Judge extends Harrisburg receivership for 2 years
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) -- A state judge on Wednesday extended Harrisburg's receivership for two additional years in what officials described as a procedural move that will allow time to complete the city's financial recovery plan.
Commonwealth Court Judge Bonnie Brigance Leadbetter issued an order granting a joint request by the state and the city to extend the receivership until December 2015.
A spokesman for state-appointed receiver William Lynch said the two-year increment is required by law and doesn't reflect the time Lynch expects to stay on as receiver.
"It is the desire of the receiver to only remain as long as necessary," said the spokesman, Cory Angell.
Lynch and his team of lawyers and financial consultants are finalizing a plan that has been under negotiation since an unprecedented state takeover of the debt-strapped state capital two years ago.
The plan calls for the city's municipal trash incinerator, whose $350 million debt the city has been unable to pay, to be sold to the Lancaster Solid Waste Management Authority. The authority is expected to pay as much $132 million for it.
Also under the plan, the Pennsylvania Economic Development Financing Authority would borrow $283 million, largely to pay off city debts including $100 million owed by the Harrisburg Parking Authority. The Financing Authority would be repaid by receipts from the city's parking lots, garages and meters.
Harrisburg's creditors have agreed to walk away from potentially more than $100 million, a concession that city councilors who opposed the takeover demanded as part of any deal. City residents also are contributing to the recovery by paying increased income taxes.