PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Mayor Bill Peduto delivered his State of the City address Monday morning and released details about next year’s budget and new ways to help keep Pittsburghers safe.
Peduto announced the installation of Shot Spotter cameras in Homewood is underway. He sees this as one of many crime-fighting tools, including body mounted cameras for police officers.
“In Homewood, with the help of Councilman Burgess, the ShotSpotter camera system is being implemented and tested, and officers citywide will begin using body-mounted cameras to provide more safety to both police and residents alike,” Peduto said. “Through community policing we will create bonds between residents and police that will reduce fear.”
His 2015 budget calls for $12 million for street repaving, which he says is the largest investment in a decade in that particular area.
Peduto also announced a revamping of the building inspection department to further economic growth.
City administration financial experts said they still cannot put a firm number on a hike in millage they proposed earlier this year. It was initially proposed to restore money from a tax cut imposed by former Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, which they say was too steep.
Their uncertainty on how high the millage should be set is dependent on final figures from the county.
“We’re not trying to avoid what the millage is,” said City Finance Director Paul Leger. “We simply don’t know yet because we don’t have the final numbers on the assessed value of property. We don’t actually get the final certified numbers until the first week in January. We only get preliminaries now and we know that there are going to be corrections between now and January.”
City Controller Michael Lamb said the proposed budget still has too much spending.
“They’re addressing it by raising taxes,” he said. “By raising taxes, by raising parking rates, that’s just not the message we need to be sending to our residents right now.”
City officials expect more clarity in the coming weeks and they’ll have to have more clarity by the end of the year.
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