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Wilkinsburg Council Members And Residents Discuss Proposed Merger With City Of Pittsburgh

WILKINSBURG, Pa. (KDKA) -- Some Wilkinsburg Borough Council members and residents discussed the proposed merger with the city of Pittsburgh.

No decisions were made on Thursday, and no questions were answered from the public or press during the 30-minute meeting.

Select members of the borough council who oppose the proposed merger held the event to announce a series of future community discussions on how the merger will impact the community.

The meeting touched on issues like the police department, service jobs and tax dollars. Five members of the council were at the meeting Thursday.

"We are very very concerned because of the negative impact on our residents as well as those who work for the borough," said Denise Edwards, Wilkinsburg Borough Council member.

"None of these guys are guaranteed jobs. They're done. And you've got guys who've been here well over 20 years," said Carl Bailey with the Wilkinsburg Police Department.

Councilperson Ian Petrulli pointed to data from the Community Development Corporation, which addressed possible benefits like Pittsburgh's affordable housing programs and 32 percent cheaper taxes for low-income homeowners.

"One of the biggest things renters would see would be services increasing in the borough and a more thriving business district," Petrulli said.

In order for the merger to happen, signatures must be obtained to petition the court to have Pittsburgh City Council vote on whether or not to welcome the idea.

If approved, Wilkinsburg residents would have the final say and a vote this November.

Organizers said details on future meetings with the public will be announced soon.

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