Providence, R.I., Mayor Jorge Elorza said the city plans to seek a $40 million neighborhood infrastructure bond to make needed investments.

Elorza said the bond "will work to improve every neighborhood, and will continue to lay the foundation for a long-term capital improvement plan."

The City Council must approve the bond, after which it would go before city voters in the November general election.

The bond, he said, would continue the Rhode Island capital's road and sidewalk re-surfacing program and begin investing in other major categories that have lacked long-term capital investment plans including parks, public spaces, and recreation facilities.

With more than $64 million in debt set to come off the city's books in the next two years, Providence, he said, will be able to secure the additional bonds without increasing the city's annual debt payments.

The city has already secured $10 million for capital improvements to its school buildings for this summer through the Rhode Island Health and Education Building Corp. School Building Authority Capital Fund.

Last year, Providence won a $250,000 grant from the White House and the National Resource Network to help examine its long-term finances. One of the network's recommendations was to develop a capital budget that would begin to earmark hundreds of millions in maintenance that had been unaddressed for years.

S&P Global Ratings in late May lowered its outlook for Providence to stable from positive, citing declines in reserves. It rates the city's general obligation bonds BBB, two notches above junk.

Fitch Ratings assigns BBB-minus with a stable outlook, while Moody's Investors Service rates the GOs Baa1 and negative.

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