By Steve Tawa

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The state agency that monitors the City of Philadelphia’s finances has postponed its vote on whether to approve the city’s five-year financial plan.

The PICA (Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority) board was created in the early 1990s, when the city was flirting with bankruptcy, to ensure that the city’s finances were stable.

During its annual votes since then, the board has yet to reject a five-year plan submitted by the city.  Doing so would trigger a process that could see the city losing $350 million in state funding.

But PICA Board chairman Sam Katz (far end of table, in white shirtsleeves) says he wants more information from the Nutter administration about money the city would have to set aside for unresolved municipal labor contracts.

City finance director Rob Dubow (left side of table, hand covering mouth) says they’ve put that figure at $207 million, but Katz says that “neither the courts nor the negotiating process have yielded a definitive number.”

“If everything turned out badly, what percentage of what that would cost is now in the five-year plan?” Katz wondered.

But PICA board member Greg Rost told Dubow he is satisfied with the city’s previous response.

“I’m reasonably comfortable that you’ve built enough cushion into the five-year plan,” Rost said today.

Other PICA board members had questions about reforming the pension system and about funding for the Philadelphia school district.

Now, the board is expected to vote at its August 20th meeting on whether to approve Philadelphia’s five-year plan.


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