Special to the Independent
Mayor Carlo DeMaria is pleased to announce that Standard & Poor’s (S&P) Global Ratings assigned its ‘AA+’ long-term rating to the City of Everett’s $7.205 million series 2023 general obligation (GO) municipal purpose loan bonds for the seventh year in a row. At the same time, S&P affirmed its ‘AA+’ long-term rating on the City’s existing debt, which means the outlook is stable.
S&P cited the city’s strong management, strong budgetary performance with operating surpluses, very strong budgetary flexibility, very strong liquidity, and low overall net debt. S&P also highlighted the DeMaria administration’s formal five-year, long-term capital and operating projections; and regular reporting on city finances with budget-to-actuals submitted to city council monthly and investment statements shared quarterly.
According to S&P, the City’s credit profile is supported by its stable financial performance, leading to steady reserves, which is expected to continue over the next two fiscal years. Preliminary estimates for FY2023 indicate year-end surplus results of about $4.5 million given strong revenue performance, particularly in building permits and meals and rooms taxes.
The City’s local economy just north of Boston continues to experience various residential, commercial and mixed-use development. One example S&P attributed to this is Encore Boston Harbor casino, a casino and hotel that has been in operation since 2019, plans to expand its operations to adjacent property has been fully approved locally and is going through the State process.
Besides the casino, S&P also cited that additional recent residential and mixed-use development has aided further tax base expansion. There are many approved buildings under construction, but some of the recent developments completed and occupied include the following:
• The newly opened St. Therese, adding affordable housing for Everett’s seniors with 77 units of rental housing for low- and extremely-low-income (30&AMI – 60% AMI) older adults, with a 70% local preference. The development also includes a ground floor health center, operated by East Boston Neighborhood Health Center, providing comprehensive care and support for seniors.
• The 600, a fully occupied redeveloped property on Broadway containing 85 units (13 of which are deed-restricted affordable) of housing.
• 319 Broadway, formerly the site of a dilapidated funeral home, was redeveloped into a fully-occupied 20-unit (3 of which are deed-restricted affordable) residential building.
The rating also reflects their opinion on the City’s:
• Growing tax base that directly contributes to the greater Boston economy and is poised for further long-term development;
• Forward-looking financial management supported by five-year operational and capital planning, along with a strong institutional framework score;
• Trend of steady financial performance supported by a predictable revenue profile composed of property tax, state aid and PILOT payments; fund balance levels have also remained consistent over the past three years.
They expect the city’s economy will likely remain strong throughout the two-year outlook period.
The long-term rating reflects the strong economy, with access to a broad and diverse metropolitan statistical area. In addition to strong management with good financial policies and practices, strong budgetary performance and strong institutional framework score.
“The state of our city is strong, and I am proud and honored that Standard and Poor’s Global Ratings has given us one of their highest ratings,” said Mayor DeMaria. “These ratings ensure that we will save hundreds of thousands of dollars in borrowing costs; saving our residents critical funds and allowing us to reinvest into city services, which are critical to our community. Everett continues to be a great place to invest right now.”