Manhasset School Bond Rating Gets Positive Bump

Adedamola Agboola

The bond rating agency Moody’s Investors Service Inc. affirmed on Thursday the Manhasset school district’s yet-to-be issued bond an Aa1 rating.

The agency said it also removed the 2014 negative outlook it assigned the district when it tried to pierce the state tax cap, and assigned the district an Aa1 rating to reflect its improving but still narrow financial position following two consecutive years of operating surpluses.

The report also notes the district’s large, wealthy tax base and affordable debt profile.

“I think the most important piece is piece is that we have stabilized our fund balance over the past two years,” Deputy Superintendent for Business and Finance Rosemary Johnson said.

In March, Johnson presented 2015-16 fund balance that showed a surplus of $300,000 attributed to changes in the staff and student mix, among other variables.

“On the expense side, we will spend less than what we budgeted,” Johnson said. “It’s projected that I’ll leave us at $1.3 million, but that number can change.”

The school district is expected to issue a Series A bond of $7.35 million on May 11 to finance capital projects and a $6.6 million General Obligation School District Refunding Series B bond.

In 2014, residents approved a $22.6 million capital plan and a $19.96 million bond that the school board said will go towards renovations to classrooms, cafeterias and athletic fields.

The Series B bonds will refinance the district’s 2007 and 2008 bonds for an expected net present value savings in excess of 3 percent without extending debt maturity, school officials.

“When Moody’s last rated us in 2014, they indicated a negative outlook because of the budget debacle that year,” Johnson said.

Concurrently, the agency reported, we have affirmed the Aa1 and removed the negative outlook on $21 million of the school district’s outstanding general obligation debt.

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