Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Mayor Touts City Progress 2013 Budget Proposal Seeks Less for Demolition, Paving, More for Local Improvements

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Mayor Touts City Progress 2013 Budget Proposal Seeks Less for Demolition, Paving, More for Local Improvements

Article excerpt

In what could have passed for a stump speech, Mayor Luke Ravenstahl told city council in his annual budget address Tuesday that Pittsburgh over the past eight years had rebounded from near- bankruptcy to a "period of rebirth and resurgence" that he intends to extend to all 90 neighborhoods.

Mr. Ravenstahl, who faces re-election next year, unveiled a proposed 2013 capital budget of $65 million, including $10 million for street paving, $3 million for demolition of dilapidated buildings and $16 million for neighborhood upgrades such as ball fields, playgrounds and spray parks.

That would be less than the $3.3 million allocated for demolition and $11.4 million allocated for paving this year but more than the $13.6 million allocated for neighborhood improvements this year, according to the city finance department.

The mayor's proposed $470 million operating budget for 2013 includes no tax increase. The operating budget already has been approved by state overseers, though council has not yet begun to debate it. Council likely will amend the operating and capital budgets before adopting the spending plans by Dec. 31.

The annual budget address serves as a kind of state-of-the-city message, and Mr. Ravenstahl used the forum Tuesday to touch on a favorite theme -- how far the city has come since 2003 and 2004, when it cut about a quarter of its work force, reduced services and entered state financial oversight under Act 47.

"Today, however, we've brought the promise back to Pittsburgh," Mr. Ravenstahl said, crediting financial sacrifices that included paying down $250 million of debt.

"Even more impressive," he added, "we did all of this despite a national economic recession."

Mr. Ravenstahl made a similar speech last week during a state hearing to determine whether the city should be released from Act 47 and its designation as a financially distressed municipality. Both addresses reflected the issues that Mr. Ravenstahl likely will make the focus of his re-election campaign. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.