Standard & Poor’s last week upgraded the ratings of 46 smaller or more remote municipal issuers in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin based on revised ratings criteria.
“Although size and location have weighed heavily on our ratings in the past, in our view, these credits can, and often do, exhibit many of the same economic and financial strengths as their larger counterparts,” analyst Jane Hudson Ridley wrote.
Location and access to a large employment base remain important factors in analysts’ views, but they are no longer overriding factors. “In our opinion, striking a balance between location and economic opportunity is critical to maintaining financial stability, and that can happen either near a major metropolitan area, or in a remote county,” analysts wrote.
The upgraded municipal issuers in Illinois include Dundee Township, Manhattan Village and Ogle County; in Indiana, DeKalb County, Franklin, Hendricks County, Marion, Pulaski County, St. John and Westfield. In Kentucky, they include Grayson County and Laurel County.
In Michigan, they include Alpena, Alpena Township, Bridgeport Charter Township, Brighton Charter Township, Delta County, Elba Township, Flat Rock, Fremont, Genoa Charter Township, Inkster, Iron Mountain, Lansing Charter Township, Marion Township, Newaygo County, New Buffalo, New Buffalo Township, Niles Charter Township, Northfield Township, Northville, Oceana County, Rochester, Roosevelt Park City, Sanilac County, Sparta Village, Springfield, Tallmadge Charter Township, Thornapple Township and Watertown Charter Township.
Also upgraded were, in Missouri, Waynesville; in Ohio, Bath Township, New Albany and Oakwood; and in Wisconsin, Freedom.