Edison gets upgrade in bond rating status

Staff Writer

Staff Writer

EDISON — Officials expect an improvement in the township’s bond rating to save the municipality money.

Standard and Poor’s recently upgraded Edison’s bond rating from A+ to AA- despite the fact that most other municipalities and the state have had their bond ratings reduced, said Jonathan Capp, township business administrator.

"All bonds have different ratings depending on their risk," said Parag Patel, councilman and chairman of the finance committee.

The improved rating will decrease the interest payments the township will have to pay on the bonds, Patel said.

The rating will also cause the township to be charged less in insurance for bonds, Capp said.

It is difficult to calculate exactly how much the township will save as a result of the improved rating, Capp said.

S&P upgraded the rating despite recent announcements by Ford and Electrolux that they would be closing their plants in the township.

The decision was based on Edison’s achievement in fiscal responsibility through debt burden reduction, limited increases in municipal spending, greater employee productivity, and Edison’s $9.1 billion ratable base, the mayor’s office said in a written statement on Nov. 12.

"Having a growing ratable base, even with the closing of the Ford and Electrolux plants, is another reason that S&P saw fit to upgrade Edison’s bond rating," said Mayor George A. Spadoro in the written statement.

"I believe once the new owners improve the Electrolux plant and have it back in active use next year and Ford successfully redevelops its plant site in 2005, our ratable base will grow even larger, continuing Edison’s role as an economic engine that defines the central New Jersey region," he said.

In March 2003, Moody’s assigned a higher bond rating to Edison Township. At that time Moody’s stated the reasons for the upgrade were a substantial and diverse tax base, improved financial reserves, and a modest debt position.