ANOTHER BALANCED BUDGET WITH NO TAX INCREASES
Take a look some of our top capital projects in the proposed $65 million 2013 capital budget:
The backbone of the City’s financial success has been our commitment to paying down past debts, resulting in the bond rating upgrades needed to responsibly borrow funds for a more impactful capital program. Almost one decade ago, our City was facing bankruptcy and entered Act 47 oversight. Today, however, we’ve brought the promise back to Pittsburgh. Our fiscal overseers will soon determine whether or not we should be relieved from their oversight, citing that we are now financially sound. Pittsburgh’s Third Renaissance is in full swing and is marked by job creation and neighborhood development throughout the City. We can say – for the first time in my lifetime – that Pittsburgh’s population is growing again. Crime is at a historic low, having decreased for six straight years. And perhaps most importantly, at over 1.2 million, there are more jobs in Pittsburgh today than ever before.
PITTSBURGH’S THIRD RENAISSANCE REACHES MORE NEIGHBORHOODS
Neighborhoods that have successful community development plans are better positioned to attract investment, which spurs job creation and economic development. That’s why we worked to create an innovative program that will help ensure that our City’s economic momentum is felt in all of Pittsburgh’s 90 neighborhoods. When the City sold three Downtown properties to PNC to make way for their building of the world's tallest green skyscraper, we took the proceeds from the sale to help create a program that encourages development in more neighborhoods outside of Downtown. Called the Pittsburgh Neighborhood Renaissance Fund, this program recently awarded about $300,000 to local community organizations - helping them to do everything from creating community plans, to attracting new development that will welcome more residents and visitors.
GET DOWNTOWN FOR THE HOLIDAY SEASON
I had a great time kicking off the City’s holiday celebrations on Light Up Night. Over 800,000 residents and visitors attended this highly anticipated annual two-day event. From the various tree lightings, to the Macy’s window displays, to the carriage parade and fireworks - this event brings great joy to everyone as we welcome the holiday season.
If you haven’t been Downtown for the holidays, now is the time to make it a family tradition. With new restaurants, stores and entertainment in Market Square, I’m excited to report that we expect dining and shopping at the heart of our City to increase this year. To encourage this momentum, we started our Free Holiday Parking Program. You can park for free after 4 p.m. at any Parking Authority garage in the City through December 22. This, combined with Market Square’s valet parking program, will make it easier for you to get Downtown this holiday season.
DEK HOCKEY COMES TO A COMMUNITY NEAR YOU
The City has teamed up with the Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation and Highmark to bring an exciting new initiative, called Project Power Play, which encourages more young people to stay active and learn the value of teamwork. This collaborative effort will bring four new, full-sized dek hockey courts to City neighborhoods. At last week’s ribbon cutting of the Banksville Park court, I was amazed by the size and quality of these courts. From dasher boards to state-of-the-art surfaces, I know Pittsburgh’s young people are going to give these courts a lot of use.
DOWNTOWN RETAIL PLAN UNVEILED
Last week, alongside key stakeholders, I outlined a new strategy to attract and retain retail businesses in Downtown Pittsburgh. The three-year Downtown Action Strategy plan aims to improve the retail experience in the City’s urban core by creating a new branding and marketing strategy, improving public infrastructure and space, and providing recommendations for new policies and incentives to enhance the neighborhood’s safety and walkability.
Over the last few years, Downtown Pittsburgh has begun its transformation into a vibrant 24/7 destination spot, and the much-anticipated Downtown Action Strategy plan is a big step forward in furthering this vision.
BE AN ANGEL THIS WINTER
As snow moves into the forecast, it’s time to call on Pittsburgh’s culture of neighbors helping neighbors. Last year, our Snow Angels program was very successful, minimizing the hardship of snow removal for almost 200 seniors and residents in need. The Snow Angels program, a servePGH initiative, matches able-bodied volunteers with senior and physically disabled residents in their own neighborhood to remove snow from their sidewalks and walkways. Launched last winter, Snow Angels removed over 27,000 square feet of snow.
Residents may sign up to volunteer or apply for assistance at pittsburghpa.gov/snowangels. It’s important that residents stay safe and are looked after by loved ones all year round, but especially during the difficult winter months. I encourage volunteers and recipients to sign up today and help ensure a safe, pleasant winter for everyone.
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Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Office of Mayor Luke Ravenstahl
512 City County Building | 414 Grant Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
telephone: 412-255-2626 | facsimile: 412-255-2687