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Pittsburgh City Council OKs LTV Steel redevelopment financing

| Tuesday, March 19, 2013, 11:27 p.m.

Pittsburgh City Council on Tuesday unanimously authorized the city's Urban Redevelopment Authority to move forward with a special tax financing plan intended to hasten development on the former LTV Steel site in Hazelwood.

The $90 million tax-increment financing package, known as a TIF, requires approval from all three taxing bodies: Pittsburgh City Council, Allegheny County Council and Pittsburgh Public Schools.

County Council voted on Tuesday to give preliminary approval for the plan and will have to vote again to give final approval.

It would be the largest TIF in the city's history. The financing plan works by diverting a portion of the property tax revenue over 20 years from the blighted 178-acre site to build roads, install utility lines and erect street lighting.

Almono, a partnership between the Regional Industrial Development Corp. and the Benedum, Heinz, McCune and Richard King Mellon foundations, has shepherded the project. Its name comes from merging the names of Pittsburgh's three rivers: Allegheny, Monongahela and Ohio.

RIDC officials have said using the tax-increment financing to improve the site would attract private developers who would build office buildings catering to high-tech firms, retail shops and homes. They said the development could increase property tax revenues to $11 million a year, up from about $100,000 a year and make the vacant site a hub of activity between the Golden Triangle and Oakland.

Staff writer Bobby Kerlik contributed to this report. Jeremy Boren is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7935 or jboren@tribweb.com.

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