The state became active in addressing the pressure of the local government-administered pension plans' growing liabilities after the financial downfall of
After over 18 months of negotiations, the town's bargaining groups and individual retirees have reportedly come to an agreement with the town on significant cuts in benefits, all in an effort to avoid the potential loss of even more benefits if a state takeover were to occur. In an important next step town voters approved the proposed fiscal 2015 budget including a 3.79% tax levy increase as well as reduced employee salary and benefit costs. The passage of this budget is the first step in the town's five-year plan to fully fund its pensions and address future OPEB costs. The referendum passed 836-to-223. The five-year plan assumes additional annual tax levy increases, but these could be mitigated by an improving economy and tax base growth.
Fitch will be addressing its Rating Watch Negative on the town's general obligation bonds within the next 7-14 days.
Additional information is available at 'www.fitchratings.com'.
Source: Fitch Ratings
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