A $250,000 study commissioned by Pittsburgh Council suggests that the city's parking garages and meters would likely bring in $2.4 billion over the next 50 years. Council, is looking for alternatives to Mayor Luke Ravenstahl's plan to lease the garages and meters for 50 years. The mayor this week unveiled the high bid...$452 million in an upfront payment.
The mayor wants to use $200 million from that payment to bolster the city's sagging pension fund which is at about 28% of the $989 million obligation to workers and retirees. The state has threatened to takeover the pension, meaning higher annual payments by the city, unless the fund is at a minimum of 50% of the obligation by January.
Jeff Andrien, president of Finance Scholars Group which did the study for Council, says the cash value of the city's parking assets depends on how much demand will drop as parking prices increase. Andrien says the total value of the parking assets was put at $401 million. The study did not make any recommendations on whether the city should lease the garages, float a bond to fund the pensions and use parking revenues to pay off the loan, or let the state take over the pension fund.
The mayor wants Council to approve his lease plan by November 1.