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Storytelling for a Rating Agency Upgrade: Greene County NY Saved $500,000

January 3, 2020 Victoria Storrs

Greene County, New York had been experiencing economic growth and improving fiscal results, through active engagement with businesses and prudent long-term financial management. With a long-term bond issue planned, they sought an increase in their credit rating from Moody’s Investors Service. A higher credit rating can result in lower interest costs for a municipality when it issues debt.

Camoin 310 has worked with the County on several projects over 20 years, and was beginning a Strategic Plan update early in 2019. The County knew it needed to present more than the standard information, and asked if we had the expertise to create materials for a credit rating meeting. We were pleased to offer an existing client a new resource from our growing services in development finance. We designed and created a “flip book”  for Moody’s, which tells the County’s story, highlighting trends and creating a comprehensive document to support a higher credit rating. We combined our deep knowledge of the County’s economic base, quality of life, and growth potential, with fresh research on financial condition, sales tax growth and volatility mitigation, reserve fund growth, and overall fiscal management practices. Fiscal Advisors & Marketing, the County’s municipal financial advisor, provided additional expertise.

Moody’s upgraded the County to Aa2 from Aa3.

When the County issued $39 million of bonds in August of 2019, it saved approximately $500,000 in interest costs. When it adopts and implements its new Strategic Plan in 2020, the County will have available additional resources because of this savings.