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Ryan: Binghamton Working to Provide More Info to Rating Agency

Bob Joseph/WNBF News file photo

Binghamton mayor Matthew Ryan says he initially was “pretty upset” by a major ratings service decision to lower the city’s credit rating.

Speaking on WNBF Radio’s Binghamton Now program, Ryan said Moody’s Investors Service used a somewhat different procedure before determining the credit rating.

The mayor said city officials had a “lengthy discussion” with Moody’s representatives today regarding the downgrade.

Ryan said the city had not provided its audit information on time. He said he expects that should be done “by the end of March.”

The mayor said Moody’s then should be able to make what he called a “full, fair review” of the city’s financial situation.

In announcing the move to downgrade Binghamton’s credit rating, Moody’s criticized the city for “consistently late financial statements.” The agency also referred to the city’s “high debt burden.”

Moody’s indicated it’s placed the Binghamton’s long-term and short-term rating under review for downgrade given the “unclear financial picture across all of the city’s funds.”

As a strength in favor of the city, the agency noted consecutive project general fund surpluses.

Ryan said the city has a new auditor and is “working tirelessly” to assemble the information sought by Moody’s.

The mayor said he was pleased that the agency representatives today indicated they “didn’t mean to paint such a negative picture” in the latest assessment.

Ryan said he’s confident that once the city has provided more information to Moody’s, “we’ll be in fine shape.”

The mayor said there aren’t enough people in the city’s in its finance department, although another employee is to be added. He said “that will help” the department deal with the challenges the city is facing.

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