Standard & Poor’s upgraded to AA-plus from AA the rating on Sterling Heights general obligation and transportation bonds in advance of the city’s sale of $5 million of unlimited GOs.

Located 20 miles outside Detroit, Sterling Heights has been able to maintain a stable balance sheet despite the ongoing loss of manufacturing jobs throughout the area. A recent weakening in the local housing market is reflected in the city’s first decline in property values in fiscal 2008. 

Sterling Heights has $43.8 million of outstanding GO debt, and $18.7 million of transportation bonds. Fitch Ratings assigned a AA-plus rating to the city.

Both agencies have a stable outlook on the credit.

“The upgrade is due to the city’s steady economic growth and its general fund’s strong liquidity, which supports good financial performance,” Standard & Poor’s analyst Justin Formas said in a release on the upgrade.

Proceeds from the bond sale will finance the expansion and improvements to three fire stations in the city.

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