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Farrell steps out of "distressed community" program after 32 years

Farrell steps out of "distressed community" program after 32 years
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    The city of state champions
    showed its willingness to work
    toward a goal in
    another way today.
    Farrell has a great heritage
    which had been clouded since
    1987.
    The city entered a state program
    while Ronald Reagan was
    president which called
    it a distressed community. Today
    -- it left the program.
    Another important moment of
    pride for the city of Farrell.
    NAT SOUND signing of document
    "IT'S DONE"
    The state signed the paperwork
    to release the city from Act 47
    after 32-years.
    36:50 :07 DENNIS DAVIN THEY'VE
    TAKEN SOME REALLY
    DIFFICULT STEPS TO GET THEIR
    FINANCIAL HOUSE IN ORDER AND
    IT'S
    NOT EASY. Farrell was
    Pennsylvania's first
    city in Act 47, shortly after
    Sharon Steel had huge layoffs.
    Today, it became the fifteen to
    exit the program for the state's
    economically
    distressed communities. 31:42
    :08 OLIVE MCKEITHAN
    I HAVE TO SAY WE'VE COME A LONG
    WAY. AND IT IS A WAY TO GET
    THE STIGMA OFF THE COMMUNITY.
    Farrel changed course to avoid
    catastrophe. The police
    department left a regional
    force, saving money. The city
    uses part-time firefighters,
    many of
    them also work in the street
    department. A lot of city
    employees didn't get pay raises,
    lost sick and vacation time, but
    the city's finances improved.
    31:51 :10 OLIVE MCKEITHAN I
    THINK WITHOUT BE A DISTRESSED
    COMMUNITY. WE WILL GET MORE
    BUSINESSES. NOBODY WANT TO COME
    TO A DISTRESSED COMMUNITY THAT'S
    DOWN AND OUT.
    One change moving forward is the
    city has to drop its higher
    wage tax rate for non-
    residents. It brought in
    600-thousand dollars a
    year, and the city has been
    making budgets anticipating the
    loss of the money.
    35:51 :13 MIKE CECI WE'VE SET A
    HIGH BAR FOR
    OURSELVES IN TERMS OF PROVIDING
    GREAT SERVICES
    WHETHER IT BE POLICING AND
    PLOWING THE STREETS AND FIRE
    SERVICES. WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO
    CONTINUE TO DO THAT WITHOUT THE
    SAFETY NET OF THOSE ADDITIONAL
    NON RESIDENT INCOME TAX
    DOLLLARS.
    The state will continue to
    assist Farrell with grants,
    loans and tax credits --
    to help rebuild the city.
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