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Plan To Add Wilkinsburg To Pittsburgh Heads To City Council For Consideration

By: KDKA-TV's Shelley Bortz

WILKINSBURG, Pa. (KDKA) -- The proposal to merge Wilkinsburg Borough with the city of Pittsburgh officially heads to city council for consideration.

In anticipation of that decision, a group of supporters gathered outside the City/County Building on Wednesday to show their support for making Wilkinsburg the city's newest neighorhood.

The push to make the merger happen came to fruition when the Wilkinsburg Community Development Corporation gathered more than enough signatures for an annexation petition, which was submitted to the court last month.

County and city leaders made their case for the annexation, saying homeowners and businesses will only benefit from this.

Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald said the borough's millage will go down and residents will start to see private investment along the business corridor and in the neighborhoods. The way it is now, he says, only turns businesses away because the tax millage is the highest in the county.

"What have we seen over the last 10 years?" Fitzgerald said. "We've seen population loss that is actually double the loss of what's happened in the city of Pittsburgh. We've seen over 200 businesses leave."

Pittsburgh City Council will have three months to vote on the issue. In the meantime, the council says it will hold nine public meetings before making a decision.

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