The City of Winchester’s bond rating has once again been affirmed by S&P Global Ratings to ‘AAA,’ the highest possible rating, in advance of the City’s upcoming General Obligation bond sale scheduled for June 23. The rating reflects an unbiased assessment of the credit-worthiness of the City’s debt obligations to investors in the public financial market. The higher the rating, the greater the likelihood of full and timely repayment of the debt which equates to lower risk to investors and lower interest rates to municipalities.
S&P Global Ratings cited several key factors in affirming the City’s ‘AAA’ rating:
A strong economy, with access to a broad and diverse metropolitan statistical area
- Very strong management with comprehensive policies and practices
- Very strong budget flexibility and liquidity
- Manageable debt burden
“The City is honored to have once again received the highest bond rating possible from S&P,” said Chief Financial Officer/Director of Support Services Mary Blowe. “We are especially pleased to maintain the rating this year given the unprecedented financial impact of COVID-19 on the City, the Commonwealth, and the world.”
The S&P report states that “Winchester enters the national recession triggered by the outbreak if COVID-19 with very strong reserves and well-embedded financial management policies, particularly in the areas of budgeting and planning. Despite the city relying somewhat on economically sensitive reserves, most notably sales, hotel and meals tax revenue, we believe prudent budgeting and timely expenditure control limit the near-term risks to the city’s budget.”
“Mrs. Blowe leads an incredibly efficient department that is determined to protect the City’s spectacular financial health,” stated Interim City Manager Mary Beth Price. “Especially during this particularly challenging time, the Finance team has taken great care to be good stewards of the City’s funds.”
S&P Global Ratings has rated the City of Winchester AAA since 2013.