City’s Significant Financial Improvements and Budget Adherence Cited

WOONSOCKET, R.I.: Mayor Lisa Baldelli-Hunt announced that Moody’s Investors Service has upgraded the City of Woonsocket’s General Obligation Bonds three levels to investment grade“Baa3” from Ba3, and has rated the City as having a “Stable” outlook. The City’s bond rating from Moody’s is seven steps higher than it was in 2013 when it was at a B3 “junk” status, and is now at an “investment-grade” level for the first time
since early in 2010.

“I am proud of what we have accomplished financially over the past four years, and pleased that the ratings agencies have consistently recognized our efforts,” exclaimed Mayor Baldelli-Hunt. The Mayor added, “In 2013 we were mired in junk bond status with these rating agencies and there were those in Woonsocket who believed that our financial problems were so difficult to resolve that we should just give in and go bankrupt. Instead of giving in – we dug in – and tackled our short and long-term fiscal issues with hard-work, disciplined financial management, sound budgetary practices and better, more efficient operations. Not only did we improve our finances but we also at the same time enhanced our City services. These efforts have been recognized by Moody’s and Fitch and we are now an “investment-grade” municipality. I want to thank our taxpayers and City employees for helping our City through our tough times, and I would like them to know that I firmly believe that Woonsocket’s best days are ahead of us.”

The Mayor emphasized that although the City now has a high bond rating there are no plans for the City to issue any new general obligation debt. Instead she offered, “I view our “investment-grade” bond rating as a promotional tool to attract new businesses and residents to our City. Our “Baa3” Moody’s rating is another positive sign that we are a stable, well-managed municipality and it shouts-out to everyone that Woonsocket is a
very desirable city to live, work and do business.”

The Mayor lauded the City’s and Education Department’s Finance Directors, Chris Chamberland and Brad Peryea, for their efforts and stated “both of them have assembled top-notch teams that have demanded conservatism, control and transparency in all financial matters.” City Director Chamberland added “our fiscal house is back on a sound foundation, and we will keep building on this foundation by following the right financial
practices.”

As detailed in the Moody’s report, the three level bond rating upgrade to “Baa3” reflects “significantly” improved financial positions that were “driven by multiple years of positive operating performance and the City’s adherence to multi-year financial