Brick Township Gets Moody’s Report Card
As demolition or repair of Superstorm-impacted waterfront properties continues in Brick Township, municipal officials assess the effect of its rating by Moody’s Investors Services.
The agency issued Aa2,or high-grade, ratings to the township’s $187,400,000 of oustanding debt and its $4,300,000 in bonds to cover pension refinancing, series 2013. The municipality’s $31,000,000 in bond anticipation notes gets a Municipal Investment Grade (MIG) 1 rating.
Aa1 and Aa3 are also considered high grade, one step below Aaa. The MIG1 indicates confidence in the township’s ability to satisfy notes which it hasn’t yet funded within the allotted three-year maturity time frame.
High ratings mean low borrowing costs on bonds and notes for municipal projects and ongoing operations, palliating the taxpayer burden.
According to Mayor Steve Acropolis, Moody’s cited strong financial management and “demonstrated willingness to raise revenue and cut expenses.”
The information gives Acropolis cause for optimism. “While other Shore towns were recently downgraded by Moody’s,” he said in a prepared release, “they affirmed the continued fiscal strength and financial leadership of Brick Township and this administration.”
Acropolis began sometimes-controversial austerity measures upon succeeding former Mayor Joseph Scarpelli, including staff reductions, layoffs, shared-service agreements with Toms River and other bordering communities, privatization of some services and increased use of renewable energy.
The Moody’s assignments, he says, “shows that we have been doing the right things for our taxpayers and for the future of our community.”
Of the township’s outstanding debt, $72,800,000 is attributable to the Brick Municipal Utilities Authority, which carries the main responsibility for settling it. However, the township created the agency, and is required to back the debt.