DUNSTABLE -- If there is one thing upon which town taxpayers pride themselves, it may be their efforts to keep town spending to a minimum.

They are also good about paying the bills, according to Tax Collector and Treasurer Bonnie Ricardelli.

That self-discipline paid off recently, as Moody's Investors Service upgraded the bond rating for the town from B+ to A1.

Because interest rates on the town's $2.4 million outstanding debt are already low, the new bond rating won't result in much savings for the town.

Still, "it makes it more desirable for borrowing for the rating is higher," Ricardelli said.

The A1 rating for Dunstable reflects the town's "limited residential tax base with above-average wealth levels, healthy reserve levels despite annual free cash appropriations, and below-average debt and pension burdens," according to Moody's press release.

The financial institution noted that the town does well with staying within its budget.

"We are conservative with spending and that helps a lot," Ricardelli said.

In addition, the town's tax-collection rate usually ranges between 98 percent and 99 percent, Ricardelli said.

Fixed costs are expected to rise, however, while revenue from Dunstable's mostly-residential tax base can grow only so much. That's the challenge the town would have for a further rating upgrade, Moody's noted.


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The town could help solve the problem by increasing its reserves as the budget goes up, added Moody's in the press release.