Altoona's Act 47 coordinator expects to hold a non-mandated public meeting to gather information from residents around the second week of October, City Manager Joe Weakland said Tuesday.
Stevens & Lee had previously indicated the meeting would be held earlier, but had pushed back the meeting date several times, Weakland said.
The meeting will give residents an opportunity to suggest what should go into the plan the consultant is drawing up to bring Altoona out of financial distress.
Stevens & Lee has been working on the recovery plan since early June, after being hired by the state Department of Community and Economic Development.
The department still has not signed a contract with the company, but the company has been working on the plan based on an emergency purchase order, DCED spokesman Steve Kratz said.
The contract should be executed "in the next week or two," Kratz said.
The company is working with the city to coordinate the creation of the plan with the city's budget, Kratz said.
City officials, in recent months, have wondered whether that would happen and have expressed worries that the plan would call for changes that City Council would not have time to put into the budget - or the legal authority to establish after the first of next year.
But that should not be a problem, Kratz said.
"There will be no holdup in incorporating the fiscal recovery plan into the budget process for the upcoming year," he said.
Weakland said city and S&L officials are trying to "figure out a way around the problem."
"I'm hoping it's workable," he said.
Among potential issues: a requirement for a mandated public meeting on the plan, coupled with a waiting period, deadlines for adopting the budget and the presumed need to adopt taxation changes that would be permitted in the plan before the end of the year.
By state law, council can't reopen the budget after the first of the year, because it's not an election year, and there are no new members coming on council.
Weakland said he had no estimated time of arrival for the plan, but that an ETA was "close."
Mirror Staff Writer William Kibler is at 949-7038.