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Pittsburgh plans to pave more streets, demolish more buildings in 2019

259016ptrPittsburghSkyline2FILE
Steven Adams | Tribune-Review
The Pittsburgh skyline at sunset on Monday, June 22, 2015

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto on Friday released preliminary general fund and capital budgets for 2019 that maintain the current real estate tax rate and include increased spending on such things as street paving, landslide remediation and demolition of blighted buildings.

Peduto filed a proposed $568 million general fund and $132.9 million capital budget with the Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority — a financial oversight committee created by the state in 2006 to help the city avoid bankruptcy — even though the ICA is by all accounts defunct.

“We’ll see the largest paving budget in Pittsburgh’s history,” Peduto said. “We’re going to be spending over 20 million next year on paving. We’ll be increasing our demolition budget from about $1.7 million to almost $3 million, and there will be about two dozen new positions that will be added. The new positions will mainly be inspectors and people who work with permits.”

Gov. Tom Wolf early this year released the city from financial oversight after 14 years.

Pittsburgh is still required by law to submit annual budgets for ICA approval, but lawmakers haven’t funded the organization since 2017. A law that would terminate the ICA has been stalled for months in Harrisburg.

Budget highlights include:

  • $20.3 million for paving 75 miles of streets.
  • $6 million for landslide remediation.
  • $3.6 million for flood mitigation
  • $3 million for reconstructing the Department of Public Works 4th Division facility in Knoxville. The building was demolished in 2018 because of structural deficiencies.
  • $2.8 million for demolition of vacant and blighted buildings.
  • More than $1 million for redevelopment of the former Thaddeus Stevens Elementary School in Elliott into headquarters for the Bureau of Police Special Deployment Division
  • $1.4 million for design work on the rehabilitation of Willie Stargell Field in Homewood

Peduto will formally introduce the budgets during an annual speech before City Council on Nov. 13. Council has until Dec. 31 to review and vote on them.

Bob Bauder is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Bob at 412-765-2312, [email protected] or via Twitter @bobbauder.

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