Atlantic City to Miss Deadline for Dissolving Water Authorityby
Mayor Guardian says city has asked state for reprieve on terms
Casino resort town has until November to develop recovery plan
Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian said his troubled resort town will miss the Sept. 15 deadline to pass a resolution dissolving the water authority, one condition for a $73 million state loan.
Under the terms of the agreement, the state can demand immediate repayment if the city fails to disband the Municipal Utilities Authority. Brian Murray, a spokesman for Governor Chris Christie, didn’t immediately return an e-mail asking for a response to Guardian’s statement.
“We have asked the state for a reprieve on this, because we believe that the MUA will actually be a better part of the overall financial solution if it is kept whole,” Guardian said in a statement e-mailed by spokesman Chris Filiciello. “In the end, we think this will be the best plan to move Atlantic City forward while at the same time maintaining our sovereignty and decision making rights now held by locally elected leaders.”
The city, which has been headed toward insolvency since a third of its casinos closed in 2014, has until November to develop a five-year plan to restore fiscal stability and avoid a state takeover. The state could sell its assets and void or change labor contracts through expansive powers awarded by the legislation and signed by Christie in May.
“Our 150-day plan is moving forward quickly,” Guardian said. “We just need the time to finish the plan and to present it publicly."