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Ratings note town’s economical spending

Huntington Town Hall in an undated photo.

Huntington Town Hall in an undated photo. Credit: Alexi Knock

The Town of Huntington has upheld its AAA bond rating.

The ratings by Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s and Fitch Ratings apply both to the town’s $114 million in outstanding debt and to $7.6 million in bonds, mostly for highway projects, the town offered for sale Wednesday, town officials said in a statement.

The bonds sold at a 2.23 percent interest rate — lower than the 2.82 percent rate for the bonds sold in 2011.

“The bond agencies’ ratings validate the way I have managed town finances since becoming supervisor 19 years ago,” Supervisor Frank P. Petrone said. “We have reduced the amount of the budget devoted to debt service, controlled spending, held taxes down and put together spending plans that look beyond the current year.

“As the rating agencies note, the town continues to manage its finances conservatively, both currently and looking ahead, by making the tough decisions while at the same time maintaining vital and desired services.”

The town has cut spending in each of the last three years, reduced staffing to its lowest level since 1996, and frozen or reduced the general fund tax rate, according to a statement from the town.

“These decisions by the rating agencies directly refute those who have said the town is facing a fiscal crisis. The ratings show that both in the past and looking forward, the town’s finances are in good order and in good hands,” town board member Mark Cuthbertson said.

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