With well-regarded restaurants, a walkable main street dotted with yoga studios and rail service that zips commuters to jobs in downtown Philadelphia, Collingswood, New Jersey, a town of 14,000, is held high as a US model of smart growth.
But Moody's Investors Service this week said the town was unwise about how it financed one of its highly praised revitalization projects.
Moody's lowered the borough's bond rating from investment grade to junk status — something that has happened to only a handful of the 18,000 public entities that the firm evaluates.
The downgrade is an admonishment of the very approach that boosters say made Collingswood indisputably one of Philadelphia's hippest suburbs.
It could also be a warning to other towns: Be careful how you pay for renewal.
Image: A large clock is seen in front of an old school in downtown Collingswood, New Jersey.