OREANDA-NEWS. S&P Global Ratings raised its rating on Raritan Township, N. J.'s general obligation (GO) debt and its rating on Raritan Township Municipal Utility Authority, N. J.'s GO debt, issued for the township, one notch to 'AA+' from 'AA'. The outlook is stable.

The rating action reflects S&P Global Ratings' opinion of the township's improved financial performance, reserves, and liquidity.

At the same time, S&P Global Ratings assigned its 'AA+' rating and stable outlook to the township's $6.441 million series 2016 GO general improvement bonds.

"We do not expect to change the rating within the outlook's two-year period. Over time, however, if Raritan were to continue its strong budgetary performance, leading to an increase in reserves while mitigating long-term liabilities, and if management were to strengthen its formal policies and procedures, we could raise the rating," said S&P Global Ratings credit analyst Steven Waldeck. "While currently unlikely, if budgetary performance were to deteriorate significantly, leading to diminished reserves, we could lower the rating."

The stable outlook reflects S&P Global Ratings' opinion that Raritan will likely continue its strong budgetary performance and maintain its strong reserves. The rating service believes Raritan's participation in the broad and diverse New York-Newark-Jersey City metropolitan statistical area provides additional rating stability.

The township's full-faith-and-credit pledge secures the GO bonds.

Officials plan to use series 2016 bond proceeds to refund the township's GO bond anticipation notes, as well as approximately $1.6 million to finance various capital improvements.