Reading city’s distressed municipality status has been terminated as of today, according to the state Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Acting Secretary Neil Weaver.
Reading is the 18th municipality to recover from distressed status — the ninth under the Wolf Administration alone.
“This is a great day for the city of Reading,” said Weaver. “It’s been a decade and a half since Reading was originally designated a financially distressed municipality under Act 47. The hard work of city leaders, the community, local businesses and other partners have helped Reading reach this significant achievement.”
Weaver signed a formal determination letter finding that termination of the city’s distressed status was appropriate under Section 255.1 of Act 47. The decision was made after a thorough review of the city’s audits, financial data, and the record from a public hearing held on May 4, 2022. Weaver was joined by Mayor Eddie Moran, City Council President Johanny Cepeda-Freytiz and other local and community leaders.
“Brighter days for Reading have arrived,” said Morán. “We have demonstrated to our fiscal coordinators, state officials, and most importantly to ourselves that we could do it. Therefore, today Reading stands before everyone with reliable financial stability, an understanding of the best practices that brought us here, and the confidence that we will responsibly administer all available resources for our beautiful city.”
Reading was designated as distressed under Act 47 on Nov. 12, 2009. This determination was made after years of recurring deficits, ineffective financial management practices and unfavorable socio-economic and demographic trends. Since 2009, Reading has made significant strides to improve its management practices and fiscal situation. The city’s annual audits from 2012 through 2020 show operating budget surpluses in six of the past nine years, and it is anticipated that 2021 will also show a surplus.
Additionally, in a ten-year period from 2010 to 2020, the city has had a debt reduction across all government activities from $163.9 million in 2010 down to $108.8 million at the end of 2020 – a 33.6% decrease.