The increased rating puts Melrose in the top 10 percent of cities in Massachusetts, according to the statement.
The bond rating is an independent evaluation of all aspects of our community, including municipal practices, spending, long term debt, private investment, approved contracts in terms of liability and planning, and future outlooks and trends, according to the statement.
"We are particularly proud of this first-ever achievement for the City of Melrose due to the stagnant state and national economy," reads the statement. "As a municipality, we continue to see decreased revenues from state and federal sources. In the best of economic times we did not see these upgrades."
Melrose was given the highest bond rating attainable in the U.S. for short term obligations, SP-1+, according to the statement.
Chief Financial Officer, Patrick Dello Russo, said "I am very pleased with this upgrade. This is the greatest achievement I have realized in my professional career, to see this type of movement in this type of economy. What this means is the prudent fiscal policies adopted by this administration have proven to be effective and have taken a long term view of the city's finances."
City officials understand that they will need to keep a close eye on the operating budget and other financial issues to keep the current bond rating.
"This will require continued conservative and prudent budgeting, fair but conservative contracts with collective bargaining units, continued reform, and prudent management of fixed costs such as health insurance and pension liabilities," reads the statement. "It will require further reforms of our zoning laws to allow for continued responsible growth in a continued favorable business environment. If all of these things do not happen as they have been practiced over the last several years, we will risk losing our city's highest bond rating.
"...We can never be complacent in our standard practices of budgetary management. Melrose remains a community with limited revenue options and continuing decline in federal and state commitments to a variety of important programs," reads the statement. "This assessment does not mean we have more money to spend. What it says is we have managed the money we have to the best of our ability to better our city. That is the most important thing we can take away from this—the steadfast vigilance and the challenge of managing a community like Melrose. But today we can celebrate this great achievement and first for our city."