Framingham Online News

Moody's Assigns Framingham "AA" Bond Credit Rating

Filed under: Business by News Staff at 7:49 pm on November 9, 2019
PHOTO: Framingham, MA, Town Hall / Memorial Building

Framingham's City Hall, locally known as The Memorial Building, is located at the corner of Union Ave and Concord St.

FRAMINGHAM, MA - On November 06, 2019, Moody's Investors Service assigned a Aa2 rating, (also noted as "AA"), to the City of Framingham, MA's $27.5 million General Obligation Municipal Purpose Loan of 2019 Bonds.

The rating Aa2, is the third highest possible rating, (the best is "Aaa" or "AAA", followed by "Aa1" or "AA+", then the rating Framingham was assigned: "Aa2" or "AA").

Moody's maintains the Aa2 rating on the city's issuer rating and outstanding general obligation limited tax bonds. The issuer rating is equivalent to the city's hypothetical general obligation unlimited tax rating; there is no debt associated with this security. The outlook is stable.

The outstanding general obligation limited tax bonds (GOLT) are considered limited tax because the entire amount of debt service has not been excluded from restrictions under Massachusetts law on the city's ability to increase the property tax levy to pay debt service, referred to as Proposition 2 1/2.

RATINGS RATIONALE - The Aa2 issuer rating reflects the stable financial position, sizeable tax base with a large local economy, above-average but manageable debt burden, and average unfunded pension liability.

The absence of distinction between the GOLT rating and the issuer rating reflects the city's ability to override the property tax cap and its pledge of its full faith and credit.

RATING OUTLOOK - The stable outlook reflects the healthy growth in the tax base that is expected to continue over the near term as well as expectations that the city will maintain the current financial position with no material changes in reserves or liquidity.

FACTORS THAT COULD LEAD TO AN UPGRADE

  • Material growth in reserves and liquidity
  • Significant decline in the debt burden
  • Sustained trend of higher resident income levels

FACTORS THAT COULD LEAD TO A DOWNGRADE

  • Continued growth in the debt burden
  • Decline in reserves and liquidity

LEGAL SECURITY - The bonds are secured by the city's full faith and credit, general obligation limited tax pledge as debt service has not been excluded from the tax levy limits of Proposition 2 1/2.

USE OF PROCEEDS - Proceeds will be used to finance various capital projects of the city.

PROFILE - Framingham has a population of 70,743 and is primarily residential with a large commercial presence. The city is located in Middlesex County, approximately 20 miles west of Boston.

Regulatory disclosures contained in this press release apply to the credit rating and, if applicable, the related rating outlook or rating review.  Please see www.moodys.com for any updates on changes to the lead rating analyst and to the Moody's legal entity that has issued the rating.

(Nicholas Lehman, Lead Analyst, Regional PFG Northeast, Moody's Investors Service, Inc., One International Place, 100 Oliver St Suite 1400, Boston 02110, US)

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Framingham Based Ameresco Completes Third Ashland Solar Project

Filed under: Business by News Staff at 2:02 am on November 9, 2018

FRAMINGHAM, MA - Framingham based renewable energy company Ameresco, Inc. (NYSE:AMRC), has completed it's third solar photovoltaic (“PV”) facility for the Town of Ashland at it's capped landfill on Howe Street.

The Town partnered with Ameresco to develop the solar PV projects under a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). Ameresco will operate and maintain the systems for the term of the contract to ensure optimal energy production.

"We were happy to have a comprehensive service partner in Ameresco to help us identify and implement a diverse set of meaningful clean energy projects in our community. These projects not only combat the continuing global impacts of climate change but do so by virtually eliminating the Town’s electric bill." Michael D. Herbert, Town Manager, Ashland MA.

Ashland's solar projects at the Middle School Roof, the High School Parking Lot, and the Howe Street Landfill are comprised of more than 5,500 photovoltaic panels totaling 1,800 kW DC and designed to generate over 2.2 million kWh of renewable electricity each year. The annual CO2 emissions reduction of 1,632 metric tons is equivalent to taking 350 cars off the road and annual electricity usage of 176 homes.

"This project will contribute to the Town of Ashland realizing its goals, under the Green Communities Program, to reduce energy consumption and costs through the implementation of clean energy projects in its municipal buildings, facilities, and schools," said David J. Anderson, Executive Vice President, Ameresco. "The three solar projects represent a complimentary component to the larger sustainable initiative across the municipality that included a $3.6 million comprehensive energy efficiency program, providing more than $250,000 in annual savings in its building portfolio."

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Framingham Firm Receives Cannabis Testing License

Filed under: Business by News Staff at 12:42 am on October 20, 2018
marijuana plants

Cannabis / Marijuana products sold in Massachusetts will be labeled with a seal certifying it has passed testing for contaminants.

FRAMINGHAM, MA - The Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission, ("CCC"), has voted in favor of issuing MCR Labs of Framingham its license to operate as an Independent Testing Laboratory ("ITL") for the state's Adult Use Marijuana Program.

While some have complained that the State has been to slow to roll out recreational marijuana sales, the CCC regulations were designed with consumer safety in mind and specify that all retail cannabis product must be tested for and free of contaminants in accordance with Massachusetts General Laws, (M.G.L. c. 94G).

MCR Labs is accredited to perform compliance testing "and has been inspected to meet all general operation and security requirements for marijuana establishments" as outlined in the Commission's draft regulations, but there's still a few steps that must be completed before full commercial operation of the lab, (a walk-through and "seed-to-sale" software training).

MCR is setup to perform safety screening of marijuana including testing for heavy metals (arsenic, lead, cadmium, mercury), dozens of pesticides, microbial contaminants, (bacteria, yeast, molds, salmonella, E. coli, etc) as well as testing for volatile organic compounds, residual solvents, terpenes and other chemicals which should not be found in cannabis sold for human consumption.  MCR Labs will also provide cannabis potency and quality profile testing.

Once the few final steps are completed, Massachusetts marijuana growers, cannabis product manufacturers, and others will be able to have their products tested for quality control and potential contaminants at MCR Labs, 85 Speen St. in Framingham, MA.

About MCR Labs: Established in 2013, MCR Labs is an ISO-17025 accredited independent testing lab providing analytical cannabis product testing and R&D services to medicinal and adult use RMDs, patients, caregivers, home growers and entrepreneurs. For more information, visit http://mcrlabs.com

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Framingham Based Staples, TJ Maxx, Marshalls to Close Stores for Thanksgiving Day

Filed under: Business by News Staff at 2:41 pm on October 13, 2018
CLOSED THANKSGIVING DAY

Framingham area stores that are closed on Thanksgiving Day

FRAMINGHAM, MA -This year Framingham based Staples, TJ Maxx and Marshalls, along with other major retailers will be joing the growing trend to not open their  stores on Thanksgiving Day.

"We know that the holidays can be a hectic time but Staples is here to ensure shoppers and businesses of all sizes have the tools they need for a successful season," Steve Matyas, Chief Executive Officer, Staples Retail was quoted in a press release. "Our priority as an organization is to ensure that our store associates have the dedicated time they deserve to relax and enjoy the company of family and friends on Thanksgiving Day, so they’ll be ready to support customers on Black Friday and throughout the holidays."

Starting in 2015 Staples joined the growing trend in retail -- something that appeals to those who don't like the over-commercialization of holidays, and of course the employees who would rather have the day off.

Other Framingham area stores that won't be open Thanksgiving day include BJ'S Warehouse, many large stores in Shopper's World including DSW, Barnes & Noble, Marshalls, T.J. Maxx , Pier 1 Imports, Petsmart, Guitar Center, Burlington, Jo-Anne Fabrics, REI, Home Depot and Lowe's.

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Attorney General OK's Downtown Framingham Rezoning Plan

Filed under: Business by News Staff at 4:36 pm on February 10, 2016

FRAMINGHAM, MA - Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey today approved plans by the Town of Framingham to rezone its Central Business District, Downtown Framingham. The rezoning plans were approved on October 21, 2015 by Special Town Meeting members. Town officials see the rezoning as critical to encouraging transit-oriented development (TOD) in Downtown Framingham, and will move their efforts forward to encourage this kind of residential development.

“Downtown Framingham is poised to reclaim its title as an important walkable, urban center for economic development in MetroWest and Greater Boston,” said Charlie Sisitsky, Chair of Framingham’s Board of Selectmen. “The Town of Framingham is excited to offer in Metrowest an urban living experience to people who may be attracted to the Town’s small-town atmosphere and convenient proximity to Boston. We anticipate ...[read more]


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