Fitch Revises Hamden’s Outlook From Stable to Positive
Hamden – Mayor Lauren Garrett is pleased to announce that credit rating agency Fitch has improved Hamden’s ratings outlook from Stable to Positive. Fitch is an independent bond rating agency that evaluates our budgets, audits, performance, economic drivers, and long-term liabilities to rate our debt and ability to repay investors.
Fitch’s press release states: “The Outlook revision to Positive reflects improvement toward a structurally balanced budget and significant improvement in the town's unrestricted reserve position.”
Fitch’s press release further notes: “Management has been successful in its efforts to increase the annual debt service budget in accordance with a long-term plan to restore reserves and projected fiscal 2023 net operating results are showing surplus results net of bond restructuring savings. Continued management of expenditures to align with changes in revenues and maintenance of unrestricted fund balance at levels in line with policy limits would support potential future upward rating movement.”
The “rating reflect[s] Hamden's recently improved financial resilience to more adequate levels and its reliance on savings from bond restructurings to help pay for future increases in scheduled debt service, while avoiding substantial property tax increases. Full funding of the pension ADC was accomplished in fiscal 2021 for the first time in years, which Fitch views as a positive,” Fitch’s press release also states.
Our fiscal discipline is paying off, as Fitch’s press release additionally notes: “Spending deferrals and use of non-recurring revenue sources have been utilized to support budget balance in the past, but the most recent budget raised taxes and, aside from the debt restructuring, did not rely on optimistic assumptions…With new management in place, the town's budget included less optimistic revenue assumptions and better expenses management contributing to more balanced operations projected in the current fiscal year.”
You can read the full press release here: https://www.fitchratings.com/research/us-public-finance/fitch-rates-hamden-ct-42mm-ser-2023-go-ref-bonds-bbb-outlook-revised-to-positive-17-05-2023
Mayor Lauren Garrett comments, “I am pleased that Fitch has recognized our efforts to improve policies and our fiscal discipline. Decades of mismanagement resulted in liabilities over $1 billion and a negative fund balance. This improved outlook will make Hamden more attractive to investors and the business community. I am committed to keeping us on the right track of continued fiscal discipline to build a thriving community for all of us.”
For further information, please contact Deputy Chief of Staff, Alexa M. Panayotakis, at (203) 287-7100 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.