Longest Tenured Act 47 Town Contemplates Future
Farrell, a city in Mercer County, was declared distressed under Act 47 in the year the statute was passed, 1987. This coming November will mark the two decade anniversary for the declaration. The City Manager described financial recovery as less than comprehensive “The problem with Act 47 is that they give you Band-Aids, but they do not stop the bleeding”.
The City is tackling blighted abandoned properties and presumably will have to make a decision in the coming year on where it goes in regards to Act 47. As we wrote in 2014, changes were made to Act 47 in order to eventually move distressed municipalities out of Act 47 status within some set time frame. As such, “for municipalities in distressed status as of the effective date of the section, the five year period [to exit distressed status] will begin to run from the effective date of the most recent recovery plan or amendment”. Based on an ordinance from June of 2013, the City adopted its most recent amendment to its recovery plan, meaning June 2018 would be when that decision would have to be made. Farrell could get an extension if the coordinator recommends it, and then there is the very limited option of dis-incorporation, which would rely upon pre-conditions.