By: Sean M. Guay
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania – Communications Director Matt Maisel announced that Harrisburg’s 25-year historic debt has been cleared following an $8.4 million payment on Friday.
The debt problems in the City of Harrisburg have made national headlines for decades. And although the historic debt has now been cleared, residents are skeptical that it will improve their life in Harrisburg where crime is rampant and the public school system has failed.
During a July 2021 city council meeting, City Council Vice President Ben Allatt, who was also the finance chair, said funds from the American Rescue Plan Act will likely be used to reimburse the city for qualified COVID-related expenses, thus making debt pay-off possible by freeing up money in the city’s general fund balance. In a subsequent media interview, Allatt told The Epoch Times, “It is a priority to pay off the debt.”
But Maisel today insisted that is NOT the case. When asked today about the prospect of COVID relief money being used to indirectly pay off old city debt, according to Maisel, “No. Most of the ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) money has not been approved by council and none of the ARPA money is going to paying off debt related to this.”