Monday, July 26, 2010

City Council to Sell Free Parking Space on Monopoly Board

In preliminary meetings today, Pittsburgh City Council tentatively agreed to sell the Free Parking space on its monopoly board in order to pay for incurred pension liabilities.

Councilman Doug Shields, who chairs the Committee on Land Use and Economic Development, said that the decision was a hard one, but needed to be done.

"For years, we've had this asset sitting there and no one really knows what to do with it. Most people just pass by it to get to Kentucky Avenue in Shadyside, or on their way to S. Atlantic Avenue in Friendship. It's there and we need to do something with it."

The Free Parking fund has been historically underfunded and has been the subject of debate between council and previous administrations. Former mayor Tom Murphy had long diverted payments of fees and taxes into development funds, while council had mandated that those payments go directly into the Free Parking fund. During the brief O'Connor administration, the Mayor sided with Council, and this arrangement has not been changed.

The Murphy Administration also sold the City of Pittsburgh waterworks to the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority, in order to develop both the Park Place area of Point Breeze and to fund a pedestrian boardwalk along the North Shore. Rents in those areas have quadrupled since the development of two new hotels.

R.U. Pennybags of Parker Bros. L.P., a financial consulting firm, said that the move is shrewd, but involves some risk.

"Basically, the City Council is offering an outside agency the opportunity to collect fees for the City. Ironically this would be more in line with the Murphy arrangement, than Council's. Still, there may be push back from citizens who have been dreaming for a home on Pennsylvania Avenue and are counting a roll of the dice to get some extra funds. The Mayor will have to explain why these people won't be able to afford a place for their Scotch Terrier, to hang their hat, or for their oversized boot."

Final passage of the bill is expected next week after the Mayor passes "Go" and collects his salary.


In other news, former Councilwoman Twanda Carlisle has successfully thrown her third set of doubles, and will be released to a halfway-house on Baltic Avenue in Arlington.


Bram Reichbaum said...

Free Parking bonuses are an abomination.

Anonymous said...

Only if YOU don't get the $$$!!!

red pen mama said...

Oh my gosh. I have to start reading this blog more regularly. LOL doesn't even cover it.