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Johnstown preparing recovery plan, still financially distressed
By: WJAC Web Staff
JOHNSTOWN, Pa. --
The city of Johnstown will close out 2013 in the black for the first time in five years and no employee layoffs are projected in next year's budget.
But Johnstown won't be emerging from "financially distressed" status any time soon.
As council and the city's Act 47 coordinator prepare a sixth amended recovery plan for approval, they acknowledge they're still facing major financial issues. Among those issues are population decline, rising real estate taxes, and a concern about union and public safety pension plans.
"They're all underfunded. We hope to figure out a way to get those funding levels up as I say, so we can meet the obligations to our employees, said Jim Roberts, Act 47 coordinator. "If they're on the verge of failing, its the responsibility of City Council and taxpayers to make up that obligation."
Roberts said the situation is fragile enough that even a tough winter could push the city back into the red.
Council is expected to vote on the new recovery plan by the end of October. Stay with 6 News and WJACTV.com for continuing coverage.