Pennsylvania's capital city, Harrisburg, is seeking qualified firms to appraise city property that could generate money through a potential sale or lease and help pay down its debts.

Possible assets include City Island, an island park in the Susquehanna River, and the sports facilities located on the island.

Other assets are the National Civil War Museum, parking facilities and the land underneath those structures, the water utility system, the sewerage utility system, and Broad Street Market, which houses nearly 40 vendors of locally grown produce and meat. It is the oldest continuously operated farmer's market in the country.

Harrisburg's financial crisis stems from debt it issued for an incinerator facility. The city-owned facility is not mentioned as a potential asset in the request for proposals.

The RFP states that the city will provide a more detailed list of assets when the appraisal contract is executed.

The city has not paid debt service on $282 million of outstanding incinerator debt that it guarantees. Assured Guaranty Municipal Corp., the insurer of most of the debt, and co-guarantor Dauphin County, where Harrisburg is located, have been making payments to bondholders.

Submissions are due by July 16 and the city will hold a pre-bid conference in City Council chambers on July 8.

The RFP follows a recent meeting earlier this month when Gov. Edward Rendell appeared before the City Council and urged its seven members to move quickly on a plan to lease city assets rather than declaring bankruptcy or seeking state oversight through its distressed municipality program, called Act 47.

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