City of Pittsfield sells multimillion dollar bond for long-term savings, municipal projects

As part of the City of Pittsfield’s ongoing commitment to fiscal stewardship, the city has sold a $28,420,000 bond. The transaction, which took place earlier this week, includes the refinancing of $10 million of older bonds that will generate a gross budgetary savings of $1,049,382 for the city over 10 years and also support various municipal projects.
Matthew Kerwood, the city’s Finance Director and Treasurer, says this type of refinancing is a common practice that supports the city’s debt management strategy. Bond proceeds will refinance city bonds originally issued March 1, 2008; July 1, 2010; October 1, 2010; and January 15, 2011.
“Taking advantage of these refinancing opportunities are key components in controlling the city’s debt,” Kerwood says.
Prior to the sale, S&P Global Ratings, a municipal bond credit rating agency, affirmed the city’s ‘A+’ underlying bond rating and assigned the ‘SP-1+’ rating to the notes, the highest short-term rating attainable. The rating agency cited the city’s strong budgetary flexibility, very strong liquidity, and strong institutional framework as positive credit factors. Furthermore, S&P Global Ratings assigned the ‘AA’ enhanced rating to the bonds as debt service is secured by the State Qualified Bond Act local state aid intercept program.
These indicators, Kerwood notes, reflects the strength of the city’s finances.
“The crediting agency through its report, affirms that the city is on sound fiscal ground which is why the city is able to attract quality buyers to our bond issuances,” he says.

The bids for the bonds and notes were accepted at the offices of the city’s Financial Advisor, Hilltop Securities Inc. at 54 Canal St. in Boston.