DALLAS -- Standard & Poor's Dec. 19 lowered its long-term rating on Sedgwick, Kan., to BBB-plus from A-minus, citing new rating criteria and the city's budgetary weakness.

S&P analyst Sarah Smaardyk cited "weak budgetary flexibility and liquidity" for the downgrade.

Officials have no plans to issue debt within the next two years, Smaardyk said.

Located about 22 miles north of Wichita in southern Kansas, Sedgwick straddles Harvey and Sedgwick counties. The local economy is based on manufacturing, education, and health care.

S&P had put the A-minus rating on its watch list for a potential downgrade on Aug. 12, saying that the city had not responded to "repeated attempts" to get budget information.

On Sept. 3, the ratings agency affirmed the rating and took Sedgwick off the negative watch list after the requested information was received.

"In our view, the city's finances are low, on a cash basis," Smaardyk wrote at the time, noting a "moderately high" per capita debt burden of $2,930.

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