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Bankrupt Harrisburg {PA} holds Wild West auction (BBC)

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eppur_se_muova Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-16-11 11:27 AM
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Bankrupt Harrisburg {PA} holds Wild West auction (BBC)
By Paul Adams
BBC News, Harrisburg

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania is filing for bankruptcy after years of excess borrowing and spending. Will other American cities be forced to do the same?

They may have other things in common, but right now, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and Jefferson County, Alabama share a dubious distinction.

Both are in the midst of record-breaking financial woes. And just to keep the headline writers happy, both sets of difficulties stem from costly ventures in waste management.

Populous Jefferson County is saddled with more than $4bn (2.4bn) in debt, the bad odour emanating from a sewer project that went awry amid allegations of corruption.

In Harrisburg, a small city of 50,000 people groaning under more than $300m (190m) of debt, the offending project - a waste incinerator - is no less symbolic.
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HopeHoops Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-16-11 11:34 AM
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1. MAJOR correction required: The "bankruptcy" issue is because of the incinerator deal.
Edited on Wed Nov-16-11 11:36 AM by HopeHoops
That just hasn't worked out for any of the parties involved. The state is trying to take over the city but there's still the outstanding bankruptcy petition which won't be resolved for about two months. There are some nasty words being thrown around over this. Overall, the city has not been outlandish in spending. The "offending project" is the major if not sole reason for the problem. And yes, it is only 50K people, but it is also in Dauphin county, which is rather large. There's a horrible mess of fighting between the mayor, city council, county commissioners, the asshole governor, and the state legislature. I have no idea how it will turn out but it's fair to say "not well".

On Edit: the "wild west" artifacts were acquired by former mayor Reed as a pet project. He paid way too much for everything. Overall I would say he was a pretty decent mayor, but not on that issue.
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