Melrose bond rating jumps two steps

Standard & Poor’s Rating Service has raised the city’s credit rating two steps, to AA+ from AA-, giving Melrose its highest-ever bond rating. Credit analysts noted the city’s stable outlook is helped by a strong local economy, conservative budgeting, and sound financial management, among other factors. The new rating should help the city get more favorable rates when it issues $10 million in long-term bonds to help pay for capital projects, including improvements to parks and recreation facilities. “This is a double shot in the arm for us, at a time when we are still in a very challenging economy,” Patrick Dello Russo, the city’s chief financial officer, said in an interview. “It shows that our financial practices are paying off.”