Fitch Upgrades Woonsocket Bond Rating to BBB+
Rating Agency Also Upgrades Outlook to Positive
WOONSOCKET, R.I.: Mayor Lisa Baldelli-Hunt today announced that Fitch Ratings has upgraded the City of Woonsocket’s outstanding General Obligation Bonds to ‘BBB+’ with a Positive Outlook. Today’s rating upgrade is the third consecutive upgrade by Fitch and places the City’s rating at two notches above investment grade.
“The City’s General Obligation Bonds are rated seven steps higher today by Fitch than they were at the beginning of fiscal year 2015,” said Mayor Baldelli-Hunt. “The Woonsocket community has worked hard to bounce back from financial uncertainty and today, our work has been affirmed by one of the most prominent entities in the financial world. City Hall has a formidable Finance Department, led by Director Christine Chamberland, and has performed admirable work during this administration’s efforts to restore fiscal stability to the City of Woonsocket.”
According to the Fitch report, the upgrade “reflects stabilization of general fund and school fund operations, including stronger reserve levels, improved liquidity, and efforts to address pension and OPEB liabilities.” It goes on to say that “the Rating Outlook revision to Positive from Stable reflects the expectation of continued fiscal improvement.”
“Fitch has not only recognized the City’s progress but has confidence in our ability to continue our positive momentum and make responsible decisions that ensure our fiscal stability,” said Finance Director Christine Chamberland. “The positive outlook assigned in connection with the rating upgrade is proof of their confidence.”
Fitch reviews the City on an annual basis. In addition to upgrading the City’s Bonds, Fitch has also upgraded Woonsocket’s Issuer Default Rating (IDR) to ‘BBB-’ from ‘BB+’.