Chatham's AAA Bond Rating Reaffirmed
The Town's AAA Bond Rating was recently re-affirmed by Standard & Poor’s with a “stable” outlook following a ratings review call with Town Manager Jill R. Goldsmith, Finance Director Heilala, the Town’s financial advisors, and S&P Analysts to discuss the issuance of General Obligation (GO) Bonds. The bond proceeds will finance the Town’s wastewater, water and waterfront projects.
AAA is the highest bond rating for municipalities.
The rating report states, “Chatham’s GO bonds are eligible to be rated above the sovereign because we think the town can maintain better credit characteristics than the nation in a stress scenario.” The rating further reflects S&P’s view of Chatham’s:
- Stable economy
- Strong budgetary performance and growing reserves
- Very strong management with strong financial-management practices
- Manageable direct debt
The report acknowledges Chatham’s elevated environmental risk due to its location along the Atlantic Ocean but determined it to be in line with other coastal communities and recognizes the town “has proactively managed this risk with the hiring of an exclusive director of coastal resources to assist with resiliency efforts, including hazard -mitigation planning, investment-waterfront infrastructure, and grants to assist with elevation-planning-flood reduction.” S&P considers “Chatham’s social and governance risks neutral.”
Town Manager Jill R. Goldsmith said in an email to Select Board members notifying them of the affirmation, “Our budgetary performance, inclusive budgeting and financial management review practices, COVID Financial Recovery Plan, cyber security and coastal resiliency planning efforts contributed to maintaining our S&P bond AAA rating and with a stable outlook!”
The GO bonds are scheduled for issuance on June 22, 2023. The Rating AAA/Stable is for both the new issuance and affirmed for outstanding GO Bonds. The Bond Award is scheduled for the Select Board’s meeting of June 13, 2023.