Harrisburg, Pa., officials have requested three banks vying for a tax and revenue anticipation note to submit "best and final" offers, according to the city's financial coordinator.
The updated offers from Metro Bank, Mid Penn Bank and M&T Bank Corp. will help address issuance cost matters, Fred Reddig said Tuesday in his fourth report to the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania.
Reddig, an official with the state Department of Community and Economic Development, has been Harrisburg's coordinator for the past year under the state's workout program for distressed communities, known commonly as Act 47. His periodic reports are part of the city's recovery plan, which Commonwealth Court Justice Bonnie Brigance Leadbetter approved in September 2013.
The city expects to award the TRAN in January.
The City Council must then approve it, though council approval is not a given, because Harrisburg had a cash balance of $4.5 million as of Dec. 18 and some factions in Pennsylvania's 49,000-population capital worry about returning to the capital markets so soon after the city's brush with bankruptcy.
Bond financing overruns to an incinerator retrofit project accounted largely for the city's financial woes. The recovery plan, called Harrisburg Strong, erased $600 million of debt through the sale of the city incinerator to neighboring Lancaster County and the long-term lease of parking assets from the city and the Harrisburg Parking Authority to the Pennsylvania Economic Development Financing Authority.
It also included a four-year balanced budget and various measures intended to regain confidence within the capital markets.
"The TRAN will provide stop-gap funding in the event revenues are inadequate to deal with cash-flow needs until received," said Reddig. "The TRAN process and restoring credibility in the financial marketplace is a very positive step in the city's recovery."
Last year, only Metro Bank bid on the TRAN. Two years ago, no bank stepped up.
Harrisburg is also finally up to date with its audits and has targeted completion of the 2014 audit by June 30. City auditing firm Maher Duessel completed its work on the 2013 audit and presented it to the city's audit committee on Dec. 16.
"The audit reflects the fact that after many years of negative fund balances, the city began 2014 with the debt and cumulative negative fund balances behind it," said Reddig.