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WEST WARWICK, R.I. $14.9 MILLION GENERAL OBLIGATION BONDS RATED 'BB+' BY FITCH -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --

 NEW YORK, July 19 /PRNewswire/ -- West Warwick, R.I.'s $14.9 million general obligation bonds (comprised of $14.1 million series A and $800,000 series B bonds) are rated "BB+" by Fitch. The bonds, dated July 15, 1993, will be offered competitively July 19. The $14.1 million Lot A bonds are callable beginning July 15, 2001 at 102, while the $800,000 Lot B bonds will be callable July 15, 1998 at 103. The Lot A bonds include $10.2 million to retire tax and bond anticipation notes attributable to the prior year's operations, essentially deficit funding bonds that will be paid over a five-year period. The credit trend is uncertain to reflect the lack of an approved 1993-94 budget and established tax rate.
 The rating reflects the town's weak financial history and uncertain outlook, as the budget for 1993-94 has not yet been adopted by the financial town meeting. The prior history of unrealistic revenue and expenditure estimation had been aggravated by underfunded sewer operations, the structural difficulties presented by budgetary control resting with the financial town meeting, and the historic heavy dependence on short-term debt. This borrowing consolidates virtually all outstanding operating and capital notes, providing permanent address for the bulk of the cumulative deficit, and thus affording an opportunity to develop long-term financial solutions for the structural imbalance. There remains a $1.45 million tax anticipation note issued to provide additional court-mandated school funds for 1992-93, debt service for which is included in the proposed property tax rate for 1993-94. Operating under emergency powers, the mayor is implementing cuts of 8 percent to the 1992-93 budget level under which the town is currently operating. Notwithstanding the current fiscal uncertainties, the administration is taking appropriate financial management actions which should better position the town for the long term.
 A densely settled residential-manufacturing community, West Warwick is at the state level in median family income and at 92 percent of the state in the median value of owner-occupied housing. Inclusive of the current offering, the town's debt burden is moderate at 2.8 percent of estimated full value, heavier on a per capita basis. Debt is scheduled for rapid retirement with 75 percent due in 10 years.
 -0- 7/19/93
 /CONTACT: Ruth Corson Maynard, 212-908-0596 or Ruth M. Levine, 212-908-0605, both of Fitch/


CO: Town of West Warwick ST: Rhode Island IN: SU: RTG

TS -- NY025 -- 2946 07/19/93 09:53 EDT
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Date:Jul 19, 1993
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