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Hempstead Village A1 credit rating upheld by Moody’s

Hempstead Village has maintained an A1 credit rating

Hempstead Village has maintained an A1 credit rating for a third straight year due to reduced debt and financial stability, according to Moody's Investors Service. Above, Village Hall is seen on Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016. Credit: Howard Schnapp

Moody’s Investors Service reaffirmed an A1 credit rating for Hempstead Village for the third consecutive year, documents show.

“The village has a very solid financial position,” Moody’s wrote in a report issued Tuesday. “The rating reflects a strong financial position, a healthy socioeconomic profile and tax base, and moderate debt and pension liabilities.”

Still, the A1 rating falls below Aa3, the median rating for U.S. cities, the report said.

“Strong finances and a balanced budget are key for Hempstead’s success,” Mayor Don Ryan said in a statement. “Maintaining the village’s bond rating is part of my ongoing mission to support residents and build a strong local economy.”

Moody’s upgraded the village’s credit rating in 2014, from A2 to A1, attributing it to reduced debt and financial stability.

In Tuesday’s report, Moody’s wrote that the village net cash balance as a percent of revenue, at 26.7 percent, is “slightly weaker” than the U.S. median. The available fund balance as a percent of operating revenue, at 24.6 percent, also falls short of other cities. But, the report notes, those markers have increased from 2013 to 2016.

The total full value of the economy and tax base — $2.8 billion — is above the U.S. median, even though it declined between 2013 and 2016, Moody’s wrote.

Ryan said one of his priorities as mayor is to expand the village’s tax base, as well as bring “high-quality careers” to Hempstead.

The village’s debt and pension liabilities are also moderate, the report said. The village’s finances also broke even while the tax base values fell.

Former Mayor Wayne Hall Sr. had focused on a major redevelopment of Hempstead’s downtown area — including mixed-use commercial and apartment buildings — to revitalize the area, provide jobs and improve the village’s finances. Ryan, who defeated Hall in the March election, said he wants to redevelop the downtown, but prefers to bring in more commercial and light industry businesses.

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