Mayor Bill Peduto submits 2019 budgets to Pittsburgh City Council


Gage Goulding

Roberto Clemente bridge with downtown Pittsburgh in the background.

Jess Zaccarelli, Contributor

PITTSBURGH – On Nov. 13, Mayor Bill Peduto brought the 2019 Operating and Capital budget proposals before Pittsburgh City Council. There were no tax increases in the new budget and more spending on priorities such as landslides and flooding, facilities, and paving.

These are the first budgets Mayor Peduto has introduced since the city left Act 47 financially distressed status early in 2018.

The city is expected to have $579,421,038 in revenue next year and $571,531,034 in expenses. The fund balance as a percentage of general fund expenditures is 11.42 percent.

“The fifth budget I’ve presented as mayor continues to cement the city’s long-term financial stability while investing in core services, neighborhood development, infrastructure needs and our hard-working employees,” Mayor Peduto said.

The Operating Budget stresses government efficiency and puts a lot into new staffing needs for the Departments of City Planning, Mobility and Infrastructure, and Permits, Licenses and Inspections. There are also plans for a new, dynamic snow route optimization program, and body-worn cameras for the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police that includes sidearm sensors. Public Safety staffing remains well funded with plans for three police recruit classes and a firefighter recruit class.

Other highlights of the budget include:

  • $20.3 million in street resurfacing – equaling 75 miles of streets – which is the greatest amount Pittsburgh government has spent on paving in memory. Last year the City budgeted $17 million in paving, which was more than double what the City allocated in previous administrations
  • $6.8 million for landslides and slope failure remediation, which more than doubles what was budgeted this year
  • $3.6 million for flood mitigation
  • $3 million for the reconstruction of the Public Works 4th Division facility in Knoxville
  • More than $1 million for the redevelopment of Thaddeus Stevens Elementary School in Elliott into headquarters of the Bureau of Police Special Deployment Division
  • $1.4 million for design work on the reconfiguration of Stargell Field in Homewood
  • Increasing the demolition budget to $3.2 million, which is a $1 million increase over 2018

Discussions about the budgets are scheduled to begin in City Council on Nov. 19. The Council will then hold several budget overview with city departments before holding a tentative line-item vote on Dec. 11. A final vote is expected to take place on Dec. 18.