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Canton saving money by maintaining AAA bond rating

Posted by Dave Eisenstadter  March 12, 2013 09:44 PM

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Canton maintained a top credit rating by Standard & Poor’s rating service, one of only 22 towns in Massachusetts to do so.

The AAA rating means continued low rates for borrowing, Canton Finance Director James R. Murgia said at a selectmen's meeting Thursday.

The town’s most recent bond carried a 2.4 percent interest rate. Each downgraded step in a town’s rating contributes about a quarter of a percentage point in the interest rate, according to Murgia.

“You can see we’re capitalizing on the bond rating,” Murgia said.

Standard & Poor’s commended Canton for its proximity to Boston, its valuable property, its strong income levels, and its good financial programs, Murgia said.

The report also said the town could be putting more aside to fund other post-employment benefits, known as OPEB. These are funds that are required to pay for retirees' medical bills, Murgia said.

Canton has put aside about $150,000, and Murgia suggested putting away an additional $200,000 each year and figuring that into the town’s budget.

Selectmen thanked Murgia for his work and then learned how the town was spending some of its money.

Town Administrator William Friel told selectmen that the town spent more than $272,000 paying for plowing and other expenses associated with the February 2013 snowstorm.

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