Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, no longer needs receiver -judge

Tue Feb 25, 2014 7:21pm EST

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Feb 25 (Reuters) - Harrisburg, Pennsylvania's struggling capital city, has recovered enough financially to no longer need its state- appointed receiver, a judge said on Tuesday.

Judge Bonnie Leadbetter signed an order terminating the receivership. The move was expected, and Governor Tom Corbett had stripped funding for the position from his budget proposal for fiscal 2015.

City and county leaders are expected to join Corbett on Wednesday to announce the end of the receivership.

"This is a development of monumental importance for the people of Harrisburg and for the city's future," said Mayor Eric Papenfuse in a statement.

City leaders put Harrisburg into bankruptcy in 2011 after repairs to a troubled trash incinerator saddled the city with a mountain of debt. But the bankruptcy case was quickly thrown out after state lawmakers barred it.

Receiver William Lynch helped shepherd through a recovery plan that included the sale of nearly $289 million of parking revenue bonds as part of a deal to lease public parking garages, lots and metered spaces.

Additional bonds were also issued in connection with the sale of the incinerator.

The state will continue to oversee the city's recovery. But with the major components of the plan in place, the receivership is no longer needed and will be terminated as of March 1, the judge found, according to local media reports.

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