Affirmation Based on Good Financial Policies and Adequate Economy; Downgrade on Use of One-Time Revenue Sources and High Mill Rate
(June 25, 2015) –Today, Moody's Investors Service downgraded the City of Hartford’s "A2" rating to an "A3" rating, citing a low fund balance, high mill rate and continued reliance on one-time revenue sources. Meanwhile, Standard & Poor's Ratings Group (S&P) affirmed the City's "AA-" rating, citing strong management with good financial policies, adequate economy and very strong liquidity. The City's general obligation investment grade ratings allow the City to continue to raise capital at aggressive interest rates.S&P noted Hartford’s multiyear planning as part of its fiscal management in its Report and the stabilizing presence of a large government and corporate workforce, including the headquarters of four large companies.“It’s never good news to be downgraded, but we’re pleased that our sound fiscal policies have been recognized. Given the years of financial challenges that we have faced, and continue to face, the rating agencies have each rationalized their different opinions,” said Mayor Pedro E. Segarra. “We have stabilized the mill rate, continued to fully fund our pension, and decreased spending year after year, but our expenditures continue to outpace our economic recovery. This is why economic development is critical, creating more jobs and opportunity is essential, and why we need to stay focused on advancing the growth we have seen over the last few years.”Moody’s rationale for the downgrade was also influenced by the high, albeit declining unemployment, and limited revenue generation options available to the City. The report went on to say that the continued negative outlook is impacted by the possibility of a further downgrade should the fund balance not augment in the near future. Several strengths were cited, including strong pension fund practices, and the city’s status as a regional economic center.“While disappointed with today’s action by Moody’s Investors Service, as stated many times during my tenure, the Treasurer’s Office remains committed to assisting the Administration to address the City’s challenges in any way possible and will continue to advise them on matters that may impact our rating,” said City Treasurer Adam Cloud.
(June 25, 2015) The Department of Public Works announced today that north and southbound bicycle lanes will be installed on Wethersfield Avenue, between Elliot Street and Wyllys Street. The bicycle lane markings will be painted on the evening of Sunday, June 28, 2015, weather permitting.
“The City of Hartford is committed to taking every opportunity possible to build streets that enable safe, comfortable and convenient access by users of all ages and abilities, including but not limited to pedestrians, bicyclists, transit riders and drivers,” said Keith Chapman, Interim Director of Public Works.
Parking will be eliminated on the east side (the Bulkeley High School side) of Wethersfield Avenue from Elliot Street to Wyllys Street, but will be allowed on the west side of the street.
(June 19, 2015) The Hartford Fire Department Task Force, convened by Mayor Pedro E. Segarra in December of 2014 to examine the Fire Department’s command structure, resources, firefighter training and recruitment, has issued its final recommendations. Recommendations issued by the Task Force include the following:
The vacant Assistant Fire Chief position is currently being filled on an interim basis by retired Deputy Chief Scott M. Brady and an additional assistant fire chief position was included in Mayor Segarra’s recommended FY 2016 budget, which was adopted by the council in May.
“I want to thank members of the Task Force for their hard work, their service to the community and their commitment to the safety of our residents. The Fire Department began addressing some of the recommendations based on Task Force’s preliminary findings,” said Mayor Segarra. “We have more work ahead of us and the work done by the Task Force provides further direction.”
Members of the Hartford Fire Department Task Force include retired Fire Chief John B. Stewart, Jr., retired Fire Chief Nelson K. Carter Sr., retired Fire Chief Edward Casares Jr., retired Fire Chief Charles Teale, Sr., and Police Chief James C. Rovella.
To see a copy of the Hartford Fire Department Task Force’s final report, visit: http://bit.ly/1Gaw2fi .
(June 19, 2015) Hartford residents are invited to recycle unwanted household electronics at the “Free and Easy Electronic Waste Drop Off” on Saturday at the Cathedral of St. Joseph, an event organized by the Asylum Hill Neighborhood Association in partnership with the Department of Public Works, Cathedral of St. Joseph and Electronic Recyclers, Inc.
Acceptable items include answering machines, phones, calculators, televisions, remote controls, camcorders, CD players, VCRs, computers, printers, scanners, fax machines, copy machines, DVD players, electric typewriters, microwaves, modems, power cords, gaming consoles, household batteries and household medical equipment.
Unacceptable items include hazardous, flammable, radioactive and corrosive materials, refrigerant, PCB and explosive materials. A state certified vendor will recycle the items collected at the event free of charge.