Share This Page

Pittsburgh Laurels & Lances

| Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013, 8:58 p.m.

On the “Watch List”: The LTV redevelopment. A tax-increment-financing package of up to $90 million is being proposed to facilitate the nearly $1 billion redevelopment of the old LTV coke works in Hazelwood. In a twist that appears to protect taxpayers, the TIF would use a portion of the increased taxes the project is expected to create to underwrite not bonds but a loan from several foundations to pay for public infrastructure for which the development would create a demand at the blighted 178-acre site. If the project doesn't produce the required revenue or fails, the foundations would be on the hook. If that's the case, this TIF is worth careful study.

Laurel: To the Buncher Co. It initially sought a $50 million TIF package to redevelop 63 acres along the Allegheny River in the Strip District. Pittsburgh City Council balked. Not only was it a questionable use of tax-increment financing — the site is hardly “blighted” — the council was using approval of the TIF as a cudgel to get its own way. That Buncher now appears to believe it can fully assume the risk and make a handsome profit is encouraging and should be an object lesson for other developers.

Lance: To Pittsburgh Public Schools. Even in the face of a critical state audit, the district continues to invoke “personnel issues” to hide from public scrutiny why it paid former deputy superintendent Lynn Spampinato nearly a quarter of a million dollars to go bye-bye a few years back. Public schools. A public position. The public's money. And the public has no right to know? What arrogance.

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.