Elmwood Park Zoo parking expansion gets go-ahead from Norristown Council

Norristown, Pennsylvania Oscar Gamble The Times Herald March 7, 2019 Finance + Operation

Gordon Mann, of the National Resource Network, presented Council with a five-year financial plan outlining possible ways for the municipality to balance its budget, enhance economic competitiveness and build a solid budgetary foundation for the future.

Mann noted that Norristown has overcome a number of financial hurdles in the last several years by clearing up a six-year backlog of audits, returning to the credit market — with a favorable AA- credit rating — replenishing its fund balance, and embarking on the municipality’s first capital improvement plan.

He also pointed out that the municipality has its challenges, including disproportionally high poverty and low home ownership rates.

The financial plan for Norristown calls for the elimination of structural deficits by 2021, and an increased fund balance of at least 17 percent, with the goal of reaching 25 percent while maintaining the current credit rating and enhancing municipal services and enticing economic development.

To get there, Mann and his team suggested that the municipality look for ways to increase non-tax revenue and curtail spending.

The 94-page document provides a detailed cost/benefit analysis of all municipal expenditures and services and offers suggestions for revision and improvement.