But in terms of daily life for city residents, it hasn't yet closed any sinkholes, stopped buildings from collapsing or re-lit broken city streetlights.
Not yet, anyway.
But some of those tasks may be helped along in the next several years by a pair of little-noted
A task force charged with drawing up the rules for how that money gets spent gave residents a sneak preview of its work Thursday, and its early guiding principles are as follow:
Serving the city as a whole -- Panelists, sensitive to criticism that too much of the past public-funded construction was concentrated in
"The key is to show the community this is not the traditional, good ol' boy get-togethers," said
Matchmaking preferred -- Matching funds are expected to be required for any of the funding awards to ensure the users have the capacity to carry out their projects.
"We want to try to stretch these dollars, and leverage them to the maximum extent that we can," said
Not just for government -- As envisioned, city government can and will likely apply for some of the funding. But panelists said they would like to open the door to community groups and possibly private developers, too.
Residents in attendance Thursday weren't shy about sharing ideas for use of the funds. They ranged from addressing the sinkholes plaguing
But it can provide "valuable seed money," Ford noted, "... to fill in around the edges or make the difference in getting a larger project off the ground."
The task force's immediate responsibility is setting up a nonprofit to administer and allocate the funds so, as city solicitor
In response to questions, it appears so far that the new nonprofit will be staffed by an executive director, with funding decisions made by a board likely to be appointed by the city's Act 47 coordinator.
Grant applications will go through a competitive scoring process, with points awarded for factors like capacity to complete the project; meeting goals like job creation or improving the quality of life in the target area; fitting in with the city's comprehensive plan; and minority-owned business involvement.
The final guidelines, as mandated by the overall debt recovery plan, also would have to pass muster with Commonwealth Court.
The task force is expected to have a more refined proposal ready for a second public input session scheduled for
(c)2014 The Patriot-News (Harrisburg, Pa.)
Visit The Patriot-News (Harrisburg, Pa.) at www.pennlive.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services