Moody's, one of the nation's most prominent credit rating agencies, has reaffirmed the Town of Riverhead's high credit rating, according to a statement from Town Supervisor Sean Walter.
The "Aa2" credit rating, the third highest rating Moody's assigns, is a sign that the town government is financially stable and makes it easier for the town to fund itself at a lower cost, the town said in a statement.
“It's fantastic," Walter said. "Considering that the federal government was downgraded and these people in Congress can't get their acts together for the good of the country, it's nice to see that the little town of Riverhead was affirmed."
This announcement comes three months after Standard and Poor's, another major credit rating agency, maintained the town's "AA-" rating in August.
Walter said he was concerned that Moody's wouldn't reaffirm the town's rating due to its debt, but said the agency was swayed by the strength of the town's tax base and the potential for development on Main Street and at the Enterprise Park at Calverton.
The Town of Riverhead will “float” about $22 million in bonds on Nov. 29 for various projects around town that had been unfunded under previous administrations, Walter said.
Of the $22 million, Walter said between $18 to 20 million was debt from the previous administration, with the rest being bonds for
"The town was bonding things like vehicles and keyless entry systems and generators, things that shouldn't be bonded," Walter said. "Before, the town didn't even have within its budget the ability to pay the debt service."
Walter said the bonds should help stabilize the town's finances.
"We're doing fixed rate bonds so we should be able to stabilize the tax rates," Walter said. "With that affirmation of the credit rating, we should be in good shape."