Bedford has retained its most favorable designation for sale of municipal bonds from a leading rating agency.
S&P Global (formerly Standard & Poor’s) has sustained the town’s AAA rating, one of 75 among the state’s 351 cities and towns. Since the bond rating serves as a credit risk evaluation for investors, the superior category results in lower interest rates and savings for taxpayers.
The Select Board approved the most recent sale of general obligation bonds at its April 24 meeting. The town’s new treasurer/collector, Alex Dizio, presented the bond sale. Most of the details were provided by the town’s financial advisor, Peter Frazier, managing director of Hilltop Securities, Inc.
“Several weeks ago, officials made a presentation to S&P and the rating was affirmed,” Frazier said. “The AAA rating speaks volumes to the financial health and well-being of the town. It’s the best possible rate in these challenging times.”
Rating agencies assess variables like local economy and the town’s financial condition, debt structure, financial management, and demographics.
Frazier said there were competitive bids from 12 underwriting firms, and the sale went to Fidelity Capital Markets at a rate of 2.369 percent.
Fidelity paid $6,744,066, including a premium of $635,227 used to reduce the principal.
The bond sale covers about a dozen projects and products approved by town meeting, such as information technology for the schools, transportation improvements, large vehicles, the town financial software system, fire station design, and the cemetery expansion study.