Standard & Poor's last week boosted its rating on Farmington Hills to AAA, making it one of only a handful of Michigan municipalities that carry the coveted top marks.

The city has a population of 80,000 and is located in triple-A rated Oakland County, about 20 miles from Detroit.

"The upgrade reflects the city's ongoing strong financial performance," analysts said in the upgrade report. Strengths include strong financial management, a low debt burden with no additional borrowing plans, the ability to raise new revenue, and participation in Oakland County's strong economy, S&P said.

At the end of fiscal 2012, the city had a general fund balance that was 36% of expenditures. "Projections for fiscal 2013 indicate break-even or better results in the general fund. The 2014 budget is also expected to be break-even or better," analysts said.

The city has a so called hard cap for health care costs, where anything over the dollar cap must be paid by the employee. It also has 0.5 mills - or $1.4 million -- that can be used without a vote to raise additional revenue.

Its pension fund is 83% funded, with an unfunded liability of $25.3 million. Its other post-employment benefits fund is 61% funded.

Standard & Poor's also raised its rating to AAA on the Farmington Hills Building Authority.

"The stable outlook reflects Standard & Poor's expectation of Farmington Hills' continued economic stability, owing in part to strong outreach by its economic development," the ratings report said.

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