- Town of Dennis Maintains ‘AAA’ Highest Attainable Bond Rating by Standard and Poor’s Global

Town of Dennis Maintains ‘AAA’ Highest Attainable Bond Rating by Standard and Poor’s Global

S&P Global Ratings assigned its 'SP-1+' short-term rating to the Town of Dennis, Mass. 2022 general obligation (GO) bond anticipation notes (BANs), totaling $15.3 million and maturing June 2, 2023.  At the same time, S&P affirmed the Town’s 'AAA' long-term rating with a stable outlook on the Town's GO debt outstanding.

The Report states the short-term rating reflects our high investment-grade, long-term rating on the Town's GO debt and Dennis' low market risk profile. In S&P’s view, and pursuant to their BAN criteria, they have assessed the Town's market risk as low due to Dennis's strong market access, information availability, and takeout authorization.

Dennis will utilize the 2022 BANs to fund the new Fire Station 2 construction and two community preservation projects; West Schoolhouse Preservation and the Captain Baker House and Barn Preservation.  The Report states, “we rate Dennis higher than the sovereign because we think the town can maintain better credit characteristics than the nation in a stress scenario based on its predominantly locally derived revenue base and our view that pledged revenue supporting bond debt service is at limited risk of negative sovereign intervention.”

The Rating Report also reflects S&P’s view of the Town's very strong economy, and a track record of strong budgetary performance leading to very strong reserves, with surpluses even throughout the COVID-19 pandemic as contributing factors to the positive rating.

The Rating Report further notes the Town's general creditworthiness reflects its:

  • Very strong, tourism-centered economy
  • Recurring surpluses supporting very strong budgetary flexibility
  • Well-embedded and conservative financial management policies and strong institutional framework.

Elizabeth Sullivan, Dennis Town Administrator stated, This AAA rating with a ‘Stable’ outlook is the highest bond rating a municipality can receive and is a well-deserved recognition for the Town’s exceptional financial team, specifically: recently retired Finance Director MaryAnne Gibbs, and new Finance Director Josee Young as well as Treasurer/Collector Susan Laak.” Sullivan added, “the rating reflects the hard work and consistent discipline displayed by past and present Select Board, and the Finance Committee in establishing and adhering to financial policies and practices that ensure the financial stability of the Town.  This keeps Dennis is a very strong position.”