Moody’s Investors Service has upgraded Asbury Park’s issuer rating to Aa3 from A1. The issuer rating reflects the city’s credit quality and ability to repay debt and debt-like obligations without consideration of any pledge, security, or structural features. Concurrently, Moody’s has assigned a MIG 1 to the city’s $11.4 million Bond Anticipation Notes consisting of $2.8 million General Improvement Notes, $7.6 million Transportation Utility Notes, $86,000 Sewer Utility Notes, and $1 million Beach Utility Notes.
“As City Council, our aim is to support policies that provide for growth in Asbury Park while keeping a strong commitment to fiscal oversight and financial administration,” said Mayor John Moor. “We will continue to manage our expenditures as we also strive to provide excellent services and programs for our residents and business community. This upgrade from Moody’s certainly reflects the emphasis that we have placed on our spending and our conservative budgeting practices.”
The upgrade of the issuer rating to Aa3 from A1 reflects the city’s continued improving financial position, even through the pandemic, officials said. The city’s management team continues to utilize conservative budgeting and active control over spending leading to positive operations. The city also benefits from ongoing development, specifically in its beachfront area, which has led to positive economic activity and growing revenues.
Full time resident income continues to be below average but is mitigated by a strong second-home and seasonal population. The city’s long-term liabilities are largely driven by pension and OPEB which will remain above-average in the near-term.