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Bond sale brings more good financial news for Nashua


NASHUA - Less than two weeks after a financial report awarded its highest rating to the city, the mayor said about $21 million in city bonds sold competitively at incredibly low interest rates.

On Tuesday, Mayor Donnalee Lozeau announced that the city recently sold its general obligation bonds and existing debt with a 2.43 percent interest rate.

"It is the lowest that we've ever had," Lozeau told the Board of Aldermen. "That is the second time that I've been able to say that since I've been in this position."

The last time the bonds were sold competitively, they received a 2.67 percent interest rate, she said.

"The 2.43 (percent) is really quite remarkable," she added.

The $21,205,000 in outstanding bonds that were sold and refinanced at a lower interest rate include about $13 million from the wastewater treatment plant, and the remaining $8 million in general fund bonds are from multiple city projects.

At the end of March, Fitch Ratings assigned its AAA rating - the highest possible - to the city of Nashua for its 2013 general obligation bonds and existing debt.

"I am very pleased, and so is the mayor," City Treasurer David Fredette said last week about the maximum rating. "This is our third or fourth year we have received this rating from Fitch."

The report, published by Fitch Ratings, part of the Fitch Group Inc., indicates that Nashua has a diverse local economy, low debt levels and good wealth indicators with strong financial management practices.

The five-page document specifically mentions the acquisition of the private water utility Pennichuck Corp., which the city acquired for about $150 million early last year.

Despite the high bond necessary for the acquisition, the report states that Nashua's economy continues to see growth and development, describing the community as a key center within the state for business and government.

According to the document, Nashua's management team has made appropriate spending cuts to adequately address rising employee costs and maintain strong fund balances in light of voter-approved spending limitations.

khoughton@newstote.com

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