Members of Pittsburgh City Council want more information before deciding whether the Bakery Square Project in East Liberty should get more money. Project managers are asking for a $4 million grant from the city's Urban Redevelopment Authority to build a private parking garage. Some City Council members say developers have already received tax incentives for a garage. But Councilman Ricky Burgess says the vote to recommit legislation authorizing the city to apply for state Redevelopment Assistance Capital funds, which were already approved by the governor and the U.R.A. board, amounts to playing politics. Councilman Patrick Dowd moved to recommit the bill, and have URA representatives come in for questioning to see how the money would be used. Council voted 6-3 for a recommitment, with Councilors Ricky Burgess, Tonya Payne, and Jim Motznik voting against it.
Councilman Bill Peduto says the Bakery Square Revelopment Project received a $10 million tax increment financing package (TIF) in December 2007. Peduto says half of that money was specifically to go to building a garage. “I have a general rule. You get one cookie out of the cookie jar. You don’t get two,” he says. He supports recommitting because he has many questions to ask the URA in reference of the TIF that was granted.