PITTSBURGH, PA (November 14, 2016) – Mayor William Peduto presented a $539.3 million 2017 Operating Budget to Pittsburgh City Council today that keeps the City on its long term path to fiscal responsibility, while enhancing core services and making investments in infrastructure needs.
The budget funding for more public safety personnel, more street paving, and changes to City departments to make them more efficient and accountable to Pittsburgh residents.
“With this budget, the light is on the horizon. The continued patience and hard work of city residents and workers is paying off, and Pittsburgh remains on a responsible path that looks to take us out of fiscal oversight in two years,” Mayor Peduto said.
The 2017 Operating and Capital Budgets are similar to those submitted to the Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority in September, and which received conditional approval from the ICA last month. City Council will hold hearings on the budget and by law must approve it by the end of December.
Public safety staffing is a core part of the 2017 annual spending plan. It will allow us to achieve fully authorized strength (not counting recruits still in training), the highest staffing level since 2002; allow for one Firefighter and two Police recruit classes; and bring on 20 Emergency Medical Technicians to help reduce paramedic overtime and increase response times.
Capital improvements featured in the 2017 budget include:
- $15.1 million for street resurfacing and $12.6 million for facility improvements including critical public safety facilities
- Efforts to increase operation efficiency, including continued rollout of DPW’s use of trash can sensors for plotting trash pickup routes;
- $2.2 million for the installation of a computerized station alerting system for Fire and EMS stations that will reduce the impacts of the stress of listening to radio traffic and increase performance by making the dispatch process more efficient through automation;
- Activation buttons for lighting at Citiparks sports court facilities (hockey, basketball, tennis), promoting electricity conservation and improved quality of life in residential areas near facilities;
- Allocation of $100,000 to add inclusive and accessible playground equipment to various locations;
- A $100,000 grant for the development of a comprehensive strategy and the prioritization of city step maintenance.
The Operating Budget includes the creation of the Department of Mobility and Infrastructure to improve the planning, financing and implementation of transportation projects citywide, to strengthen the coordination of all mobility initiatives, and to develop and execute a long-term vision for smart transportation in the city.
Like the budgets submitted to the ICA in September, the plans delivered to City Council today follow six key elements:
Reinforce the city’s commitment to achieving the primary objectives of the Act 47 Recovery Plan through efforts including:
- Eliminating the operating deficits in the baseline multi-year financial projection while preserving core municipal services;
- Gradually reducing the city’s debt burden to provide more resources to support daily operations;
- Keeping the city’s fund balance at an appropriate level to avoid the need for cash flow borrowings and provide an adequate buffer against unanticipated revenue shortfalls or expenditure increases;
- Gradually increasing the city’s pension fund contributions to the levels recommended by its actuary.
Provide a fiscally responsible path to address legacy costs and position the city for long-term financial stability through:
- Continued efforts to reorganize city government and improve the delivery of core services with only 3,131 General Fund positions, which is 31 fewer positions than the 2014 Budget submitted prior to the Peduto administration taking office;
- Allocating an additional $203 million to the pension fund over five years beyond the state mandated minimum municipal obligation (MMO);
- Reducing the city’s debt burden from 18% of general fund expenditures in 2014 to 9.7% in 2021;
- Continuing to add $2.5 million in annual contributions to the other post-employment benefits (OPEB) trust fund;
- Maintaining a minimum unassigned fund balance of 10% of general fund expenditures;
- Continuing the city’s efforts to reduce overall worker’s compensation costs, which have decreased for five consecutive years.
Transform the organization of city government to position the City to meet the current and future needs of our residents, businesses, neighborhoods, employees, and other stakeholders by:
- Establishing a new Department of Mobility & Infrastructure;
- Transforming the Department of Personnel into a modern human resources department focused on recruiting, training, developing, managing, and retaining a highly qualified and diverse workforce;
- Enhancing the capacity of the Department of City Planning toward sustainability and resiliency initiatives;
- Establishing the role of Chief Financial Officer to position the city on a path towards long-term financial sustainability, strengthen citywide financial management, optimize the organization and delivery of information technology services, and increase the focus on service delivery efficiency and effectiveness.
Emphasize the Mayor’s priorities for enhancing the delivery of core municipal services by:
- Increasing funding for street resurfacing to $15.1 million, more than double the $7.1 million allocated in 2014;
- Maintaining the 2016 commitment to increase funding for police vehicles to $1.6 million a year to improve the overall condition of the fleet;
- Continuing to invest in Police Bureau training, equipment, and technology and enhance the Bureau’s ability to conduct data-driven community policing;
- Allocating funding for additional inspectors in the Department of Permits, Licenses, and Inspections to handle the increased permit workload; maintain the city’s increased investment in Learn & Earn Program through a $1M allocation for summer youth employment leveraging CDBG funds.
Implement the Mayor’s vision for modernizing city government and implementing leading practices to provide taxpayers with an efficient, effective, transparent, and more accountable government by:
- Pursuing efforts to modernize the city’s licensing and inspection system; initiating a multi-year effort to overhaul the city’s self-assessed tax collection system;
- Continuing efforts to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the city’s procurement function through improvements in policies, processes, and technology;
- Standardizing and streamlining capital project management processes.
Allocate $74.2 million in 2017 funding for capital projects and continue the Mayor’s commitment to developing a long-term maintenance and investment plan for the city’s assets, including:
- $15.1 million for street resurfacing, providing for approximately 60 miles to be completed;
- $12.4 million for facility improvements, including critical public safety facilities, park reconstruction, play area improvements, swimming pool rehabilitation, and improvements to recreation and senior centers throughout our neighborhoods;
- Funding to address critical needs identified by the facility optimization plan required in the Mayor’s Executive Order related to strategic investment and maintenance of facilities;
- $5 million for capital equipment acquisition to improve the condition and operation of the City’s fleet.
Relevant numbers on the 2017 Operating Budget include:
- Total projected revenues: $545,427,808
- % increase in revenues 2016-2017: 3.9%
- Total projected expenditures: $539,282,845
- % increase in expenditures 2016-2017: 3.9%
- Projected operating result: $6,144,964
- Fund balance as % of general fund expenditures: 13.1%
- Debt service as % of general fund expenditures: 16.2%
City Council is scheduled to begin its budget discussions and hearings November 21, take its first line item vote December 12 and take a final vote December 20, but those dates are subject to change.