As released by the Office of the Receiver:
William B. Lynch announced today that all parties involved in the incinerator sale have come to a consensus and a deal is imminent. The incinerator with approximately $345 million in debt has long been the focus of Harrisburg’s financial crisis and has had a major impact on the city’s financial wellbeing.
“All the stakeholders involved in the sale of the incinerator are in agreement,” said Lynch. “While they realize this may be an imperfect situation for each of them everyone understands a cooperative solution is most certainly in everyone’s best interests.”
“We are still engaged in ongoing negotiations, but we are very close to having a modification to the court confirmed recovery plan that we can take before Commonwealth Court,” said Lynch.
Lancaster County Solid Waste Management Authority was selected as the sole bidder for the incinerator June 27, 2012 after a stringent screening process with two other companies.
Assured Guaranty Municipal Corp., Dauphin County, CIT, JEM Group and Covanta all have financial claims that must be resolved before Lancaster County Solid Waste Management Authority can purchase the incinerator.
Lynch said the agreed upon solution will involve the sale of the incinerator, lease of parking assets and several other actions that must be approved by Commonwealth Court, but steps remain before a final deal is closed. The sale would be a modification to the Commonwealth Court confirmed Recovery Plan and any deal that is structured must go up for court approval.
“Perhaps most important to the resident of Harrisburg and Dauphin County, the sale will permanently absolve the city of Harrisburg, and the Harrisburg Authority, from any future liability related to the incinerator,” Lynch said. “That is a critical step in helping the city move forward toward long-term recovery.”
The plan will also stabilize the city’s budget through 2016 and include a public/private partnership for the city’s parking assets.“This plan will create important new revenue streams to help the city reduce its structural deficit and spur economic growth,” Lynch said. “The parking agreement may very well become a national model.”
The intent is to file the plan with the Commonwealth Court in late August and unveil it to the public at that time. Closing could occur late this year but negotiations will determine a final timeline. Lynch said he could not provide further details at this time.
“The Fraternal Order of Police set an excellent example with its leadership and we thank them for their service to the city, and note that others need to follow,” said Lynch. “We need to see labor negotiations finalized into agreements. I’m confident this will occur, and I would like to commend everyone involved in what has been a long and difficult process. The sooner we can get the last few pieces of the puzzle in place, the sooner we can get Harrisburg to a point where it has a sustainable and viable future.”