Today, the City of Chester passed an amended financial recovery plan. I quickly read through it to compare it to the old plan.

The new plan is dated August 12, 2016. The original plan is dated July 15, 2016. You literally have to have the two reports side by side to identify the changes.

I estimate that at least 95% of the plan hasn’t changed. The city didn’t compose a newly rewritten report, but they made a few changes to the original report. At a glance, they look identical.

To make it easy for you, I’ve listed the changes I found in the two reports below.

You can read an overview and view the new report on the WHYY site.

The page numbers referred to below are from the July 15th report.

  • Page 17. The city updated the 2016 projected expenses by department function. (If you received this post via email, I wrote that this page didn’t change in the new plan. I was in error and was looking at the old plan).

The following lists the 2016 projected expenses by department based on City of Chester Financial Reports. The first number is what was on the original report, the second number is the changed number in the new report. There’s no mention when the projected expenses changed.

  • Page 21: Elected officials and executives

$645k vs $470k

  • Page 26: Financial Management

$2.8m vs $2.3m

  • Page 33: Infrastructure and Maintenance

$6.9m vs $6.0m

  • Page 35: Fire Department

$8.9m vs $11.7m

  • Page 39: Licenses and Inspections, Health Department, and Housing Division

$2.4m vs $1.5m

  • Page 42: Public Affairs

$2.4m vs $1.8m

  • Page 44: Police Department

$21.9m vs $24.0m

  • Page 50. Implementing a $100,000 electronic parking ticket and fine system will generate an additional $25k in the first year. But, there’s no date when it will be implemented.
  • Page 82. Removed the statement that ‘The table below describes the key statistics for the Police and Non-Uniform pension funds as of January 1, 2015’ because there was no table below.
  • Page 92 corrected the proper table reference for City FTE Position Count to Table 4.4, not 4.5.
  • Page 96 added the word ‘or’ on the final 2 bullet points of what collective bargaining agreements may not contain.
  • Page 105 is an incredible typo that wasn’t caught by the city. ‘On May 9, 2916, the Pennsylvania Humanities Council was awarded….’ Since it doesn’t involve money, I guess we should let it slide.

Pages 116, 118, and 123 are confusing.

  • Page 116 the Earned Income Tax recommendations were increased from the original 2.5% to 2.75% over the next two years; from 2.3% to 2.5% in 2017; and from 2.5% to 2.25% by 2018 and beyond.
  • Page 118, originally listed the numbers the city changed them to on page 116. Now the two pages have the same numbers.
  • Page 123 REV07 originally list a 2.75% resident Earned Income Tax which makes me assume the city corrected the original report to be consistent on Page 116.
  • Page 116, I think they corrected the report which read, ‘Chester estimates Business Privilege Tax revenue of $1.6 million in 2011’ to ‘In 2015, the City collected approximately $1.4 million from BPT.’

Page 130 is where the city states they will centralize the two fire stations to a new fire station with a banquet hall. They have interested investors to purchase the existing two stations. I guess they plan to sell the stations and build a new one later. No mention how much it will cost.

They plan to reassess all properties sold in Chester, inspect commercial properties, and redesign the healthcare plan.

It’s good to see that the city is taking advantage of the leg work Econsult Solutions put into creating the original recovery plan. I expected to see more revisions, but as Councilman Nichols was quoted as saying, they agree with 90% of the plan as is. I’m not sure they’re already performing 50% of the plan, but if they are, the other 50% is well documented.

Tax payers will feel the pinch as a 2.75% resident wage tax is the second highest rate in the state behind Philadelphia at 3.9%. We’ll see how everything else will work out.