MAYOR RAVENSTAHL SUBMITS 2011 BUDGET AND UPDATED FIVE-YEAR PLAN TO ICA
Budget reflects $451 million cash infusion from parking plan that prevents state takeover of pension fund, layoffs and service cuts
(PITTSBURGH) Sept. 22 Mayor Luke Ravenstahl today submitted his proposed FY 2011 Operating Budget and updated Five-Year Financial Plan to the Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority (ICA). The $453.4 million budget, with expenditures of $447.4 million, reflects a strong financial footing in the near and long term with the public-private partnership lease of the City’s parking system.
Through a highly competitive process, the City received a high bid of $451.7 million for an operator to lease the City’s parking system. That bid was $120 million more than what the City needs to bolster the pension fund and prevent the state from taking it over. In addition, the best and final offer round resulted in a $40 million increase in the upfront payment. “Through a careful, deliberative and highly competitive process, we know that we can receive a $451 million opportunity that allows us to address our City’s pension problem and overcome one of the largest hurdles that prevents us from reaching fiscal solvency,” Ravenstahl said. “We learned Monday that this plan gets us above and beyond what we need to prevent a state takeover without cutting employees or services, and adding more debt or taxes on the backs of our residents.”
With the successful partnership, the budget and updated plan continues to utilize a pay-as-you-go capital improvement program for the fifth year in a row. In addition, the City reduced its operating costs by eliminating vacancies and creating operational efficiencies. The 2011 estimated operating budget is $5 million less than the 2010 estimated operating budget; $212.6 million to $207.6 million, respectively.
With the exception of operating costs, the City’s top expenditures include employee pension and benefits costs, totaling $133 million, and debt-service costs, totaling $88 million.
The City must submit its budget to the ICA 100-days before Dec. 31. The ICA has 30 days to request changes to the Mayor’s budget before he presents it to Council on Nov. 8.
The budget may be viewed at www.mayor.pittsburghpa.gov
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