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Massachusetts City Sells $149 Mln in Bonds

By Munichain News Desk

Worcester, Massachusetts, issued $149 million in bonds to finance a variety of capital improvement projects.

The bonds mature between 2025 and 2049, yielding between 2.44% and 4.145%. They received a rating of AA from Fitch Ratings, Aa3 from Moody’s Investors Service, and AA- from S&P Global Ratings.

Fitch expects that the “city will maintain a high level of financial flexibility throughout economic cycles, consistent with its history of sound operating performance and commitment to improving reserves,” analysts wrote.

The bond proceeds will fund education, public safety, and water and sewer improvements, among other projects. The largest disbursement, about $70 million, will support construction at the city’s high school.

The city has used debt to finance high-profile projects in recent years. The city’s new minor league baseball stadium, which opened in 2021 at a cost of $160 million, was largely financed by municipal bonds. The city expected a nearby improvement district to cover debt service for those securities, but amid lower-than-anticipated collections it has been forced to sell off nearby public land, the Bond Buyer reported.

Worcester is the second-largest city in Massachusetts, after Boston. The bonds are general obligations of the city of Worcester, backed by its full faith and credit.

J.P. Morgan Securities LLC served as lead underwriter on the issuance. UniBank Fiscal Advisory Services, Inc acted as financial advisor.

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