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Ogdensburg ‘elated’ over Moody’s upgrade

City of Ogdensburg
City of Ogdensburg(WWNY)
Published: Apr. 8, 2021 at 2:45 PM EDT
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OGDENSBURG, N.Y. (WWNY) - Ogdensburg’s finances are improving and that comes from no less than a well-known bond credit rating company.

Moody’s Investor Service upgraded the city’s bond rating from Ba1 to Baa3.

What does that mean? Ogdensburg’s bonds have improved from being “non-investment grade,” also known as junk bonds, or high-risk.

While a Baa3 rating is better, it’s still not great.

Moody’s wrote that the upgrade “reflects a significant turnaround in the city’s financial position as management has worked to restore balanced operations.”

The report also says “previous city management drew down fund balance levels to very minimal levels before a new management team began implementing conservative budgeting practices, which helped generate three consecutive surpluses. The rating also incorporates that the city’s management team is transitioning, with a newly appointed comptroller who works contractually for the city.”

Moody’s says Ogdensburg’s “stable” rating reflects the company’s expectation that management will maintain or improve current reserve levels. Additionally, Moody’s expects the tax base to remain stable.

City Manager Steven Jellie said the city is “elated” at the improved rating.

In a written statement, Jellie said, “This increase in credit rating will potentially save the taxpayers of Ogdensburg thousands of dollars when applying for credit, and their assessment affirms the positive direction Mayor Jeffrey M. Skelly and City Council majority are moving the city. For too long the City of Ogdensburg struggled with high property taxes, crippling long term debt and imbalanced personnel spending practices; those days are over and the revival of the city is taking shape. Special thanks for this increased rating goes to the city’s new Comptroller, Angela Gray, for taking charge of restructuring the city’s financial practices and restoring absolute integrity to our business operations.”

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