Wilkes-Barre In Better Financial Shape Than Last Year

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WILKES-BARRE, PA — More than halfway through the fiscal year the city is in better financial shape compared to the same period in 2012, officials said Friday.

Revenues are up by more than $7 million, largely because of a 25-mill property tax increase and the payment of 2012 wage taxes that had been delayed by problems at CENTAX, the former collection company.  As a result, there are no plans to furlough workers to make up for a revenue shortfall.

“There is no manufactured financial crisis by a collection mishap by a third-party vendor,” said Drew McLaughlin, the city’s municipal affairs manager.  “Revenue projections are holding steady so far, so we are very, very cautiously optimistic in terms of our financial position this year.”

Still, he cautioned things could change should the weather bring on an unpredictable expense caused by flooding from a tropical storm or snow in the winter.  “We’re at the mercy of Mother Nature there and we proceed cautiously,” he said.

Read more: http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news/759265/Wilkes-Barre-in-better-financial-shape-than-last-year

Union Head: Wilkes-Barre Cutting 11 Firefighters

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Wilkes-Barre city will lay off 11 firefighters effective this Saturday, the president of the Wilkes-Barre Firefighters Association said today.

“It feels like I got hit by a truck,” said President Mike Bilski.

Bilski met today with Mayor Tom Leighton, who informed Bilski of the city’s decision.  Bilski said he notified all of his union members.

Leighton has warned of layoffs since October when he asked the city’s nearly 290 employees for voluntary furloughs and retirements.

Read more:  http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/union-head-wilkes-barre-cutting-11-firefighters-1.1410036