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Media Release

Hilton Head Island Bond Ratings Affirmed; Beach Renourishment Bonds Upgraded

Release Date: August 31, 2016

Contact Information:
Stephen G. Riley, ICMA-CM , Town Manager, 843-341-4700, Fax: 843-842-7728

Hilton Head Island Bond Ratings Affirmed:  Moody's, Fitch and Standard & Poor's - all affirmed the Town's strong bond ratings

Fitch Ratings raises the Town's Beach Preservation Fee Bonds to AA from AA-

Concurrent with the planned issuance of $29.4 million GO Refunding Bonds and $25 million Bond Anticipation Notes, the Town of Hilton Head Island underwent rigorous evaluations by the three major municipal bond rating agencies. 

As a result of the evaluation process, all three municipal bond rating agencies affirmed the Town’s strong bond ratings.  Moody's affirmed its assessment of the Town’s rating of Aaa - its highest level. Fitch Ratings affirmed its assessment of the Town's rating of AA+. Standard & Poor's affirmed its rating of Aa+.

In addition, Fitch Ratings increased its rating of the Town’s Beach Preservation Fee Bonds to AA from AA-.

All of the rating outlooks are stable.

The Moody’s report listed "Strong financial practices leading to ample financial reserves," as part of the rationale for the credit strength.

The Fitch Ratings report listed "the town’s solid financial profile," as a Key Rating Driver.

Standard & Poor's reported the Town's "very strong economy," and "Hilton Head Island’s liquidity is very strong," as part of its analysis.

Town Manager Stephen G. Riley stated, "The Town has a long history of financial responsibility - as confirmed by these independent, third-party evaluations."

With these strong ratings, the Town continues to demonstrate its financial stability and gains access to the most cost-effective capital markets.

The $29.4 million GO Refunding Bonds will be used to lock-in savings from favorable rates in current markets, while the $25 million Bond Anticipation Notes will be used to move the Town’s approved Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) forward. The Town anticipates issuing permanent financing in about a year with GO Bonds as well as Beach Preservation Fee and Tax Increment Financing Special Revenue Bonds. The CIP includes expansion of the Island Recreation Center, Island-wide Beach Renourishment, Coligny Initiative Area Improvements, and a number of other items specified in the Town's Fiscal Year 2017 Budget.

If you would like to know more about the Town’s ratings, you may read more on the Town’s website at www.hiltonheadislandsc.gov or contact Susan Simmons at SusanS@hiltonheadislandsc.gov or 843-341-4645.