Bethel earns top credit ratings
BETHEL — The town has earned the highest credit ratings possible, allowing Bethel to borrow money at lower interest rates.
Standard & Poor’s, a credit rating agency, reaffirmed the town’s “AAA-stable” status on long-term debt and issued a SP-1+ rating on short-term debt. The latter means the agency believes Bethel has a “very strong capacity” to pay its debt. The town has had the AAA rating with the agency since 2014.
First Selectman Matt Knickerbocker said he and other town officials participated in the review ahead of the issuance of long- and- short-term notes for the renovations to Rockwell and Johnson elementary schools.
“The high credit rating is important, as it allows the town to borrow at lower interest rates for major capital projects like the school renovations, creating significant budget savings for taxpayers over the life of the project,” Knickerbocker said in an email.
The agency said it considered the effects the coronavirus pandemic is having on the economy. But the agency said the town’s economy, financial policies and cash reserves are strong.
“Bethel's management team has a demonstrated history of adjusting to revenue shortfalls and maintaining fiscal balance,” the agency wrote in its review. “We expect the primarily residential community to sustain strong underlying economic indicators, with its credit profile bolstered by significant reserves and cash and investments on hand.”