LONG TIME COMIN’: Rockland bonds make the S&P A grade

Standard and Poor’s rated announced another upgrade in Rockland’s bond ratings this week, grading the county’s debt in the A category for the first time in several years.

It is the county’s sixth consecutive bond upgrade since 2014.

Rockland’s bonds were rated just above junk at that time and the deficit tab reached $138 million.

An A rating would save taxpayers approximately $350,000 and $500,000 over a B-rating on the issuance of a $30 million 20-year-bond, Rockland Commissioner of Finance Stephen DeGroat noted. The county administration says boosts in the bond rating have saved taxpayers between $3 and $5 million since 2014.

“I vowed I would restore this county to a position of fiscal responsibility and strength – that I would right our financial ship. I have kept that promise,” said County Executive Ed Day, who took office amidst the fiscal nightmare. “This upgrade means that we can borrow money as we do regularly to fund capital projects at a lower cost.”

Improved financial health also means the county has earned the trust of the financial markets, which are willing to pay a premium to invest in the county.

“We believe management has taken proactive steps to manage its finances, and the rating reflects that,” Day said.

“We are poised to move into the future, to begin our renaissance, with our finances in top shape,” said Day.