Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said it raised its long-term and underlying ratings on Rochester, N.Y.'s existing general obligation bonds to A-plus from A.

At the same time, Standard & Poor's assigned its A-plus long-term rating to the city's series 2012I GO bonds. The outlook is stable.

"The upgrade reflects our opinion of the city's good management practices," said Standard & Poor's credit analyst Linda Yip. "They have enabled the city to maintain strong financial reserves as it weathered the downturn in the local economy."

The rating reflects the city's: ongoing role as a regional employment, service, health, and educational center for western New York; conservative financial management practices that continue to contribute to the city's stable financial operations; and manageable debt burden that, when coupled with a rapid amortization schedule, provides management with future capital spending flexibility.

Continuing to offset the above credit strengths is the city's: low wealth and income levels; high unemployment; limited constitutional levy raising capacity; and growing other post-employment benefit costs.

The bonds are general obligations of the city for which it has pledged its full faith and credit for the payment of principal and interest. Proceeds from the bonds will be used to refund approximately $67 million in outstanding bond anticipation notes.

Rochester is located in Monroe County, between Buffalo and Syracuse, in upstate New York. With a 2010 population of 210,565, Rochester is the third-largest city in the state.

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