By Steve Tawa
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – During city council budget hearings, Mayor Nutter’s financial team was quizzed about the priorities they’re establishing for capital expenditures, especially the upkeep and renovation of fire houses around Philadelphia.
Councilman James Kenney is an avid visitor to Penn’s Landing, but he had difficulty squaring the Nutter Administration’s $8-million in planned improvements on the waterfront, compared to just over $3-million in capital money this year to fix up fire stations.
“The priorities you’ve set are basically that Penn’s Landing is more important than our fire stations,” Kenney said at the hearing Tuesday.
“No, I wouldn’t draw that conclusion,” City Budget Director Rebecca Rhynhart responded. “I did say we also have $8-million of prior year funds that’s still available for fire stations, plus the $3-million in new money.”
While City Council is poised to act on a bill to borrow nearly $250 million to rehab 4601 Market Street in West Philadelphia and convert it into a new police headquarters, Kenney wants to add $40-50-million in borrowing, and use the funds for fire and police station improvements.
Rhynhart says the capital budget program over the last few years includes $13-million to improve police stations.