WHEN IS THE MISMANAGEMENT OF UTICA AND THE TAXPAYERS MONEY GOING TO END WHICH THE ROEFARO ADMISTRATION WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR. THE FALLOUT IS ENORMOUS AND WILL BE FELT FOR YEARS AND YEARS TO COME AND IT WAS DOME INTENTIONALLY BY DAVE ROEFARO AND THE RUBBER STAMP COUNCIL OF THAT TIME HE WAS IN OFFICE FOR ONLY FOUR YEARS.iT'S INCREDABLE WHAT ONE MAYOR HAS DONE TO THE ENTIRE CITY AND ALL IT'S TAXPAYERS AND RESIDENTS.
UTICA — Moody’s Investors Service Inc. has downgraded the city’s bond rating yet again.
The ratings agency cited the city’s severely weakened financial position as the reason for downgrading the city’s bond rating from Baa1 to Baa2 with a negative outlook.
Last year, Moody’s downgraded the city’s bond rating twice and Fitch Ratings lowered the city two notches from A- to BBB, and assigned it a stable outlook.
The city has taken the proper steps in its most recent budget to improve its financial situation, and the downgrade could have been worse, Comptroller Michael Cerminaro said.
“They’re not looking at what we’ve done this budget year,” he said.“They’re using old information. All the things the ratings agencies have asked the city to do, the city has done.”
The rating, which was released Feb. 22, will affect $47 million in outstanding debt.
In a news release, Moody’s cites the city’s severely weakened financial position, rapidly draining cash, thin reserves and a reliance on capital markets to fund operations.
“The rating also incorporates a heavy debt burden, a weak tax base that includes significant amounts of vacant or tax-exempt properties, and high fixed costs,” the news release stated.
In a separate report Moody’s points out,“The General Fund’s net cash position is negative and it is not immediately clear how this will be addressed.”
The report shows that the city has used $4.4 million of its general fund balance from 2009 to 2012, leaving approximately $397,384.
Utica also has used substantial amounts of its water, sewer and capital projects funds.
The problems are due to past administrations’ use of fund balances and trusts and the city has cut jobs and put together a realistic budget, said Mayor Robert Palmieri.
“The report shows that this administration has moved toward stabilization,” he said.
Moody’s does note that Utica has a moderately sized and stable tax base but it relies on capital markets to fund its operations and has a minimal financial cushion.