Hazelton mayor seeks financial assistance for his city

Written by The Associated Press | Aug 9, 2017 1:50 PM

FILE PHOTO: Hazelton postal worker Jake Saylor, right, greets Oscar, left, and Isabel Rubio, owners of Isabel's Gift Shop, Inc. on Wyoming Street in Hazleton.(AP Photo/Steve Klaver)

(Hazelton) --  The mayor of a Luzerne County city says he has filed paperwork for his city to be considered for financial assistance under a state program for distressed communities.

Hazleton Mayor Jeff Cusat says he has filed paperwork for a "determination of financial distress" under Act 47.

Communities deemed financially distressed are eligible for loans and grants through the state Department of Community and Economic Development.

Cusat blamed his decision on city council for adopting "unrealistic budgets."

Council President Jack Mundie said in response the mayor "can't follow a budget." He added the mayor hasn't enacted budget cuts recommended by the council and refused additional funding.

Cusat says he hopes the application will help the city begin the process of financial recovery.

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