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Smithtown's $9.3M public bonds get top-quality rating

Smithtown Town Hall is shown on Jan. 25,

Smithtown Town Hall is shown on Jan. 25, 2018. Credit: Raychel Brightman

Moody’s Investors Service assigned a Aaa rating, its highest, to Smithtown’s $9.3 million public improvement bonds.

The bonds will fund projects including improvements to Commack’s Flynn Memorial Park, water main replacement on Lake Avenue in St. James, curb and sidewalk work throughout the town and replacement of heavy equipment in the highway department.

Town Supervisor Edward Wehrheim said in a news release that the rating would play a “vital role” in that work, and he singled out Comptroller Donald Musgnug and his department for their work. “We’re forecasting that we’re going to retain the triple A rating for the foreseeable future,” Musgnug said in an interview.

The Tuesday ratings action was accompanied by an update to Moody’s credit analysis of the town that found the rating  was likely to remain stable in the near future. Moody’s cited factors including the town’s reserves, diverse tax base and low debt.

The company warned that the town faces increasing pension and health insurance costs for its retired employees.  In 2017 the town paid $4.8 million, or 6 percent of operating revenue, to the New York State and Local Employees Retirement System.

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