CLAYTON – S&P Global Ratings and Moody’s Investors Service released favorable evaluations on Nov. 19th for Clayton’s General Obligation Parks and Recreation bonds.
S&P Global Ratings raised its long-term rating on Clayton’s GO Parks and Recreation bonds (“GO Bonds”) to AA+ from AA. Moody’s Investors Service reaffirmed Clayton at Aa1. These ratings are just one level below the highest possible rating on both S&P and Moody’s scales.
The upgrade reflects the following items from both S&P and Moody’s reports:
- Ongoing economic development and a growing local economy continuously nurture Clayton’s population, tax-based growth, and modest employment diversity. S&P recognizes these trends in both the residential and commercial/retail sectors.
- Historically, Clayton has maintained strong financial operations. Recently, the town established the Mid-Year Budget Review process, which provides Town Council with a comprehensive review of the first half of the fiscal year, detailed projections for the remainder of the fiscal year, and a solid foundation for the following fiscal year budget process. The town also maintains a rolling 10-year capital improvement plan, which identifies projects and funding sources.
- Clayton remains in compliance with its formal debt and reserve policies. Both S&P and Moody’s commented on the conservative nature of Clayton’s budgeting practices.
“The AA+ rating upgrade from S&P aligns with the Aa1 affirmation by Moody’s, who upgraded the Town in April 2021. The Town has a strong financial position that’s enhanced by a growing tax base and good financial management practices. Favorable interest rates will result in a lower borrowing cost, which will enable the Town to maximize taxpayer dollars to complete these projects,” said Robert McKie, Finance Director for the Town of Clayton.
The GO Bonds will be used to finance the cost of upgrades and renovations to Municipal Park and East Clayton Community Park. Upgrades will include playgrounds, a splash pad, updated athletic fields, as well as new and updated parking facilities approved by the 2019 referendum.
S&P Global Ratings does not anticipate changing Clayton’s rating over its two-year outlook horizon. They expect that Clayton will maintain a strong financial position over, at least, the near term.