“P” Day in the ‘Burgh

“P” Day in the ‘Burgh

Today is the day that City and Parking Authority officials open the envelopes containing the bids that they hope will be sufficient to retire the Authority’s debt (around $100 million) and bring the pension fund to a 50% funded level ($200 million needed to accomplish this).

It is the high point of the process that began in January of 2009 when the Mayor viewed it as "another piece of the ultimate…plan for the long-term legacy costs of the city of Pittsburgh…clearly, in order to have a fully funded pension fund we’re going to need some sort of influx of cash." The idea germinated and advanced through 2009 and received endorsement from the state last September when what became Act 44 was amended to give Pittsburgh the time to pursue the lease.

So what’s up for grabs? Close to 18k spaces in garages, lots, and on-street metered spaces, most in the Golden Triangle. Seven bidders were pre-qualified to bid on the package, and the City clarified some of the stipulations on rate increases, areas where the City and other government agencies could not compete for the life of the lease, and the responsibilities of the Authority and the lessee.

According to newspaper reports the bids will be opened behind closed doors and if the high bids are close then those firms will have until Monday to give a final and best offer. If one of the bidders comes with what the City views as far and away a best offer today that will be announced this evening. Then it will be in City Council’s hands for approval.