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Moody’s reaffirms Amherst’s bond rating

Moody’s Investor Service has reaffirmed the Town of Amherst’s Aa2 bond rating on its $30.2 million in outstanding debt, and an MIG 1 rating $56.7 million in bond anticipation notes, town officials announced Friday.

The Aa2 rating reflects the town’s healthy financial operations and reserves, sizable tax base and manageable debt burden, according to the Moody’s report. The MIG 1 rating acknowledges the town’s stable long-term credit characteristics, the report said.

The town’s 2015 budget increased 1.8 percent over the prior year’s budget, and was balanced with $1.9 million in reserves. The tentative budget for 2016 increases spending by 1.36 percent and would be balanced with $3.3 million in operating reserves.

The report also notes that, among the town’s challenges, its fixed costs represent an above-average portion of its annual expenditures and that it faces potential pressure from outstanding contracts and ongoing litigation.

Amherst, the second largest municipality in Erie County after Buffalo, has an $8.9 billion tax base.