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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: January 23, 2018 04:10 PM
From: Representative Dom Costa and Rep. Harold A. English
To: All House members
Subject: Legislation to provide for voluntary municipal dissolution in counties of the second class.

In the near future, I intend to introduce a bill which would provide for the voluntary dissolution of municipal corporations (cities, boroughs, towns, & townships) within counties of the second class (Allegheny) and the substitution of an unincorporated districts as a new form of government to be administered by the county.
Under the bill, the process of dissolution would be initiated by the governing body of the municipal corporation through passage of a non-binding resolution to engage in talks with the county over a period of six months during which they would develop a proposed essential services-transition plan as part of an intergovernmental cooperation agreement. Such plan would be subject to public meetings in the community and would have to be voted on by the governing body of the municipal corporation as well as the county council.
Should both the municipal corporation and county governing bodies approve the plan, a referendum would be held. If approved by the electors of the municipal corporation, a six-month winding down of the affairs of the municipal corporation would begin. At the conclusion of this period, an unincorporated district administered by the county would go into effect and the essential services-transition plan would become an official ordinance of the county.
Expansive powers would be provided to the county to administer and manage such a district. The county would also retain the tax levying power and authority to assess fees and service charges previously authorized to that particular class of municipal corporation. All taxes and fees levied within the service district would have to be used for the benefit of the district.

Finally, the bill provides for the potential merger and consolidation of the unincorporated district with another municipal corporation or would permit the district to re-incorporate itself as another type of municipal corporation in accordance with the existing municipal codes applicable to such entities.
This legislation was carefully crafted with input from the staff of the bicameral/bipartisan Local Government Commission and I feel confident that it represents a unique voluntary agreement between municipalities – one in which a given city, borough or township would be able to ensure a more efficient and effective delivery of services to their residents while retaining their municipal identity.
I hope you will consider co-sponsoring this forward-thinking legislation.

Introduced as HB2122