May 21, 2018
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Standard and Poors upgrades Bucksport’s bond rating

By Rich Hewitt, BDN Staff

BUCKSPORT, Maine — Standard and Poor’s rating service has upgraded the city’s credit rating from A- to A, citing the town’s economic and financial stability.

The boost in the bond rating should provide the town with better interest rates when it seeks to borrow money, according to Town Manager Roger Raymond.

“This will help us when we borrow money,” Raymond said. “The better the rating, the better rate when we borrow money.”

Bucksport was among 16 towns in the Northeast to receive improved ratings from Standard and Poor’s. The company’s report notes that those communities had previously been “constrained by their small size or remote locations.”

“While relative size and location are still important factors in our analysis,” the report stated, “overall we believe that municipalities that lack heft and or favorable location, can, in fact, be as strong — or stronger in some cases — than their large, urban counterparts.”

Although the report said the small tax and population base in a small municipality can limit a town’s credit quality, it also said many municipalities still exhibit strong and stable credit quality despite their smaller size.

Those credits, according to the report, can, and often do, exhibit many of the same economic and financial strengths as their larger counterparts.

“However, for smaller-sized credits, we believe stability and flexibility can be of even greater importance if they lack the economic diversity found in their larger-sized brethren,” it said.

The report also said that, despite current disruptions in the financial markets and the national economic slowdown, these communities have maintained strong performance in key financial and economic areas.

The change in the rating comes after a review of the town’s financial and economic operations. The review determined that Bucksport has maintained a strong financial position, a very strong fund balance and a low to moderate debt level.

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