HARRISBURG, Pa., Nov. 3, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Department of Community and Economic Development Secretary C. Alan Walker today released the Emergency Action Plan for the distressed city of Harrisburg to ensure that vital and necessary municipal services are maintained during the state of fiscal emergency declared by Governor Tom Corbett on Oct. 24.
"While the mayor, city council and stakeholders work to come to an agreement on a fiscal recovery plan, this Emergency Action Plan will make sure basic services continue and the safety of the public is protected," said Walker. "This action plan also puts into place specific cost-containment measures to maintain finances and ensure all essential obligations are met."
Walker's issuance of the Emergency Action Plan complies with Gov. Corbett's directive that this action plan be developed within 10 days of the declaration of fiscal emergency, as well as with the provisions of Act 47 as amended by Senate Bill 1151.
The Emergency Action Plan builds on the cost-containment strategies that have been in place throughout the year and identifies priority initiatives from the Act 47 Coordinator's final plan to address short-term fiscal issues faced by the city. The measures will ensure necessary services continue; including police and firefighting, water and wastewater, trash collection, payroll, and pension and debt payments.
Cost-containment measures are:
- Spending freeze for discretionary purchases;
- Reduction or elimination of optional contracts for professional services or commodities;
- Hiring freeze and overtime restrictions;
- Limitation on capital project expenditures during period of fiscal emergency;
- Review of grant and third-party funds that require cash or in-kind matches from the city's general fund;
- Eliminates the ability of the city to incur new debt with the exception of short-term borrowing for Tax Anticipation Notes if deemed necessary and approved by the Department of Community and Economic Development.
Priority initiatives are:
- Review and increase utilization of Payment in Lieu of Property Tax (PILOT) agreements;
- Increase operational efficiency and implement a new schedule for Parking Enforcement Officers;
- Increase current parking ticket fees;
- Eliminate bulk copy services in the duplication center and eliminate one position;
- Improvements to residential and commercial waste and recycling collection;
- Eliminate Park Range Corps and;
- Improve compliance with Business Privilege and Mercantile Tax and increase business license fees.
The Emergency Action Plan will be in place until an acceptable recovery plan, termed in the legislation as a consent agreement, is enacted by the mayor and city council pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 6 of Act 47, or, in the absence of such, until a recovery plan is approved and implemented by a receiver pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 7 of Act 47 takes effect.
The authorities and elected officials of Harrisburg will continue to carry out the duties of their respective offices as long as no decision or action conflicts with the Emergency Action Plan.
For more information on Act 47 or to view Harrisburg's Emergency Action Plan, visit www.newPA.com or call 1-866-466-3972.
Media contact: Steven Kratz, 717-783-1132
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development