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West Deptford Gets Good News on Credit, Bond Ratings

Standard & Poor's rated the township and the soon-to-be-sold refunding bonds as A-/Stable.

West Deptford got solid financial news this week, after one of the major credit ratings agencies gave a solid rating this week to on property taxes at .

Standard & Poor’s assigned an A-/Stable rating on Aug. 6 on the bonds, which could go on the market as early as next week, putting them in the middle of what the rating agency deems investment-grade bonds, while also affirming the township’s underlying credit rating, also an A-/Stable.

It all adds up to a conclusion the township is headed in the right direction, local officials said.

“This doesn’t look like much, but it’s a very big deal for the township,” administrator Eric Campo said during a presentation at Thursday night’s township committee meeting. “This eliminates a very big cloud.”

It also means a lower interest rate when the bonds go up for sale, Campo said, which is huge in the long term.

“This will save the township hundreds of thousands of dollars over the life of these bonds,” he said.

And the overall rating getting affirmed and listed as stable is meaningful for when the township wants to refinance current bonds, potentially at a lower rate, treasurer Richard Giuliani said.

“It could mean a lot of money,” he said.

At the same time, the ratings agency left open the possibility of the township’s overall rating improving in the future, which Mayor Ray Chintall said is an even bigger victory.

“The average resident may not see that, but in the long haul, it’s extremely important,” he said. “I think it’s a compliment to the entire administration.”

That’s something the township will have to justify over time, but Campo said getting the budget on stable footing—most of the budget this year, excluding debt service, was flat—was a big step.

“We’ll certainly be pushing for that (rating),” Campo said.

And besides the long-term savings and potential for improvement in the rating, Chintall said the financial news can also help West Deptford be more attractive to businesses. He specifically cited the resolution on the Eagle Point tax appeals as a major factor that should help as the township tries to attract new development and businesses.

“The Sunoco thing was really dragging us down,” he said. “Once you hear the word ‘stable,’ it’s huge.”

To that end, Chintall’s been in preliminary talks with businesses about some of the available properties around West Deptford, including the old Huntsman property on Mantua Grove Road and the former Parkway drive-in on Old Crown Point Road.

“Hopefully now it’ll boost up our market,” Chintall said.

Though the township’s tax base took a hit from the Sunoco settlement, the overall balance between commercial, industrial and residential properties is fairly well-balanced, something the credit ratings agencies look for in determining the township’s credit rating, Campo said.

“It’s a good mix,” he said. “We’re not overly dependent on any one taxpayer.”

Ryan Gilfilian August 10, 2012 at 12:06 PM
This is really surprising because last year at this time Sam told us the sky was falling, WD=Harrisburgh, and we were going to have to file for bankruptcy. Now a miracle has happened and the town is back on track. Some people will say anything to get elected!
Sandy Wagner August 10, 2012 at 12:57 PM
It's not a miracle, it's called "pulling yourself up by your bootstraps". It's called a job well done by our township committee. Thank you.
Madeline Fucci August 10, 2012 at 01:27 PM
It's amazing what a change from one party rule and new leadership can do for the financial health of a town. The future begins to look bright.
Bill Bondar August 10, 2012 at 07:51 PM
Can I have a motion to approve the 2nd and 3rd paragraphs?, Motion approved.... The township Committee is doing an excellent job.
frank russell August 10, 2012 at 09:38 PM
it's heading in the right direction.still there is some house cleaning to be done.november is just around the corner.just think if we get another four years of OBAMA.the myans just may be right DEC 21 could be the end. i'm spending all my money now in CANADA.
Occupant August 11, 2012 at 02:03 AM
I would like to know who made the decision to cancel the Elvis show at Riverwinds Friday. The weather was perfect, what a perfect evening.... Elvis has left the township.
Franny August 11, 2012 at 02:19 PM
My friends and I went to Riverwinds last night... as we do every Friday night, only to find that the concert had been canceled. We were really disappointed! We had looked forward to this particular concert all season! BRING HIM BACK!!!
Marilyn S. August 11, 2012 at 09:08 PM
It's a shame that this new administration is dead set against having this summer concert series even though it is fullly funded by private donations. They even told some local busineess' not to contribute so they can cancel it next year for lack of financial support. They are also trying to cancel summer recreation.
colonel parker August 13, 2012 at 12:23 AM
before everyone gets bent out of shape the elvis impersonator cancel due to illness.it was no fault of anyone on the committee.people are ready to jump to conclusions know the facts before making yourself look like a fool

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