Wolf Administration Announces Colwyn Has Successfully Terminated Distressed Municipality Status Under Act 47

Colwyn is eighth municipality to recover from distressed status under Wolf Administration

Harrisburg, PA – Today, Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Acting Secretary Neil Weaver announced that the city of Colwyn’s status as a distressed municipality under Act 47 is terminated. Colwyn is the 16th municipality to exit the program.

“Colwyn has worked hard over the past seven years to be able to terminate their status as a distressed municipality under Act 47,” said Acting Sec. Weaver. “This is a great accomplishment and is a reflection of the huge effort Colwyn’s community, businesses, and partners have put forth to achieve this goal.”

Acting Secretary 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 due to the Borough’s ability to effectively utilize the tools offered by the Act 47 program to significantly improve its financial position and management infrastructure since entering the program in 2015.

Colwyn, located in Delaware County, was designated as distressed under Act 47 on May 6, 2015. This determination was made after years of ineffective financial management processes and a lack of transparency by elected officials. The Borough had been operating for years without required audited financial statements and basic financial recordkeeping processes. This financial mismanagement left Colwyn in a dire fiscal position.

Since 2015, Colwyn has made huge strides to improve its management practices and fiscal situation. Improvements to Borough management have been significant. DCED funding temporarily supported the Borough Manager position, but thanks to these improvements, the position is now funded by the Borough. Colwyn has engaged third-party support for code enforcement, engineering services, and borough management services. Additionally, the Borough has worked with labor counsel to avoid and successfully defend employee claims.

Colwyn is the eighth municipality under the Wolf Administration to recover from distressed status. Prior to Colwyn, Scranton, Lackawanna County, was the most recent community to recover, exiting Act 47 status on January 25, 2022. The City of Farrell, Mercer County; Plymouth, Luzerne County; Nanticoke, Luzerne County; Clairton, Allegheny County; Pittsburgh, Allegheny County; and Altoona, Blair County also exited from Act 47 under the Wolf Administration.

The Municipalities Financial Recovery Act, Act 47 of 1987, was enacted to provide a broad-based program of fiscal management oversight, technical assistance, planning, and financial aid to municipalities experiencing severe fiscal distress.

For more information on Act 47, visit the Governor’s Center for Local Government Services on the DCED website, and be sure to stay up-to-date with all of our agency news on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Penny Ickes, DCED, dcedpress@pa.gov

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