Sen. Eichelberger Looking at Disincorporation For Some Struggling Municipal Governments

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‘A major change that we hope will happen would be a five-year limit on a community staying in Act 47. This was never intended for communities to stay in it for decades. We are stressing an early intervention program to help them to get in and out,’ Sen. John H. Eichelberger Jr., R-Blair, told members of the Blair County Chamber of Commerce Breakfast Club Thursday at The Casino at Lakemont Park.

Eichelberger, who co-chairs a task force studying reforms to Act 47, which Altoona joined last year, said some municipalities might be dissolved.

‘We will have a couple of municipalities – not Altoona – that are not viable any more. They will be disincorporated, and DCED will work with them and try to merge them with another community,’ Eichelberger said.

Senator Eichelberger probably has in mind disincorporating only municipalities who are taking forever to get out of Act 47, but I would also immediately disincorporate any “donut hole” municipalities – those surrounded on all sides by another municipality. After that we could say any municipality with a population under 5000 people that doesn’t voluntarily merge with a neighbor within 5 years gets disincorporated into its county government. This would eliminate about 78% of PA municipal governments.

(via Walt Frank)

This entry was posted in Budget, Economy, Regional Politics, State Politics.

5 Responses to Sen. Eichelberger Looking at Disincorporation For Some Struggling Municipal Governments

  1. Squarian says:

    On the one hand Eichelberger, in pointing out the absurdity of perpetual Act 47, is only stating the glaringly obvious. On the other hand, any kind of local government consolidation would be great, but since even the most timid step still requires majorities in the General Ass, one might as well begin planning the conquest of the galaxy with our invincible starship armada. Short of the assistance of George Lucas or a coup d’etat, neither will be happening any time soon.

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  3. Simon says:

    So you are suggesting that Pittsburgh and Scranton both be disincorperated? Scranton has been in Act 47 since 1991.

  4. Sure. It’s annexation in reverse. Fold them into surrounding municipalities, broadening the tax base.