Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, which has missed $6 million in debt payments since Jan. 1, should consider Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection, City Controller Dan Miller told a three-hour special committee hearing today.
Miller, the first of four people to testify in an "informational session" on insolvency convened by Gloria Martin-Roberts, council president, said bankruptcy would offer Harrisburg relief from $68 million in debt-service payments the city faces this year in connection with a waste-to-energy incinerator project. Martin-Roberts opposes bankruptcy.
Harrisburg, the capital of Pennsylvania, the sixth-most populous U.S. state, has guaranteed payments on $282 million in bonds on the incinerator operated by the Harrisburg Authority. The payments due on the bonds and a working capital loan this year are four times the amount the city collects in property taxes each year, according to the city budget.