Marie Laflamme, City Treasurer, received competitive bids from bond and note underwriters on Wednesday, September 28, 2016, for a $22,272,000 20-year bond issue and a $1,000,000, 359-day note issue. Citigroup Global Markets was the winning bidder on the Bonds with an average interest rate of 2.077%. Century Bank was the winning bidder on the Notes with an interest rate of 0.949%. The City received a total of 8 bids on the Bonds and 5 bids on the Notes. Bond proceeds will be used to finance the renovation on the Public Safety Complex, renovate the Ray Ashe pool, as well as purchase a new fire pumper and boilers for the High schools, and to refinance a portion of the City’s bonds originally issued August 15, 2007. Note proceeds will be used to finance roof replacement projects at the Fairview and Belcher Elementary Schools.
Marie Laflamme said, “I am pleased to announce to the taxpayers, that once again through refunding, we were able generate savings of $707,442 over the remaining life of these bonds“. When told about the sale, the Mayor said, “This is great news. I want to thank and congratulate our City Treasurer, finance team, and the City Council for their continued efforts to plan for our future needs within our ability to pay.”
Prior to the sale, Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services, a municipal bond credit rating agency, affirmed the City’s long-term rating of ‘AA-’. The rating agency also assigned the ‘SP-1+’ to the Notes, the highest short-term rating attainable. This was confirmed over a recent conference call with the City Treasurer Marie Laflamme, Assistant City Treasurer Jessica Hebert, City Auditor Sharyn Riley, and Planning Director Lee Pouliot. Standard and Poor’s stated that “the strong budgetary performance, planned maintenance of a very strong budgetary flexibility and a very strong liquidity” helped to support the rating.
They cited the City’s standard financial policies, strong budgetary performance, with operating surpluses in the general fund and at the total governmental fund level, very strong budgetary flexibility with a fiscal 2015 available general fund balance of 24% of operating expenditures, very strong liquidity with total government available cash of 25.5% of total governmental fund expenditures and 8.0x governmental debt service, and adequate debt and contingent liabilities position and as positive factors.
The bids for the Bonds and Notes were accepted at the offices of the City’s Financial Advisor, FirstSouthwest, a Division of Hilltop Securities Inc., at 54 Canal Street in Boston, Massachusetts. On behalf of the City, Treasurer Laflamme and her staff remain committed to work diligently to uphold its continued financial stability.