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Governor Chafee Announces Standard and Poor's Upgrade of East Providence Bond Rating

Attributes City's accomplishment to strong partnerships

Providence, RI - Governor Lincoln D. Chafee and Rhode Island Department of Revenue (DOR) Director Rosemary Booth Gallogly announced today that, following a number of significant improvements in the financial health and stability of East Providence, Standard and Poor's Ratings Services raised its unenhanced rating (SPUR) on the city's general obligation (GO) debt from BB+ to A.

"Congratulations to the City of East Providence. All of the hard work and difficult decisions by the Budget Commission and City officials have been recognized by the national rating agency with this extraordinary upgrade," Governor Chafee said. "This is another example of the good work that has been done with the help and support of the State under the Fiscal Stability Act. Rhode Island has an important role to make sure that all of our communities are financially strong and vibrant."

In making the upgrade, Standard and Poor's noted the key role of the East Providence Budget Commission for adopting stronger fiscal management practices and obtaining balanced operating results. The Budget Commission was dissolved last month based on the State's determination that the fiscal health of the City had improved to a level that oversight of a Commission was no longer needed.

"This marked progress would not have been achieved if not for the partnership between the City and the Commission," Governor Chafee said. "Rhode Island is grateful to the Commission members (Michael O'Keefe, Diane Brennan, Steve Bannon, Council President and Mayor James Briden, and City Manager Peter Grazykowski), City staff, and Director Gallogly and Department of Revenue staff for all their dedication and determination to ensure a successful outcome."

"I am thankful to everyone participating in the efforts that made this upgrade a reality for the City of East Providence and its residents," Gallogly said. "I am very grateful that the hard work paid off and has been recognized by Standard and Poor's."

City Manager Peter Graczykowski commented, "The fact that Standard and Poor's increased our rating to 'A', five levels above the former rating of 'BB+,' is a real positive. We are very pleased and proud that the hard work of the East Providence Budget Commission, as well as the City Council, School Committee, and City and School management teams has been recognized so soon."

Mayor James Briden noted: "The City of East Providence now has an investment grade credit rating. This is a great day for our City and our taxpayers. This should create significant savings in future borrowing costs for the City."

Related links

Department or agency: Office of the Governor

Online: http://www.governor.ri.gov

Release date: 10-02-2013

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