CHICAGO -- Fitch Ratings Monday downgraded Lorain County, Ohio, warning that the county has shown problems balancing its budget and seen some economic weakening.
The ratings agency pushed the county down by one notch, rating its implied unlimited-tax general obligation debt and its limited-tax GOs AA-minus, down from AA. The county has $21.6 million of limited-tax GO bonds outstanding and no ULTGOs, according to Fitch.
It downgraded another $790,000 of taxable revenue development bonds to A-plus from AA-minus.
Lorain is located in northeast Ohio just west of Cleveland on Lake Erie. Its 2010 population was 300,000.
"Fitch's downgrade reflects reduced financial flexibility, concerns about the county's ability to consistently balance its budget, and signs of potential economic weakening," analysts said in the downgrade report. "Further budget adjustments may be challenging given limited revenue-raising capacity and expenditure flexibility."
On the positive side, the county has low debt and retirement obligation levels, Fitch said.