EASTON, Pa. - Despite a pandemic that resulted in temporary furloughs and ongoing collective bargaining negotiations with municipal police and fire, the city of Easton has managed to keep an A-minus credit rating with Standard and Poors.
“With the current environment, with the unknown of COVID, and elections and everything that’s going on we are relatively pleased with maintaining that rating,” said City Finance Director Mark Lysnecky.
A grade of A-minus means that the credit rating agency believes that there’s a “reasonable likelihood that debt obligations will be honored”.
S&P Global Ratings did revise its outlook from a stable outlook to a negative outlook, but affirmed its 'A' long-term rating for Easton.
“We’re able to maintain our A-minus rating,” said Mayor Sal Panto. “Any of the negative comments were really about the regional economy and that the city doesn’t have a way to expand.”
“It could have been a lot worse but it is something that has been noted by the rating agencies,” said City Administrator Luis Campos.
The city has invested millions of dollars this year on plans to replace the Pine Street parking garage and add a new North 4th Street parking garage and the Easton Area Joint Sewer Authority.
“S&P did note that if we did dip into our reserves anymore they could come back with a negative or a downgrade,” added Lysnecky.
The North 4th Street parking garage plan was recently approved by the city’s planning commission. Plans call for consolidating four parcels located at 37-43 North 4th Street making one nearly 34,000 square foot lot. The parking garage itself will add nearly 500 parking spots and stand six stories tall.