Standard & Poor's Ratings Services assigned its 'AA' long-term rating and a stable outlook to the town of Amherst, Mass.' general obligation municipal purpose bonds, series 2009. In our opinion, the rating reflects the town's:
• Strong and stable economic base, anchored by the flagship campus of the University of Massachusetts, as well as Amherst College and Hampshire College;
• Good income and wealth indicators, which are particularly significant given the high student population;
• Good financial management and good reserve levels heading into 2010; and
• Low overall debt burden, and rapid debt amortization.