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Duquesne Could Dissolve Redevelopment Authority

By Tom Leturgey
The Tube City Almanac
February 20, 2023
Posted in: Duquesne News

Duquesne City Council will consider a proposal to dissolve the city’s 28-year-old redevelopment authority and pass its duties over to Allegheny County.

At this month’s council meeting, Duquesne Solicitor Myron Sainovich said the Duquesne Redevelopment Authority was created in 1995 but hasn’t been active in many years. Sainovich noted that Mayor R. Scott Adams could appoint members to the commission, but hasn’t. The agency has “no debts, no contractual obligations,” he said.

The redevelopment authority could have been closed three years after its inception, so there are no other legal obstacles, according to the solicitor.

Once the resolution is passed, City Manager Scott Crawford could go to the Pennsylvania Department of State and have it dissolved. If any furniture or equipment was earmarked for the authority, it can be given back to the city.

No formal measure was taken on the resolution.

The redevelopment authority made news in 2017 when it transferred more than $1.3 million from a small-business loan fund to the Duquesne Business Advisory Corp. The city sued the authority, alleging the transfer was made improperly to thwart the administration of then-Mayor Nickole Nesby from accessing the small-business funds.

The lawsuit was settled in 2020 with neither side admitting fault.

In other business, Crawford called for a vote on the resignation of former acting city manager and current administrative assistant George Newsome. Council accepted the resignation with a 3-0 vote.

Adams said that Newsome did an “outstanding job” after being “thrust into the situation” of acting city manager. Newsome reportedly already had a new job lined up, city officials said.

Sainovich said that a new job description for the administrative assistant will soon be created and the opening posted.

Council also approved the resignation of public works employee Quincy Zitelli, who authorities called a “good worker.” They also predicted that other jobs will soon be available in the city.

In related public works news, a line-item resolution was passed to move $2,500 from the general budget to public works for uniforms. The original budget called for $1,000 but the need came closer to $3,500. According to Sainovich, the city had until February 15 to make changes to the original budget.

And the city continues to outline plans for Duquesne to emerge from Act 47 oversight.

The ballot deadline is still being ironed out.

The initial report will be due May 19. Public meetings should take place on June 8 and a final presentation will be made June 18. If all falls into plan, Duquesne could exit Act 47 as early as Oct. 16, 2023. More details are being finalized.

“There will be tough financial choices,” Adams said.

A home rule meeting which goes over the “pros and cons” of that form of local government will be held in the city on Feb. 21. A grant hearing meeting will also occur around that time, according to the solicitor. A prospective home rule vote would have to go before and be accepted by Duquesne voters.

Tom Leturgey is a freelance writer based in Pittsburgh and the editor of KSWA Digest, the online news and features home of the Keystone State Wrestling Alliance. His work also appears in The Valley Mirror and other publications.

Originally published February 20, 2023.

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