IRVINGTON, NJ — The internationally renowned Moody’s Investor’s Service, a bond credit rating business of Moody’s Corporation, upgraded Irvington’s bond rating again, Mayor Tony Vauss announced Monday, Nov. 23.
Vauss said this marks the second time Moody’s has upgraded the town’s bond rating since he took office July 1, 2014. He said his administration is particularly proud of this achievement and sees it as a vote of confidence from a major bond rating agency.
Vauss said Moody’s revised the township’s outlook to “stable,” meaning Irvington has good credit.
“For a second time in less than two years, our bond rating has moved up,” said Vauss on Monday, Nov. 23.
“This improvement to a B-a1 underlying rating and A3 enhanced rating will further enable Irvington to move forward with capital improvements to make our town clean and safe. Improved bond ratings means we are better able to bond for investments, like our street sweepers, fire trucks and senior bus, because the money costs us less.”
Vauss said Moody’s vote of confidence in Irvington was comparable to a favorable credit score for individuals. He said, “The better your credit is, the lower your interest rate.”
But Vauss said Moody’s positive outlook for Irvington also has the added benefit of increasing interest in town for investors, creditors and developers, calling it a win-win for Irvington.
Irvington CFO Faheem Ra’Oof said Vauss is right, adding that this is a big turnaround for Irvington; the township’s previous administration was audited by the state and found to be in need of improving its records and bookkeeping methods.
“This improvement in our rating by Moody’s is based upon a number of factors, including an increase in the township’s current fund balance and cash reserves over the last year,” said Ra’Oof on Monday, Nov. 23. “Our outlook has been revised to ‘stable.’”
“I congratulate CFO Mr. Faheem Ra’Oof for a job well done,” Municipal Council President Charnette Frederic said Monday, Nov. 30. “From the legislative perspective, we will continue to work to improve it even (more).”
Vauss agreed with Frederic, and said he views the news from Moody’s as more proof the positive changes that have taken place in Irvington have been noticed and the township is now viewed in a more optimistic light, a positive trend he wants to see continue.
“It’s happened twice since I took office,” Vauss said on Monday, Nov. 30. “The thing about that is, people have confidence in Irvington and our budget is sound. We’ve been able to reduce taxes and people are starting to take notice that Irvington is a place that people want to do business.”
According to Vauss, the majority of Irvington’s residents are aware of the positive changes that have taken place in the last year and this kind of positivity inspires the mayor to ignore the negativity that seems to come from a small number of people in town who he claims want to cling to the past, rather than embrace the future.
“We’ve been able to save the township considerable amounts of money, in some cases millions, in restructuring these bonds,” Vauss said. “Having a good bond rating allows us to get great interest rates. It allows us to restructure the bonds that we had before and save the township money.”