Wolf administration announces Reading has successfully recovered from distressed status under Bill 47

Reading is the ninth municipality to recover from distressed status under the Wolf administration

Reading, Pennsylvania – Today the Acting Secretary of the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED), Neil Weaver, announced that the Town of Reading’s status as a Troubled Municipality under Bill 47 is successfully terminated. Reading is the 18th municipality to recover from distressed status – the ninth under the Wolf administration alone.

“It’s a great day for the town of Reading,” said Sec. Weaver. “It has been a decade and a half since Reading was originally designated a Financially Distressed Municipality under Bill 47. The hard work of town, community leaders, local businesses and other partners has helped Reading achieve this important goal.

Second. Weaver signed a formal letter of determination finding that termination of the city’s distress status was appropriate under section 255.1 of Law 47. The decision was made after a thorough review of city audits, data financial statements and the record of a public hearing held on May 4. , 2022. Art. Weaver was joined by Mayor Eddie Moran, City Council President Johanny Cepeda-Freytiz and other local and community leaders.

“Better days for Reading have arrived,” Reading Mayor Eddie Morán said. “We demonstrated to our tax coordinators, state officials and, most importantly, to ourselves that we could do it. Therefore, Reading stands before everyone today with reliable financial stability, an understanding of the best practices that brought us here, and the confidence that we will responsibly administer all the resources available to our beautiful city.

Reading was designated as distressed under Law 47 of November 12, 2009. This decision was made after years of recurring deficits, inefficient financial management practices, and adverse socio-economic and demographic trends.

Since 2009, Reading has made significant progress in improving its management practices and financial position. The city’s annual audits from 2012 to 2020 show operating budget surpluses in six of the past nine years, and 2021 is expected to show a surplus as well. Additionally, over a ten-year period from 2010 to 2020, the city experienced debt reduction across all government activities from $163.9 million in 2010 to $108.8 million at the end of 2020. , a decrease of 33.6%.

“What an exciting, proud and relieving feeling to come out of Act 47,” said Reading City Council Chair Johanny Cepeda-Freytiz. “This is a true testament to collaboration, commitment and leadership – our beloved Jeff Waltman must be doing some flips right now. Outstanding credit goes to everyone from Mayor Moran and his administration to the former Board Chairman Jeff Waltman, to current and former Board members, PFM and, of course, to our dedicated and hardworking employees. Today, we, the City, celebrate this major achievement!”

Reading is the ninth municipality under the Wolf administration to recover from distressed status. Prior to Reading, the Borough of Colwyn, Delaware County, was the most recent community to recover, exiting Bill 47 status on April 29, 2022. The City of Scranton, Lackawanna County; Farrell, Mercer County; Plymouth, County of Lucerne; Nanticoke, Luzerne County; Clairton, Allegheny County; Pittsburgh, Allegheny County; and Altoona, Blair County also came out of Bill 47 under the Wolf administration.

The Municipal Financial Recovery Act, Act 47 of 1987, was enacted to provide an extensive program of fiscal management oversight, technical assistance, planning and financial assistance to municipalities in serious financial difficulty.

For more information on Bill 47, visit the Governor’s Center for Local Government Services or DCED website, and be sure to stay up to date with all the news from our agency on Facebook, Twitterand LinkedIn.

Penny Ickes, DCED, [email protected]

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