She said colleges use far more city services than churches. She said 20 to 30 times each week, police, fire and EMS units go to Muhlenberg College, adding some weeks there are as many as 40 incidents. She added police also are called to city hospitals “to maintain safety and order.”
Bowman said Muhlenberg College does give Allentown money to buy one police car every year. O’Connell estimated that value at $25,000-$30,000
Eichenwald suggested PILOT might be a successful tool to solve Allentown’s multi-million-dollar pension crisis.
Wednesday’s meeting began with a discussion about Brown University in Providence, R.I. “Providence, like all cities, was faced with an enormous pension problem,” said Eichenwald.
She said Providence Mayor Angel Taveras did three things, the first two of which “obviously are not in the purview of this committee”:
He re-evaluated city managerial salaries.
He renegotiated “iron-clad” police and fire pension agreements and got concessions valued at $16 million a year. Eichenwald said City Council repeatedly has been told it is impossible for Allentown to do that.
From Brown University alone, Taveras managed to get a commitment of $30.8 million over 10 years to benefit his city, as well as financial concessions from the University of Providence.
Eichenwald said Brown’s support for Providence shored up the real estate value of the university and increased applications to the university because Providence became a healthier and safer community where more parents would want to send their children.