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Framingham sells three municipal bonds, saving $633k over 12 years

Posted by Jaclyn Reiss  December 12, 2012 02:50 PM

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The town of Framingham sold three municipal bonds last week that will save Framingham taxpayers more than $633,000 over the 12-year life of the bonds, said town manager Bob Halpin.

Halpin said Tuesday that the town sold the three different bonds for a total of over $60.5 million on Wednesday, Dec. 5.

"Clearly, the investment community continues to see Framingham as a very sound investment despite a lot of other uncertainty in the market place," Halpin said in a statement. "This high confidence in Framingham is the result of a lot of hard work in balancing budget, protecting and building financial reserves, and addressing our long range financial pictures. We should all be proud that the result of this effort can be seen in real financial savings of this magnitude.”

Prior to the sale, Moody’s Investors Service, a municipal credit rating agency, affirmed the town’s "Aa2" bond rating, the third best rating on a 21-point scale. They also assigned a rating of "MIG-1" to the notes, the highest short-term rating attainable, according to the town.

The rating agency cited the town’s improved reserve levels and sizeable tax base and wealth characteristics above state and national medians as positive credit factors.

“Our goal is to step up to the next highest rating level of Aa1," said Mary Ellen Kelley, the town's chief financial officer.

Kelley said she hopes to accomplish the second-highest rating by eliminating the use of free cash as a base revenue source in the budget, maintaining the stabilization fund at 5 percent, continuing to contribute to unfunded liabilities and limiting the growth of expenditures to growth in revenue.

The town received a total of 20 bids on their three bonds, which the town said proved its access to the competitive municipal bond market.

Two of the bonds' proceeds will be used to finance various municipal purposes, while the the other will refinance town bonds originally issued on March 15, 2003; March 15, 2004; and March 1, 2005, according to the town.

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Jaclyn Reiss can be reached at jaclyn.reiss@globe.com

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