Camarillo, Calif., recently capped a financial comeback by obtaining an A-minus rating from Standard & Poor's Corp. on an advanced refunding of $6.6 million of certicates of participation.

The city suffered a severe blow four years ago when officials learned that the city's extensive involvement in speculative instruments had wiped out most of its $24 million investment portfolio. Camarillo fired the treasurer who oversaw those investments, and the city froze hiring and slashed capital improvements to regain its financial footing.

The city's comeback effort paid off when it ended fiscal 1991 with a positive balance. Standard & Poor's recent assessment also represents the first time the city has obtained a rating, and has made Camarillo officials "so happy," said Director of Finance Anita Bingham.

The certificates were refinanced at about 6.5% to produce more than $1 million in present-value savings.

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