Money, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from Janeen’s photostream

Settlement still requires ICA board approval

PITTSBURGH, PA (August 10, 2016) Attorneys for the City of Pittsburgh and the Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority have reached a tentative settlement on the release of $18.19 million in outstanding gaming funds to the City, accompanied by the City dropping its lawsuit against the Authority.

If approved by the ICA board, the settlement calls for the Authority to distribute the funds to the City in two payments. One payment of $7.03 million will be issued to the City for a supplemental payment above the Minimum Municipal Obligation (MMO) due to the City’s pension fund. Another payment of $11.16 million will be distributed directly to the pension fund above the amounts contributed by the City in its 2016 budget.

Under a 2004 state law, the ICA distributes $10 million in gaming funds annually to the City after it submits approved annual and five-year spending plans. The outstanding $18.19 million covers gaming funds from 2014 and 2015; the Authority already distributed $2.9 million of the funds in January 2016.

The board has announced the scheduling of special meeting next week on the proposed settlement, to be held at 5 p.m., Tuesday, August 16, in City Council Chambers.

The City filed a lawsuit against the ICA in July 2015 seeking the release of the outstanding gaming funds. The draft settlement requires the City to withdraw the suit within three days after receiving the outstanding $18.19 million.

The settlement follows legislation signed into law July 20 by Gov. Tom Wolf bringing reforms and transparency to ICA practices.

“Now that this legal matter is nearly over, the City and its partners in the ICA and the Capitol can get back to work on something we all agree on – the importance of finally bringing Pittsburgh back to financial health. We’re not there yet, but working together the next few years we can get there,” Mayor William Peduto said.

The bipartisan legislation signed by Gov. Wolf calls for the ICA to be terminated when the state mandates the City is no longer financially distressed under Act 47, or by June 30, 2019, whichever comes later.

The bill also requires the ICA to post audits, contracts and other documents on its website. The Peduto Administration intends to ask the ICA board to post all public documents in its possession going back to the authority’s creation in 2004. The City would post all its own public documents as well.