Posted by: Bill | February 18, 2010

My hometown featured in the WSJ

Ok, perhaps “featured” is not the right term. Maybe “having their financial laundry aired” is more accurate. It appears that the city of Harrisburg, PA is teetering on the verge of municipal bankruptcy (link might be gated). The article mentions a large amount of debt on an incinerator as part of the issue. My mother has been ranting about that incinerator for years so it appears she was right about it.

In Harrisburg, which is Pennsylvania’s capital and has a population of about 47,000, a March 1 deadline is looming on a payment of $2 million out of the $68 million due this year for the financing of an incinerator plant. The facility has about $288 million in overall debt.

“Bankruptcy is inevitable,” Mr. Miller says. “We are in a terrible bind.” A budget passed Saturday by Harrisburg’s city council didn’t include any funds to cover the debt payments, according to the city clerk’s office.

I thought the former mayor had been appointed for life. He was first elected in 1981 and finally lost the Democratic primary in 2009. 28 years! Maybe he saw the financial writing on the wall and threw the election. Anyhow, I don’t usually have much to say about the ‘Burg because this blog concentrates on the here and now, but I should devote a post to it someday. It’s a good place to grow up and I’m sad to see they are facing such large debt issues.

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Responses

  1. Ugh! The new city controller Dan Miller rocks but not so sure about our new mayor. Hoping those of us who have invested in the city life are not screwed in the years in come!


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