Standard & Poor’s Monday upgraded bonds issued by 15 smaller communities in Oregon and Washington, citing a recent criteria review that has caused the rating agency to put less weight on the size and location of local government issuers.

“We changed our criteria and we focused more on management and less on size or rural versus urban,” said Steven Zimmermann, a managing director. “It’s based on the criteria changes we made a while ago but we’re doing this over time.”

“These upgrades reflect our continued review of issuers for whom the significance of their small size and more-remote location has lessened in our analysis,” analyst Lisa Schroeer said in a statement.

Upgraded to AA-plus from AA-minus were Woodinville and Edgewood, Wash.; to AA from A was Normandy Park, Wash.; to AA-minus from A were Washougal, Kittitas County, and Jefferson County, Wash.; to A-plus from A-minus were Ocean Shores and Fife, Wash., and North Bend, Ore.; to A-plus from A were Mason County and Lynden, Wash., and the Dalles, and Albany, Ore.; and to A from A-minus were Moses Lake and Centralia, Wash.

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