ATLANTA -- Birmingham, Ala., announced last week the establishment of a special $87.6 million trust fund created from the sale of its water works.

City officials said they hope that the advent of the Birmingham Fund, which can only be tapped in an emergency, will lead to an upgrade of the city's general obligation debt rating. Moody's Investors Service rates the city's approximately $400 million of GO debt A1; Standard & Poor's Corp. rates it AA.

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