The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, January 26, 2001


Carlisle's municipal bond rating in second highest classification

A front-page story in this week's Boston Globe Northwest Weekly reports that Moody's Investors Service has given the town of Andover the highest possible municipal bond rating of Aaa, a classification awarded to just eleven Massachusetts communities. The article also shows Carlisle in a small group of towns holding the second highest bond rating.

Carlisle's most recent bond issue (in June 2000) was ranked at the second highest classification of Aa2, a rating unchanged over the past several years. According to a press release from Moody's, the rating was "based on the town's satisfactory financial position, growing tax base, high wealth levels, and low debt burden..."

Moody's added concerns about "narrowing general fund reserves," referring to the draining of the town's available free cash to below 5 percent of operating expenses in FY99. However, they continue, "officials have implemented new controls and established biweekly finance meetings [the FinTeam] to improve departmental accountability and budgetary oversight, and increase

reserve levels.

The rating service also "anticipates that the town's debt burden will remain manageable. Net of adjustments for state school construction aid of 60%, Carlisle's debt burden of 1.9% is favorable, as is the rapid 69.8% rate of principal retirement in ten years. . . . Future debt plans are limited, with less than $500,000 of authorized unissued debt outstanding for the municipal transfer station and improvements to air quality control at the schools."

2001 The Carlisle Mosquito