As Scranton Parking Garage Costs Soar, Demolition An Option

Maintaining Scranton’s five parking garages would cost $26 million over 40 years, while demolishing one or two of the older structures that need significant repairs could drop that figure substantially, according to a new analysis.

A June 3 report by Chicago-based consultant Desman Design Management titled “Parking System Due Diligence Market and Revenue Analysis” is the latest step in Mayor Bill Courtright’s plan to unload the Scranton Parking Authority’s five parking garages — Medallion, Casey, Connell, Electric City and Linden.

The aim is to “monetize” through privatization, either leasing or selling, the authority’s underused, high-debt parking garages that have 2,659 spaces, as well as the 1,479 city-owned parking meters. The goal is to reduce the amount of SPA debt the city guarantees and covers in annual bailouts.

The authority retained Desman to assemble various elements of the parking system for evaluation by potential bidders on a lease or sale.

Read more:  http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/as-scranton-parking-garage-costs-soar-demolition-an-option-1.1896326

Innovative Columbia Borough Digester Plan Gets $1.7M In State Funding

Columbia Borough’s plan to develop what’s believed to be the first biogas production site of its kind in Pennsylvania has gotten crucial state support.

The Commonwealth Financing Authority last week approved a $1.7 million funding package for the venture, which could cost up to $3.5 million.

The state package consists of a $1,449,952 loan and a $300,000 grant from the authority’s Alternative and Clean Energy program.

Columbia Borough intends to build an anaerobic digester at its wastewater treatment plant that would use food waste, delivered by truck from area food-processing plants and other sources.

Read more:

http://lancasteronline.com/business/local_business/innovative-columbia-borough-digester-plan-gets-m-in-state-funding/article_c2be3eb2-fe26-11e4-a8aa-77ab18e7e403.html

Scranton Mayor: City Solid, Getting Stronger

In his first “State of the City” address since taking office 16 months ago, Scranton Mayor Bill Courtright delivered a hopeful, optimistic speech Friday at the Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce.

Describing the state of the city as “solid and getting stronger every day,” Mr. Courtright said initiatives he, his administration and council are pursuing have the city turning the corner on decades of financial distress, mistakes and “embarrassments” of the past.

“In just over a year, we’ve been able to tell a different story about Scranton. A story of hope and optimism, backed up by real progress,” Mr. Courtright said.

For example, plans to unload the Scranton Parking Authority’s high-debt and under-used garages are advancing and going better than expected, he said, as the city met this week with six firms interested in acquiring them. The goal is to complete a transaction by the end of the year. Another goal is “responsible monetization” of the Scranton Sewer Authority through a sale or lease that this agency is pursuing.

Read more: http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/scranton-mayor-city-solid-getting-stronger-1.1873948

Montgomery County Officials Release Parkhouse Documents; RFP Shows Intent To Build On Site

Location of Upper Providence Township in Montg...

Location of Upper Providence Township in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Norristown, PA — Montgomery County officials have released Mid-Atlantic Health Care’s response to the Request for Proposal to purchase and take over the Parkhouse geriatric facility in Upper Providence Township.

The response was released after The Times Herald submitted a Right To Know request with the county asking for the document.

According to the response to the RFP, which is dated July 12, 2013, Mid-Atlantic Health Care did have intentions of developing part of the land involved in the sale.

“MAHC proposes to purchase all land, facilities, and operations on the 288 acre campus for a total of $35,000,000. While we have not finalized our plans for the additional land, we have had preliminary discussions with the Einstein Health System to participate in this project. Further, we are also speaking with Ganas Development (which is led by Dr. Elliot Menkowitz), and The Sukonik Building Companies to develop a comprehensive development strategy,” the response states.

Read more:  http://www.timesherald.com/general-news/20140214/montgomery-county-officials-release-parkhouse-documents-rfp-shows-intent-to-build-on-site

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Michigan To Appoint Emergency Fiscal Manager For Detroit

English: City seal of Detroit, Michigan.

English: City seal of Detroit, Michigan. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

DETROIT — Gov. Rick Snyder of Michigan announced on Friday that the city of Detroit is so snarled in financial woes that the state must appoint an emergency manager to lead it out of disaster.

“There is probably no city that is more financially challenged in the entire United States.  If you look at the quality of services for citizens it’s ranked among the worst.  So we went from the top to the bottom over the last 50 or 60 years,” Mr. Snyder told Detroiters in a town-hall-style meeting that was broadcast live on local television stations across the city.

“It’s time to say we should stop going downhill,” he said.  “There have been many good people that have had many plans, many attempts to turn this around, they haven’t worked.  The way I view it, today is a day to call all hands on deck.”

The state-appointed manager, who could be selected later this month, would ultimately wield powers aimed at swiftly turning around the municipal government’s dire circumstances — powers to cut city spending, change contracts with labor unions, merge or eliminate city departments, urge the sale of city assets and even, if all else failed, to recommend bankruptcy proceedings.

Read more:  http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/02/us/michigan-appoints-emergency-manager-for-detroit.html?hp&_r=0