Peoria’s general obligation debt has been upgraded by Standard & Poor’s to AA-plus from AA owing to the city management’s ability to adjust to the current economic environment.

The Phoenix suburb plans to issue $68.4 million of GO bonds to finance $47 million of street projects, $14 million for storm drainage, almost $6 million for expansion of the municipal court building, and $1.2 million for parks and trails.

Standard & Poor’s credit analyst Paul Dyson said the new rating reflects Peoria’s strong financial management practices and policies, a strong reserve position, and demonstrated ability and willingness to make budgetary adjustments as revenue streams weakened.

“We believe its credit quality and rating are somewhat resilient to the current economic downturn, and given city management’s active budget monitoring, we believe the city will successfully navigate this episode of economic difficulty,” Dyson said.

Peoria will have $817 million in authorized but unissued GO debt from various elections after the sale. The city plans to issue $50 million of additional GOs within 12 months. The city, located in northwestern Maricopa County, has a population of approximately 156,000.

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