Hilton CSD, N.Y., Raised to AA-Minus by S&P

Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said it raised its school issuer credit rating on Hilton Central School District, N.Y.'s general obligation debt one notch to AA-minus from A-plus.

 The outlook is stable.

The upgrade reflects Standard & Poor's assessment of the district's sustained good financial performance and strong reserves.

At the same time, the rating service assigned its AA-minus rating and stable outlook to the district's $17.025 million series 2013 school district GO refunding bonds.

"Management has demonstrated a history of cutting costs, as necessary, to achieve financial stability within the past few fiscal years in light of state aid cuts and a 2% cap on levy increases. We believe the district will likely maintain, what we consider, its strong finances due to a history of conservative budgeting and good financial management practices," said Standard & Poor's credit analyst Timothy Barrett. "As such, we do not expect to change the rating within the outlook's two-year period."

The ICR also reflects Standard & Poor's opinion of the district's: diverse residential community with access to the Rochester metropolitan area that has experienced good historical property tax base growth; strong wealth and income; strong financial performance, including strong general fund reserves bolstered by good financial management practices according to Standard & Poor's financial management assessment; and low debt profile, albeit with identified additional debt plans.

The district's full-faith-and-credit GO pledge secures the bonds. The New York State Aid Intercept Program provides additional security. The district intends to use bond proceeds to refund its series 2004 and 2005 bonds outstanding.



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