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Fitch Rates Nassau County with Negative Outlook

A weekly look-in at the news of Nassau County.

Fitch Ratings recently provided information on Nassau County's financials.

According to their website, Fitch is a global rating agency dedicated to providing value beyond the rating through objective and balanced credit opinions, research and data.

The following is from Fitch's press release on Nassau County:

RATING OUTLOOK NEGATIVE: The change in Rating Outlook reflects Fitch's concern over the county's continued difficulty in implementing programs to improve financial and budgetary stability despite the presence of a state control board.

CASH FLOW NOTES DOWNGRADE: Fitch believes the 'F1' more accurately reflects the county's market access risks given the change in the long-term rating Outlook. Given the county's reliance on additional borrowing for strong repayment of outstanding cash flow notes, market access for continued note issuance is especially important.

LIMITED FINANCIAL FLEXIBILITY: The county's lack of financial flexibility is evidenced by high dependence on sales tax revenue, consistent use of available non-recurring measures to close budget gaps, and long-term labor contracts.

CHALLENGES TO COST-CUTTING: Near-term budget balance depends largely on management's ability to continue trimming labor costs -- although cost-cutting targets thus far have not been met. A recent decision by the county legislature not to approve the issuance of debt to fund tax certiorari refund payments (tax certs) results in the need for further spending cuts.

STRAINED FINANCIAL POSITION: Financial margins and reserves are slim. The county legislature's rejection of the executive's request to issue bonds to cover tax certiorari refund payments (tax certs) for 2011 and 2012 may lead to sizable GAAP-based operating deficits for both years and the potential depletion of reserves even if current cost-cutting programs are effective.

SEWER SYSTEM PRIVATIZATION REJECTED: NIFA has rejected a contract associated with the county's planned privatization of the operation and maintenance of the county's sewer facilities. The county had been expecting to use a portion of the proceeds for 2013 general government operations. While Fitch viewed this use of this non-recurring funding source for ongoing operations negatively, its absence would create a funding gap that the county will need to fill in 2013 amid considerable spending pressures.

FINANCIAL OVERSIGHT: Since NIFA imposed a control period in January 2011, decision-making is somewhat more cumbersome than in prior periods, although Fitch believes the oversight also provides some benefits.

Click here to read the rest of Fitch Ratings' report.

First Turf Baseball Fields Open at Grant Park

Nassau County’s opened last weekend at Hewlett’s Grant Park.

The project to Grant Park’s three fields started in September and has cost about $2.7 million. The synthetic fields will provide a savings in the future with reduced maintenance costs, according to DPW officials. A batting cage, a new playground and adult exercise equipment were also added to the park.

Tryouts Announced for 2nd Annual Nassau County Executive Cup

Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano has announced that on Saturday, July 21, Nassau will once again host the county's top high school and adult soccer players in the 2nd Annual Nassau County Executive Cup, which will be held at Mitchel Athletic Complex.

Boys & Girls Try-Outs will be as follows:

  • Saturday, June 16 at Cantiague Park: Girls: 6-8 p.m. / Boys: 8-10 p.m.
  • Wednesday, June 20 at Cedar Creek Park: Girls (Field 1) & Boys (Field 2): 6-8 p.m. 
  • Wednesday, June 27 at Cedar Creek Park: Girls (Field 1) & Boys (Field 2): 6-8 p.m.

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