AAA Credit Rating
I’m pleased to report that Standard and Poor’s (S & P) has reaffirmed the Town’s AAA credit rating for the 2019 bond issue. Our rating was affirmed after S&P reviewed and analyzed various aspects of the local and regional economy, recent economic development activity, management practices, fiscal and debt management practices, budgetary performance, retirement plan stewardship and our other post-employment benefits program. The Credit Profile report documents a number of positive assertions put forth by S & P, such as our “strong economy, strong management practices as well as strong budgetary performance and flexibility”.
General Obligation Bond and Short-Term Note Sale
Our bond and note sale occurred on Thursday June 6th. The Town received five bids for our $10,000,000 general obligation issue, and investment firm Roosevelt & Cross was the low bidder. The issue will provide funds for a variety of projects including approximately $2.5M for the first phase of the public safety complex project. Other projects include the replacement of the town-wide public safety radio system, HVAC improvements at Windsor High School pool and Poquonock Elementary School, a fire engine, improvements at Northwest Park, pavement and stormwater improvements throughout town.
The term for the bonds is 20 years and annual interest rates range from a high of 5.0% down to 2.0%. Over the life of the term, the average rate or “coupon” is 3.20%. This annualized average interest rate is about one half of 1% less than we used in our debt service forecast model. The Town received a premium payment of approximately $266,000 that will be placed into the debt service fund and be used for future debt service.
We also received 5 bids for our $11,970,000 short-term note sale, and J.P Morgan Securities LLC was the low bidder. The proceeds will go entirely towards the first phase of the public safety complex project.
The note term is one year and the interest rate is 3.0%. We received a premium of approximately $185,000 and these funds will also be placed in the debt service fund to go towards future debt service. After applying the $185,000 premium payment the effective interest rate to the town is 1.4%. The number of bidders and spread between bids for both the bond and note sale was deemed competitive, and we were pleased with the results overall. We will close on these sales and receive the proceeds on Thursday, June 27.
Concerts on the Green
First Town Downtown invites you to the summer concert series sponsored by Windsor businesses. Concerts will begin on June 27th and will be held every Thursday until August 22nd. Performances are from 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM on the Windsor Town Green. Free to the public. For more information call 860-688-5165 or go online to firsttowndowntown.org.
Farmer’s Market to Begin June 27
First Town Downtown is bringing back the Farmers Market for its 10th year this summer beginning June 27th. It will continue every Thursday until October 17th from 3:30 PM to 6:30 PM at 240 Broad Street (corner of Broad and Maple). Get locally grown fruits, vegetables, flowers, baked goods, herbs, eggs, milk, yogurt, cheese and more. For more information call 860-688-5715.
Technology Improvements – License Plate Readers
The police department has received a federal technology grant to partially fund the purchase of License Plate Readers (LPR) to better equip officers to locate and identify stolen motor vehicles. Police Private Duty funds will be used to offset the remainder of the costs for the purchase. The police department has identified a LPR system that would work in conjunction with the Connecticut State Police’s LPR system. Other local police departments are also joining the State Police LPR system. All LPR data would be maintained by the State Police, reducing infrastructure costs to each municipality.
Departmental plans include the deployment of two LPR units both north and south to provide coverage throughout town.
Chemical Release at Bradley Airport Leased Property
As a follow-up to the recent release of fire suppression foam at a leased building on the Connecticut Airport Authority property at Bradley Airport town staff have been in contact with the Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH), Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) as well as the airport authority.
Our Health Department has been in communication with DEEP and DPH throughout the past week. The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is the lead agency for this incident. As of last Friday DEEP was awaiting test results of water samples taken on Thursday, June 13th. Results from samples drawn on Tuesday, June 11th show that the level of PFAS chemicals had decreased significantly from the first samples taken June 9th. A DEEP issued advisory related to no eating of fish taken from the river remains in place. DEEP plans to conduct testing of aquatic life over the coming weeks.
Also, I’ve been in contact with the Connecticut Airport Authority staff about potential steps or actions they or their tenants could undertake to prevent this type of incident in the future. The Authority staff informed me they are in the process of evaluating the drainage and containment systems for each building they own/lease at Bradley that has a foam fire suppression system. I plan to have a further conversation with airport staff later this week.
Town staff and I will continue to have follow-up discussions with the various agencies and parties in the coming days and weeks.