Moody’s Investors Service has assigned a Aaa rating to the town’s $2.51M bonds to be issued and sold on Thursday (January 26) to finance capital equipment and projects. Concurrently, Moody’s has affirmed the Aaa rating assigned to the town’s $77.4M of outstanding debt. The Aaa rating reflects the town’s continued financial strength, stable tax base containing wealth and income levels that exceed state medians, and a manageable debt position. (See Moody's analysis here.)
Rating officials state that Wayland’s financial position is expected to remain healthy in the near term due to strong reserve levels and management’s demonstrated ability to control expenditures. With a solid track record of favorable budget-to-actual variances in revenue and expenditures, the town has strong reserve levels that allow it to subsidize both capital and operational expenses. The size and frequency of free cash appropriations will be important factors in maintaining long-term credit strength. Moody’s also cited the appreciation of the town’s housing values, which reversed five years of decline in 2011, modest ongoing development projects, affluent population, and manageable debt at 7.3% of expenditures with moderate future borrowing planned as the basis for affirming the rating.
Moody’s announced that the outlook for Wayland remains stable, reflecting an expectation that the town’s financial position will remain healthy, despite near-term plans to draw on free cash reserves. It cautioned that a significant reduction in free cash reserves, deterioration of the town’s tax base or a significant increase in the town’s debt burden could result in a downward change in rating.
Submitted by: Fred Turkington, Town Administrator