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Debt Rating Reviews Worry Mass. Communities

Despite movement toward a debt deal in Washington, officials in several Massachusetts communities worry that their credit ratings may still be subject to review.

The credit agency Moody's appears to be moving forward with a 90-day review of Wellesley's AAA rating, according to the town's finance director, Sheryl Strother.

"This is being triggered based on nothing the town has done," Strother said. "There basically is no fiscal basis for Moody's doing this as it relates to the town of Wellesley."

Newton Mayor Setti Warren says he'll also be speaking with representatives from Moody's.

"We're going to make the case to Moodys that we should protect our AAA bond rating that we've enjoyed for many years," Warren said. "It's inexcusable that we're in a position where our nation's credit is at risk."

Several other Massachusetts cities and towns — Acton, Bedford, Belmont, Brookline, Concord, Dover, Hingham, Lexington, Wayland and Weston — are under review because of a rule that their rating can't exceed that of the federal government.

Two school districts, Concord-Carlisle Regional School District and the Lincoln-Sudbury Regional School District, are also on the list.

Moody’s said it could review the credit ratings of 162 local governments in 31 states.

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This program aired on August 1, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.

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