Distressing Times

Distressing Times

"…it is our recommendation that the City of Harrisburg be declared financially distressed"-Governor’s Center for Local Government Services, Consultative Evaluation for the City of Harrisburg, October 20, 2010

If the Department of Community and Economic Development follows through on the recommendation of its Center for Local Government Services, Harrisburg will become the 20th active participant in Act 47 distressed status. Since Homestead (in Allegheny County) came out of Act 47 in March of 2007, three new entrants (including Harrisburg) have gone in.

Act 47 lays out eleven criteria of which a municipality must meet one in order to be declared distressed. Harrisburg asserted that it had met three of the ten, but the evaluation found that only one-that the City had defaulted in payment of principal or interest on bonds or notes due to an authority-to satisfy the petition.

The evaluation found that of five comparable PA cities (one of which, Chester, is also in distressed status) Harrisburg has "a low and diminishing ability for the residents to produce the necessary resources to support services at current levels".