HARRISBURG (CBS) – As Pennsylvania’s state government wrestles with budget challenges, the commonwealth’s capital city is having an even tougher time.

The mayor of Harrisburg has announced plans to seek a ‘distressed city’ designation from the state, under a law known as Act 47.

The capital city has been pulled under financially mostly by massive debt associated with its trash incinerator. Bankruptcy is one option that’s been advocated by some, but one that Governor Rendell hopes can be avoided:

“For the city of Harrisburg to declare bankruptcy and go into Chapter Nine, would a have a debilitating effect on its future viability as a city, on the future viability of a lot of central Pennsylvania cities and really, on the future viability of municipalities all over the commonwealth. It would be disastrous.”

The ‘distressed city’ status would get the state involved in planning Harrisburg’s recovery and would make the city eligible for state loans and grants.

Reported By: Tony Romeo, KYW Newsradio

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