State: Greenville borough is distressed

GREENVILLE, Pa. -- Pennsylvania officials say they believe Greenville qualifies for state aid as a distressed community.
Borough council applied for the distressed community designation earlier this year after learning that it is facing a $1.62 million deficit.
At a public hearing conducted Monday by Fred Reddick from the state Department of Community and Economic Development, borough officials outlined how bad the financial situation is.
Operating money: Borough Manager Kenneth Weaver said the borough has found itself short of operating cash and used funds borrowed for capital improvements to pay borough employees.
Tracy Vale, borough treasurer, said there is only about $5,000 left of the $2.6 million loan.
Former treasurer and present wage tax collector Linda Crisman said that though she prepared monthly financial statements for council members, it appears they never received them. She said she gave them to the borough secretary, who passed them on to the former borough manager. She didn't offer any explanation for council's not having received the statements.
Crisman said that budgets were "thrown together in three or four days," and that the former manager had "total control" over the budget and the capital improvements money, which had been borrowed through the sale of bonds.
Criteria for designation: Michael Foreman from the state's Center For Local Government said meeting any one of 11 criteria can qualify a municipality for distressed community designation. He said Greenville meets four: default of a loan, operating with a deficit for three years or more, expenditures exceeding revenues for three years or more, and operating at a 5 percent deficit for two or more years.

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