(CHESTER, PA) – On Thursday during the City of Chester’s Act 47 public hearing, the Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development (DCED) announced a financial aid package that has been approved under the provisions of the Municipalities Financial Recovery Act.
The financial aid package will include a $588,000 grant and a $2 million loan. In a letter addressed to Mayor Thaddeus Kirkland, details of the loan were highlighted. A portion of the loan will have to be repaid to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania by the summer of 2017. A second, interest-free portion of the loan will be repaid over a ten-year period.
“This shows the trust that the state has in our ability to successfully execute the Recovery Plan and move our city’s finances in a positive trajectory,” said Mayor Thaddeus Kirkland.
“Our goal is to exit Act 47 by the state mandated deadline while also meeting and exceeding our financial obligations to run and strengthen our city. Council and I have been implementing the changes outlined in the Recovery Plan and will continue to make decisions that are in the best interest of a future financially self-sufficient, thriving city. ”
The loan monies will ensure that the city is able to address all immediate financial obligations, including but not limited to paying vendors, meeting payroll and addressing citywide maintenance concerns. The Amended Act 47 Recovery Plan outlined exact specifics for the grant. “The grant will cover costs associated with developing secure financial resources and streamlines for the City of Chester,” stated Chief Financial Officer Nafis Nichols. “That includes paying for the CFO and Deputy CFO’s salaries, covering the costs associated with the capital improvement plan and the purchase of handheld devices for the Chester Police Department and Bureau of Health—to assist with our code enforcement efforts.”