Wagner audit critical of conditions in Allegheny County-owned parking garage
By Bobby Kerlik
Published: Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012, 11:38 a.m.
Allegheny County's Public Works department needs a maintenance plan for all county-owned buildings, Controller Chelsa Wagner said Thursday, eliciting a response from Executive Rich Fitzgerald that he has plans to offer one next week.
Fitzgerald said he will deal with the use and upkeep of all county properties, not just aging ones.
“We're looking at what is the best use of space, consolidation, how long leases are,” Fitzgerald said.
The latest dust-up between Democrats Wagner and Fitzgerald occurred after Wagner issued a report detailing problems with at least one county-owned building — the 82-year-old Fourth Avenue parking garage.
The garage is in such bad shape that the county has not allowed anyone to park there since February. It is leasing outside space for county-owned vehicles and some employees.
“The report (on Thursday) said the garage is in bad shape. We know that. I didn't want to endanger county employees so that's why we closed it in February,” Fitzgerald said.
Wagner's report said the county failed to do proper maintenance on the building since its purchase in 1989, resulting in sagging floors, freeze/thaw damage, broken drain pipes, exposed and rusted reinforcement bars, crumbling and broken concrete and structural beams that appear to be failing. Wagner said the Public Works department needs to devise a maintenance plan for all county buildings to avoid structural problems. “Allegheny County's continued practice of ‘band-aid' repairs as a maintenance strategy hurts its short- and long-term financial health,” Wagner said.
The county is paying $6,000 per month, or $46 per space, to lease a lot at the corner of Fourth and Ross streets Downtown that fits about 130 cars, many of which are sheriff's cruisers. Some county employees pay $60 per month to park there.
Fitzgerald said no final decision has been made about the garage, and he doesn't think it makes sense to repair an aging structure that has undergone no maintenance in 20 years.
Wagner criticized Fitzgerald's inquiries about purchasing the Lexington Avenue complex in Point Breeze from the Urban Redevelopment Authority. The county rents space that houses county police and 911 operations, and other departments.
Previous dust-ups between Fitzgerald and Wagner have involved assessments, the Port Authority and moving the Bureau of Weights and Measures from Wagner's office to Fitzgerald's domain.
Bobby Kerlik is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7886 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pirates claim 3 pitchers in minor league Rule 5 draft
- Police: Fayette man took money from foreigners in exchange for passing driver’s license exam
- Health-insurance mandate poses potential hitch for volunteer fire companies
- Motivated quarterback Roethlisberger fights to prop up Steelers
- Penguins center Sutter is thriving despite unsettled 3rd line
- Steelers notebook: Worilds loses sack; Big Ben gets 1st career catch
- Kovacevic: Why give credence to Heisman?
- PNC plans to do away with tellers
- Shaler grad Thorpe finding his way at PSU
- Century III new owner seeks to reverse vacancy trend with new theater
- Vanaski: Obama not alone in our love of selfies — even at funerals