After 25 years, is Scranton ready to leave financially distressed status?

Pennsylvania Economy League files three-year exit plan

SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) - It has been 25 years since Scranton became Pennsylvania's first major city to be declared financially distressed but things could be changing.

The Pennsylvania Economy League, which has helped the Electric City with its money matters, has just filed the city's three-year exit plan from distressed status.

The document is more than 80 pages total.

While the mayor of Scranton says having the exit plan is great news, he hopes the city can get out of distressed status even sooner than that!

"It is gratifying, all the hard work and sleepless nights have paid off," Scranton mayor Bill Courtright said.

The report pointed to the sale of the city's parking garages and sewer authority which have provided enough money to pay down high-interest debt and pay off a $30 million arbitration award to police and firefighters.

For homeowners, the report indicates tax rates need to stay the same.

That is something Eulah Murdough doesn't like.

"They hit you here. They hit you there, just a little bit but they get you!" Murdough said.

Matt Carter has lived in Scranton 38 years.

He still has questions for the mayor about the sewer authority sale and doesn't really see the city's finances getting better at all.

"I disagree. I don't think they're on the up-and-up. I think if you're his friend or his buddy then they're on the up-and-up," Carter said.

Scranton has been a financially distressed city since 1992.

While the happy is happy to have a "light at the end of the tunnel," he disagrees that a full three year exit plan is necessary.

"I'd like to see us out in about a year and a-half. I know they're not just going to let us walk right out the door without having some kind of oversight of what we're doing. I think they want to make sure we continue to do what we've been doing and we will," Mayor Courtright said.

A public meeting on the exit plan is currently slated for Wednesday, June 21 at 6:00 PM at Scranton City Hall.

 


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