Wilton officials announced “positive results” from the town’s bond sale on Tuesday, Feb. 27. The town sold $11.7 million in bonds which it will use to pay the last of the costs for the Miller-Driscoll School renovation and road repairs. The town received an interest rate of 3.03% from Hutchinson, Shockey, Erley & Co. of Chicago.
“It was great to see the number of bidders interested in buying the town’s bonds,” said First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice. There were nine bids for the 20-year bonds that ranged from 3.03% to 3.20%. Other bidders included Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Roosevelt & Cross, and Piper Jaffray.
“We are very pleased with these results as they keep our debt service costs, and the burden on the taxpayers, as low as possible,” said Chief Financial Officer Anne Kelly-Lenz.
Vanderslice and Kelly-Lenz attributed the favorable interest rate to the Aaa rating Moody’s Investor Service assigned to Wilton last week. Moody’s said its rating, the highest it gives, reflected “the town’s sizeable and affluent tax base, stable and sound financial position, manageable debt burden, and prudent funding of pension and OPEB liabilities.”
Moody’s also gave the town a ratings outlook of “stable” based on expectations the town’s financial operations will be supported by “healthy reserves, conservative budgeting, and adherence to formal policies.”
“Moody’s continues to recognize the work town officials have done to continually improve Wilton’s financial health over time,” said Matthew Spoerndle, senior managing director of Phoenix Advisors and Wilton’s municipal adviser. “Today’s results were driven by the town’s exceptional credit rating which is a direct result of the prudent and conservative long-term financial management of the town.”
Moody’s also mentioned the Wilton’s “sound reserve levels and adherence to a formal fund balance policy” and the fact that the town does not receive much state funding as being credit strengths. Without heavy reliance on state funding, the town is “somewhat insulated” from the state’s financial challenges.
The settlement date for the sale is March 8, after which the funds become available to the town.