Harrisburg mayor wants to do more with proposed budget

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Mayor Eric Papenfuse presented City Council a balanced $65 million budget for 2017 at Tuesday’s meeting.

He said the city continues to move forward financially and it has a $12 million surplus. He would like half of the money used for infrastructure improvements.

“Such things like a new roof over our head, improvements to buildings, and maybe a new facility for our public works department,” he said.

Papenfuse says the increase in the local services tax should generate more than $5.6 million for the city in 2017. He says the jump was necessary to help make up for the parking lot revenue that didn’t meet projections.

The mayor says the city needs to look at the big picture and take steps to make sure they get out of Act 47 on time.

“The taxing authority that we have in Act 47 disappears when we leave Act 47,” he said, “so our means of addressing that are adopting our own charter, which will allow us to do it by right or getting the state legislature to change the law.”

Also at the meeting, Papenfuse said his internal investigation found Harrisburg police officer Tony Elliot used justifiable force when he shot and killed Earl Pinkney. Investigators say Pinckney was holding a knife to his mother’s throat when the officer fired one shot.

Papenfuse says he wants to spend money on Tasers and other equipment to give officers more non-lethal options going forward.

Under his proposed budget, the mayor wants to spend about $80,000 on body cameras in 2017 to help build trust with the public.

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