Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Council President Calls for Parking Asset Review

Pittsburgh City Council President Darlene Harris has introduced legislation that she hopes will help the council quantify the assets of the Pittsburgh Parking Authority and better understand the long term ramifications of the different options being proposed to use Pittsburgh Parking Authority assets to shore of the city’s pension system. Originally the council was considering a plan put forth by the mayor to lease the assets for 50 years, but last week councilman Patrick Dowd offered up a plan to transfer some of the Parking Authority’s assets directly to the pension fund which would then contract with the Authority for the operation of the garages. Harris is now asking that the council consider the possibility of keeping the assets in place and increase revenue for the city by upping parking rates and fines. This legislation authorizes the Government Finance Officers Association and the Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority to perform a third party review of the options. Other outside organization could also be called in to help but Harris has set a total cost for the review at $50,000. Harris says the council, “needs all the facts” and must “do what is right for the pensioners, residents and those who visit Pittsburgh.”

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