Pittsburgh City Council today delivered a huge setback to Mayor Luke Ravenstahl's plan to lease the city's 12 parking garages and 9,000 meters. The mayor wants to lease the parking assets for 50 years to the joint venture, Pittsburgh Parking Partners for $452 million and use half of that sum to boost the city's pension fund to 50% of its $990 million obligation.
But, Council today voted 6-1 preliminarily against the mayor's proposal. Councilman Patrick Dowd said they didn't kill the mayor's proposal because "it's been dead a long time....The mayor's people have said the clock is ticking so let's get this dead plan off the table and work on viable solutions."
Dowd believes such a solution is selling the parking assets to the Parking Authority for $220 million and using that amount to bring the pension fund up to the 50% threshhold. The state has threatened to take over the pension fund in January unless it has at least 50% of its obligations. Dowd says he believes selling to the Parking Authority and keeping the assets public is a good solution but he is still open to other alternatives.
Dowd says he does not think there will be any switch when a final vote is taken..."I don't believe there will be any change.....I only believe there is one resurrection, and it isn't this bill."