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Another state capital in crisis

June 29, 2011 - John D'Agostino
A number of area municipalities have said for years how tight budgets will be while passing on tax hikes to residents. It is much more severe, however, in Harrisburg, the capital of Pennsylvania.

There things are so tight, the city is teetering on the verge of bankruptcy, according to an article in The Wall Street Journal earlier this month. One of the major reasons for this: the city has a $300 million debt load from a failed incinerator project that is run by the city.

In a recent 418-page report to bail the city out, a major recommendation calls for the city to sell the incinerator to Lancaster County Solid Waste Management Authority. Sounds like a good idea.

It also makes one wonder: if the municipal incinerator plant is not bringing revenue to a city of 50,000 residents, will Chautauqua County ever see a return on its investment for the methane plant that produces electricity at the county landfill?

Stay tuned.


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