Standard & Poor’s raised its rating on Cortland, N.Y.’s general obligation debt to BBB-plus from BBB, based on its assessment of the city’s estimated performance for fiscal 2010, coupled with structural changes.

Positives include proximity to the economies of Syracuse, Ithaca and Binghamton, average unemployment levels, and low to moderate debt with above-average principal amortization.

These factors offset credit weaknesses that S&P said included low to adequate income levels and low per-capita market valuation; recent history of negative year-end balances; and large other post-employment benefit, or OPEB, liabilites.

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