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Rankin leaves state's Act 47 program

Rankin leaves state's Act 47 program
Rankin leaves state's Act 47 program 01:50

RANKIN, Pa. (KDKA) — A small town just had a big accomplishment.

Since 1989, Rankin Borough has been considered a distressed town, which means it was unable to pay its bills without help from the state. But this week, that became a thing of the past.

The Shapiro administration announced Rankin has formally exited distressed municipality status, becoming the 23rd municipality in Pennsylvania to do so.

"We have proven that we are able to sustain ourselves for the next five years. Our financials are doing really good," Mayor Joelisa McDonald told KDKA-TV.

Under Act 47, the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development provides financial assistance to towns with distressed status. Mayor McDonald said the borough has been digging itself out of debt for the past five years.

"There's definitely some budget cuts that happened. We introduced a health and safety fee that helped put our budget in a surplus," said McDonald.

Nothing is official but the mayor said the borough plans to save even more money by regionalizing its police department.

"Right now, Rankin, North Braddock and East Pittsburgh are looking to regionalize," the mayor said. "A lot of people are looking to us for its success, and I am definitely committed to seeing it all the way through."

According to the mayor, now that the borough is no longer in financial distress, it can now put a bigger emphasis on other projects like renovating its former public school into a community center, upgrading its ballpark and attracting more businesses.

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