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High bond ratings help Huntington refinance $13.3M bond

Huntington Town Hall in Huntington is shown on

Huntington Town Hall in Huntington is shown on Friday,  Sept. 2, 2016. Photo Credit: Ed Betz

Two of the major credit rating agencies have maintained Huntington’s AAA bond rating, which allowed the town to finance a $13.34 million bond for a low interest rate, officials said Tuesday.

The ratings by Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s allowed the town to secure a 2.3 percent rate on the new bond.

The ratings also allowed the town to refinance $20 million in existing bonds at 1.11 percent, down from rates varying from 4 percent to 4.5 percent — saving the town at least $100,000 in interest over the remaining six-year term.

The ratings also applied to $85 million in other outstanding debt that is not part of the refinancing.

“The Town’s strong management practices and policies underpin its commitment to maintaining structural balance and strong available reserves, enhancing stability,” according to the Standard & Poor’s report.

Moody’s maintained the town’s outlook as “stable.”

“The AAA rating reflects the town’s satisfactory reserve position and improving financial operations, its sizable wealthy tax base, and low debt and manageable pension burden,” according to Moody’s report.

The company noted the outlook “reflects our expectation of continued sound financial operations and modest growth and overall stability in the local economy.”

Of the outstanding debt, $82 million represents town borrowing, while $23 million is incurred by water districts and is debt repaid only by district residents.

The planned borrowing includes $12.8 million for town projects and $500,000 for the Greenlawn Water District.

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