July 10, 2008






Moody's Investors Service has assigned an A1 rating to the Town of Grand Island's bonds. The upgrade is an increase to an A1 rating from A2. According to Moody's, the rating upgrade reflects the town's trend of healthy financial operations with solid reserve levels, supported by strong fiscal management. The A1 rating also factors in the town's stable and moderately-sized tax base and manageable debt burden.


The report says that Moody's expects the town will continue to benefit from a strong financial position reflecting its demonstrated commitment to conservative budgeting practices and healthy reserve levels. Moody's also expects continued stability from the town's $1.3 billion tax base given ongoing development, a modestly expanding pharmaceutical industry,and regional employment opportunities throughout western New York State. Finally, Moody's expects the town's low debt burden (0.8% of full value) will remain manageable given modest future borrowing plans and above-average amortization of principal.


“According to our financial advisors, this rating upgrade will save the taxpayers of Grand Island more than $44,000 in interest on the $3.7 million in bonds we will issue in July of 2008,” said Town Supervisor Peter McMahon.


McMahon credits an outstanding effort by all Town employees for this rating upgrade. “An A1 rating is the result of an outstanding financial management system. Financial management starts with the individual employees who are stewards of town resources and who do much of the day to day purchasing. Next, our department heads have direct responsibility for managing their individual budgets and staying within the appropriations which have been approved. The Town Board has the overall responsibility for insuring that the town has balanced budgets, good investment policies, sound fiscal controls and a valid long term capital plan. It takes an outstanding effort, from everyone, at every level, to get an A1 bond rating. That puts us at the same rating classification as the towns of Orchard Park, Hamburg, and Tonawanda."


Councilwoman Mary Cooke said, "This achievement did not happen overnight but rather is the result of an ongoing conservative fiscal policy that pays attention to all aspects of town spending, capital planning and management year in and year out.  I have worked diligently on the past 14 town budgets, have served on the audit committee for 15 years, and am proud of the effort that has resulted in the improved bond rating for the Town of Grand Island.  I'd like to recognize the Town employees and especially the department heads because without their support and cooperation, an achievement like this would not be possible.  The money the town will save because of the improved bond rating makes all the hard work over the years well worth it."


Councilman Richard Crawford commented, “This upgrade to A1 is a compelling sign of the importance we put on the planning and implementation of the town’s financial plan. This higher rating will bring significant financial savings to the town for future capital borrowing needs, for both long- and short-term notes.” 


 “This is another indication of applying sound business practices to the operation of our town government,” Councilman  Gary Roesch observed.


Councilwoman Sue Argy added, “The A1 rating for the Town of Grand Island is a direct result of responsible budgeting and the commitment to sound financial decisions made within our town government.  Such a rating will create a financial savings to the town for both short term and long term needs.  Credit is due to each department head and employee, for it is a total effort, and well-appreciated.