HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM)– Mayor Wanda Williams gave her State of the City address on Wednesday, highlighting what’s to come now that Harrisburg is free of debt.
Williams gave her second State of the City address to local business leaders and elected officials, but it was the first time in decades the city is debt free after making a final payment of $8,300,000 in March.
“One year ago today on this stage, I promised we would be debt-free in 2023, and look where we are today,” Williams said.
Freeing up more money for other projects.
“We’re upgrading our streets, 20 this year, 20 next year, and putting money into residents who may need help with utility bills,” Williams said. “We’re taking the money to put in our parks and recreation, which we need.”
Williams also called on building developers for more affordable housing, especially for seniors.
“We also need to look at market rate as well because we don’t want to concentrate on just one area, we want people to understand that we’re not just doing affordable housing, we want developers to come in and do market rate,” Williams said.
While city improvements are in the works, Williams acknowledged none of that matters if Harrisburg isn’t a safe place to live.
Harrisburg Police Commissioner Thomas Carter says police have taken more than 170 guns off the street, and shooting deaths are down compared to a year ago.
“I would like to see them go down further,” Carter said.
Carter is hoping funding and new technology can help. Mirrored after York Cty, Harrisburg will use a $500,000 grant to employ group violence intervention, a partnership of law enforcement, community, and social service providers.
“The whole idea is to bring people where they’re at to move them over here so that Harrisburg is a safer place,” Carter said.
The department also plans to roll out shot spotter technology to better detect where shots are fired.
“It narrows down to a very small area and shot spotters is good, excellent technology but we still need the cooperation of the people,” Carter said.
Mayor Williams also gave an update on the Broad Street Market the temporary tent is expected to open in October.