Fitch Ratings said it downgraded to AA-plus from AAA approximately $154.1 million in Evanston, Ill., outstanding general obligation bonds.

Fitch said it assigned a AA-plus rating to the city's $12,700,000 unlimited tax general obligation corporate purpose bonds, series 2013A.

The bonds are scheduled for competitive sale July 31, 2013. Proceeds will be used to provide financing for various public improvement projects and to make a deposit into certain debt service funds of the city's sewage system for purposes of paying certain outstanding obligations on their respective scheduled payment dates.

The rating outlook is stable.

Bonds are secured by the city's full faith and credit and its ad valorem tax without limitation as to
rate or amount.

The GO rating downgrade reflects Fitch's concern over persistent long-term risks associated with the sizeable unfunded pension liability in the city's police and fire plans. Despite the city's efforts to reduce the liability through periodic supplemental contributions, the systems are severely underfunded.

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