MOODY’S DOWNGRADES ROCKLAND AGAIN

The echoes of Legislator Alden Wolfe emphatically bellowing “Who says” the county hospital needs to break even are still ringing in the collective ears of Rocklanders and apparently those echoes were also picked up by the evaluators over at Moody’s Investors Service, who’ve gone ahead and downgraded Rockland’s credit rating from A1 to A3, only their seventh highest. Moody’s cited dissatisfaction with the county’s budget reduction plan and specifically the money that Summit Park bleeds out of the county budget as factors in their decision.

Moody’s decision has the potential to raise interest rates on the $80 million deficit loan legislators are hoping to take out. Moody’s complained that Rockland’s current deficit plan requires approval of tax hikes from state authorities thus making it “speculative.” The budget also projects savings from union contracts that have not yet been realized. Moody’s criticized the county for not taking aggressive action on the hospital. They said the county must do something to mitigate the costs of the hospital; sell it or make major changes.