Harrisburg Receiver Maj. Gen. William Lynch filed a plan in Commonwealth Court Monday aimed at getting the Capital City out of debt.
The plan, which he’s called “Harrisburg Strong,” outlines sales of the incinerator and parking assets, union concessions, concessions by the city’s creditors and many other aspects.
In the plan, the receiver estimates total debt from the incinerator is about $362.5 million.
“Many things in this plan have hit the goals that City Council has stated they have: shared pain, shared responsibilities,” said Neil Grover, an attorney who’s represented City Council in matters pertaining to Act 47. Council members referred all comments Monday to Grover.
The receiver’s plan calls for the incinerator to be sold to the Lancaster County Solid Waste Authority for $126 million to $132 million.
The city’s parking assets would be sold for $258 million to $268 million. Dauphin County officials say the system would be run by two firms. The first is Standard Parking, which is based in Chicago, and would serve as the operator. The second firm is AEW Capital Management of Boston, which would serve as the property manager. The plan calls for rates at parking meters and garages to increase.
The plan also calls for the increase in the city’s earned income tax to remain in effect at least through 2016. City Council voted last year to double it from 1 percent to 2 percent.
“It’s going to affect me a lot because my rent goes up every year, the price of food, my car and gas, it really puts a dent in my pocket,” said Odell Tyler, a Harrisburg resident.
The plan also sets aside money for economic development, road and infrastructure repairs and creates a health care trust fund for public employees.
The city’s creditors also make concessions in the plan. Among them, Covanta Energy Systems claims it’s owed $26 million. The receiver says the company has a greed to settle for $9.5 million.
Gov. Tom Corbett (R) commended the state-appointed receiver’s plan, which would eliminate the debt tied to the incinerator and get Harrisburg on a path to having a balanced budget as soon as next year.
“I am proud of the work that has been done by the Office of the Receiver, along with the commitment of all the stakeholders involved in Harrisburg’s recovery effort, to finding a viable solution to this extremely challenging problem,” Governor Tom Corbett said in a statement. “We believe this recovery plan will not only address Harrisburg’s past financial difficulties and substantial debt, but also open the door for future growth, development and financial stability.”
City Council will begin taking up pieces of the plan during a meeting Tuesday at 6 p.m. The overall plan requires court approval.
To read the plan, click here.