Mayor announces closing of $ 60 million bond sale
The city has finalized the sale of around $ 60 million in bonds to fund several investment projects, including the construction of a new Garden City elementary school, Mayor Ken Hopkins’ office announced last week.
“This transaction is a sign of my sincere commitment to watch taxpayer dollars, sound financial practices and prudent investments in our public infrastructure,” the mayor said in a statement.
According to the mayor’s office, about $ 9.5 million of 20-year general bonds were issued with an effective interest rate of about 2.1%. Another general bond of $ 51.43 million was issued for a term of one year with an effective interest rate of 0.37%.
The mayor’s statement says the smaller portion of the sale – related to previous voter-approved bond issues – will fund “expenses and projects for roads, drainage improvements, sidewalks, public works equipment. , improvements to traffic control, playgrounds and sports fields, fire stations, and public safety equipment.
“As a mayoral candidate, I pledged that we would protect and enhance our proven financial success while meeting the needs of public infrastructure and voters in our neighborhoods, parks and playgrounds. With this money available, we will continue a responsible program of upgrading and replacing our fixed assets, ”Hopkins said in the release.
The $ 51 million, meanwhile, will be “used for repairs and school facilities,” the mayor said, “most of it going to the construction of the new Garden City elementary school.” The school, which dates from the 1950s, is undergoing a major overhaul as a 21st century learning space. It should reopen to students in early 2023.
The city plans to receive a large state payback for the Garden City School project, which is the first to be completed under a five-year plan – and an associated bond issue of $ 147 million approved in November 2020 – developed by Cranston Public Schools. The mayor’s statement notes that the Rhode Island Department of Education will reimburse between 54 and 70 percent of eligible costs.
Hopkins called the terms of the bond sale “very favorable for Cranston taxpayers” and pointed to “favorable recommendations for potential bondholders” from major rating agencies.
“Fitch Ratings assigned an AA rating to the new general obligations and confirmed our AA- rating on our overall debt situation,” the mayor said in the statement. Standard & Poor’s, meanwhile, reportedly assigned an AA- rating to the city’s long-term general bonds and an SP-1 rating to the $ 51 million portion of the sale.
“Fitch identified Cranston’s strong budget oversight practices and strong reserve levels when assigning ratings… reads the mayor’s statement.
Hopkins’ statement highlights CFO Robert Strom, City Comptroller Michael Igoe, PFM Financial Advisors LLC and Janney Montgomery Scott LLC for their roles in the sale.