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S&P Upgrades Township’s GO Debt Outlook to 'Positive'

Montclair's general obligation debt rating goes from 'stable' to 'positive.'

For the second time this year the Township of Montclair received positive news from Standard & Poor’s – the credit rating agency revised its outlook on Township’s general obligation (GO) debt from “stable” to “positive” while affirming its “AA+” rating. Standard & Poor’s also assigned an “AA+” rating, with a “positive” outlook to Montclair’s series 2014A and taxable series 2014B Parking Utility refunding bonds, stating that the general obligation debt rating reflects what S&P considers “the Township’s improved economic metrics.”

Standard & Poor’s also cited Montclair’s strong economy, management, very strong liquidity, and strong budgetary performance among the reasons the “positive” outlook upgrade.

“I am pleased that Standard and Poor's has recognized the hard work that this Council and administration have undertaken to address the Township’s debt as we go forward in an effort to capture attendant savings for the taxpayers of Montclair,” said First Ward Councilor William Hurlock.

The Township has taken a number of key steps in the past two years to improve its fiscal health, most significantly, refinancing $45.7 million in debt service for a savings of $2.1 million over the course of the bonds. Outstanding debt has been lowered from $226 million (12-31-09) to $197 million (12-31-13), a decrease of more than 12 percent.

The Township Council and administration continue to focus on economic development and growing the tax base.

“We’re very pleased that S&P continues to demonstrate confidence in the path we’ve taken to improve our fiscal health,” said Mayor Robert Jackson. “We’ll continue to move forward to achieve a AAA standard – not only for our credit rating, we also want to be AAA operationally,” he added.“Through Council and management’s sustained and concerted efforts, we hope to further enhance Montclair’s economic outlook to help bring about qualitative as well as quantitative improvements for township residents and businesses alike,” said Fourth Ward Councilor Renee Baskerville.

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