Harrisburg Receiver William Lynch with Mayor Linda Thompson
(Harrisburg) -- The state-appointed financial overseer of Pennsylvania's debt-laden capital city has a new plan to resurrect its finances and is asking the court to approve it.
Harrisburg receiver William Lynch has submitted the approximately 350-page plan to state Commonwealth Court in a bid to relieve hundreds of millions of dollars of debt and erase persistent budget shortfalls in the struggling city.
“We believe this recovery plan will not only address Harrisburg’s past financial difficulties and substantial debt, but also open the door for future growth, development and financial stability," Governor Corbett said in a statement.
“This plan demonstrates that it is possible for all concerned parties to work together in crafting a remedy for Harrisburg’s fiscal crisis, which can hopefully serve as a guide for other financially distressed communities.”
“This is a good agreement for everyone involved and, for the most part, everybody is close to being made whole,’’ Dauphin County Commissioner Jeff Haste says. “We should also keep in mind that we’re doing this without the city going into bankruptcy, which would have been very costly to the entire region.’’
Part of the plan involves selling the city's municipal trash incinerator, whose debt dragged the city to the brink of bankruptcy.
It would also involve the transfer of the city's parking garages and lots to a state economic development agency that could then use tax-free financing to help pay down the city's debt more cheaply while being reimbursed by parking receipts.
One city councilman, Brad Koplinski, suggests lenders will walk away with less money than they sought.
View the complete plan below:
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