An event took place Monday night in Scranton to recognize the accomplishments of the greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce, but lately most of the “money talk” in Scranton has been about the troubled state of the city’s finances.
As leaders in Scranton continue to debate how to pay the city bills, residents are running out of patience.
“High taxes, a lot of local businesses closing, it’s just really bad here,” complained Scranton resident Donna Walsh.
Walsh said she’s had just about enough and believes the $16 million budget hole is hurting Scranton’s image.
“Oh definitely, definitely hurts the image of Scranton, yes,” Walsh said.
Without securing a loan to pay essential bills, some city services could come to a grinding halt and leave kids without pools to swim in this summer. That’s something that troubles many residents.
Give them a recreational place to go to hang out and be happy instead of getting in trouble,” said Sturges resident Richele Tomasetta. “It could stop a lot of this abuse and fighting and bullying, keep the pool open, help Scranton.”
The city’s Chamber of Commerce director said the current financial crisis is one that businesses looking to build in the area are aware of but hasn’t damaged the city’s image beyond repair.
“They’re cognizant of what’s going on with the city, what’s going on in all the communities that they invest in,” Austin Burke said. “We find that as long as the community is providing value for the taxes that they’re collecting, as long as they get the services that they need, they figure all of that into their equation.”
City residents are urging leaders to come to an agreement, but some from outside Scranton have yet to notice how this fight is hurting the city.
“I don’t see it,” Carbondale resident Jerry Gravine said. “I think the city’s been looking real nice every time I come down, and I come down a lot.”
Council will meet Thursday to continue to try to sort out the city’s finances.