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Fitch upgrades Erie County’s credit rating to A+

Erie County received some positive news from Wall Street Wednesday, as Fitch Ratings upgraded its credit rating from A to A+.

News of the upgrade follows a three-step rating upgrade by Standard & Poor’s a year ago.

In rare show of bipartisan cooperation, County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz and Comptroller Stefan I. Mychajliw shared the credit Wednesday.

“This rating upgrade is great news for the residents of Erie County and affirms the progress we have made over the past few years as well as the dramatic turnaround and growing strength of the Buffalo and Erie County economy,” Poloncarz said.

Mychajliw said the upgrade bodes well for the county’s economic future.

“This upgrade will save us money when we go to Wall Street to finance our capital projects. It is the same way when a taxpayer’s credit score impacts their home mortgage or a car loan when they are making a purchase,” he said.

Fitch’s analysis cited the county’s “prudent financial management (and) improved fiscal discipline, resulting in a trend of positive operations” as the main drivers of the rating upgrade, along with the county’s “strong oversight of expenses” and manageable debt.

The rating agency also pointed to improvements in the county’s economy, saying it is “providing stability and growth potential” and that “economic development is strong.”