ATLANTA - Peachtree City, Ga., last Thursday saw its general obligation rating raised to AAA from AA-plus by Standard & Poor's. The agency also raised the rating for the city's water and sewer authority revenue bonds to AAA.

Janet Camburn, the deputy finance director for the city, said officials were pleased to receive the upgrades from Standard & Poor's, which she said is the only agency to rate its debt.

"We've worked hard to manage our finances and ensure that we have very adequate reserves," she said.

Standard & Poor's analyst Marilyn Cruz said that Peachtree City now joins Alpharetta and Roswell as the only cities in Georgia that have the agency's AAA rating.

The upgrade affects about $58 million of debt.

Camburn said the city most recently sold debt last year, $3 million through a private placement. The city sold $24 million of refunding bonds in 2005. It has no plans to issue additional debt. However, it will seek voter approval for $990,000 million of GOs during the November election.

Analyst Eden Perry said the AAA rating assigned to the water and sewer debt is based on the city's GO pledge for the system. In place is an agreement that allows the system to levy annual ad valorem taxes to cover any shortfalls in principal and interest payments for the bonds.

Peachtree City is located about 15 miles south of Atlanta, and that close proximity has also benefited the city's economy, according to Cruz. She added that the city's tax base is strong and diverse, and noted that it is considered to be an affluent community. It has a population of about 36,000.

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