Standard & Poor’s raised Buffalo, N.Y.’s general obligation bonds to A-minus from BBB-plus, reflecting the city’s improved financial profile, stronger financial management controls, and continued advisement provided by the Buffalo Fiscal Stability Authority. The outlook is stable.

At the same time, the agency assigned its A-minus long-term rating to the city’s $21.5 million of Series 2009A GO improvement bonds and its A rating to $3.53 million of Series 2009B school bonds. Under New York State’s school aid intercept program, the school bonds continue to be rated A.

Analysts said the upgrade further reflects the ongoing relationship between the city and the BFSA, which together have worked to achieve structurally sound operations for three consecutive years, as well as a four-year financial plan that clearly identifies out-year operating gaps and gap-closing measures; city management’s willingness and proactive approach in adopting many of the BFSA control mechanisms; and structurally sound general fund operating surpluses in each of the past three fiscal years, resulting in strong accumulated general fund reserves.

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