” said Raymond town manager Don Willard. “It was our first try. We weren’t anticipating this outcome at all.” By having the AAA rating and not using the Maine Municipal Bond Bank as it has done previously, the town can get a better interest rate on its loan. “It could be very significant in terms of savings,” Willard said. 

The town was cited as having a strong management team and “prudent fiscal policies” in the report. “S&P also reflected in their report that Raymond has healthy reserve levels, very strong tax collections, high income levels and very strong per capita market value of real estate,” the town said in a press release. 

Raymond has consistently had a flat budget, not borrowing from its surplus, yet being able to fund what it needs. “It speaks to the financial security of the town,” said Willard. “The economic development contributes to the desirability of living in Raymond, hopefully,” he added. 

The town will not have to be assessed again until it needs another bond, said Bruno. In the report it states that these statements are opinion and that it projects financial stability two years into the future. 

“The town government is being run very well,” said Bruno. “From the selectmen to the budget and finance side of things.”

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