TOWNSEND -- Moody's Investors Service restored Townsend's bond rating to Aa3 Monday after the rating had been suspended for a year due to a delayed audit.

Town Administrator Andrew Sheehan said that the rating was an indication of Townsend's stable finances.

"It's a other indicator of the good financial position that the town is in. We've been saying all along that the town's finances are solid and stable and moving forward and this is another indicator of that," Sheehan said. "The report form our auditors at the end of April was very positive, and this is just another positive step in reflecting the position of our finances."

The town's bond rating was revoked last June due to delays in the fiscal year 2012 audit after the town switched auditors.

According to Moody's website, it can withdraw a rating due to "incorrect, insufficient or otherwise inadequate information."

With the rating restored, Townsend is now able to pursue the borrowing that was approved at May's Annual Town Meeting to fund capital expenses.

"We're very pleased with the outcome and hopeful that we can continue to move forward in a positive direction," Sheehan said.

Sheehan said he had few concerns over the past year about the bond rating being restored quickly.

"Really the only concern that I had was the effects of the last recession. It's been a long recovery out in this part of the state and you never know how that's going to be received by the rating agencies, but we've seen good local economic news over the last year, with an uptick in building permit activity and some other economic factors that are viewed favorably," he said.

Moody's representatives wrote in a statement that Townsend's strengths included a historical trend of stable financial operations, modest debt with limited future borrowing plans and low pension and post-employment benefits liabilities.

It listed declines in tax base values and resident wealth levels that are below the state average as challenges that Townsend faces.

"The Aa3 rating reflects the town's above average financial position, modest residential tax base with average wealth levels, low debt burden and manageable low net pension liability," the statement said.

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