The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

December 20, 2012

Johnstown gets more company on distressed-city list

Associated Press

ALTOONA — Altoona City Council has approved an Act 47 recovery plan which is designed to prevent the city from running out of money next summer and, eventually, will leave the city with a $2 million surplus instead of a $10 million deficit by 2016.

Johnstown has been on the distressed-cities list for more than 20 years.

Councilman Mike Haire cast the lone vote against the plan enacted under a law designed to help financially distressed municipalities. Haire says he doesn’t believe union workers will sit still for a three-year wage freeze that’s set to kick in when contracts expire in 2014.

The plan allows the city to raise earned income tax rates for residents as well as commuters who live elsewhere but work in the city.

Officials say the plan is needed because they had run out of short-term financial fixes.


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