Central Falls – Credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s has raised Central Falls’ long-term bond rating three notches from “BB” to “BBB” placing the City in Investment Grade. The significant upgrade comes as S&P reaffirms that “Central Falls is operating under a much stronger economic and management environment since emerging from bankruptcy in 2012. The city has had several years of strong budgetary performance, and has fully adhered to the established post-bankruptcy plan.”
“S&P’s latest ratings report is yet another sign of Central Falls’ turnaround from bankruptcy,” stated Mayor James A. Diossa. “Our efforts and dedication to following fiscally sound budgeting practices are clearly paying off, leaving the City in a strong position. I would like to personally thank the Council and Administrative Financial Officer Len Morganis for their efforts in helping to lead the comeback of this great City.”
Leonard Morganis noted: “The City of Central Falls now has an investment grade credit rating from S&P due to diligently following the post-bankruptcy plan in conjunction with surpassing budgetary projections.” Morganis also mentioned S&P's confidence that strong budgetary performance will continue post State oversight.
S&P’s rating upgrade for Central Falls comes as a result of Mayor James A. Diossa’s commitment to sound and transparent fiscal practices. S&P has stated the City has an adequate management environment with improved financial policies and practices under their Financial Management Assessment (FMA) methodology. The City also exhibited a strong budgetary performance, with an operating surplus in the general fund and break-even operating results at the total governmental fund level in fiscal 2016. Furthermore, S&P noted that the City has a strong liquidity, with total government available cash at 28.7% of total governmental fund expenditures and 1.9 times governmental debt service, along with a strong institutional framework score.
“A multi-step upgrade of this magnitude is uncommon,” noted the City’s Financial Advisor, Maureen Gurghigian, Managing Director of Hilltop Securities. “This is a tribute to the hard work of the City’s and the Administrative Finance Officer’s adherence to their plan and excellent relationship with State Government,” Gurghigian added.
Central Falls will be exiting the six-year bankruptcy agreement at the end of fiscal year 2017. Mayor Diossa is fully committed to continuing to abide by the responsible and transparent fiscal practices that have improved the City’s bond rating.