Fitzgerald Names Budget Director, Submits Shale Legislation to Council

PITTSBURGH – County Executive Rich Fitzgerald today named a Budget Director and submitted legislation to County Council for consideration.

Warren S. Finkel, the former Senior Deputy Director of Budget & Finance, has been named the new Director of the Department.  Finkel has been a public servant of the county for over 42 years, always in budget-related positions.  Gregory S. Casciato has been promoted to Finkel’s previous position.

The Executive also submitted legislation to Council yesterday that, if approved, would authorize a fee on unconventional gas wells located within the borders of the county.  Pursuant to Act 13 of 2012, Council must notify the PA Public Utility Commission of its intent to adopt an ordinance and must give public notice of its intent.

Funds from an Act 13 distribution would only be used for the following purposes:

  • Construction, reconstruction, maintenance and repair of roadways, bridges and public infrastructure.
  • Water, storm water and sewer systems, including construction, reconstruction, maintenance and repair.
  • Emergency preparedness and public safety, including law enforcement and fire services, hazardous material response, 911, equipment acquisition and other services.
  • Environmental programs, including trails, parks and recreation, open space, flood plain management, conservation districts and agricultural preservation.
  • Preservation and reclamation of surface and subsurface waters and water supplies.
  • Tax reductions, including homestead exclusions.
  • Projects to increase the availability of safe and affordable housing to residents.
  • Records management, geographic information systems and information technology.
  • The delivery of social services.
  • Judicial services.
  • For deposit into the County's capital reserve fund if the funds are used solely for a purpose set forth in this subsection.
  • Career and technical centers for training of workers in the oil and gas industry.
  • Local or regional planning initiatives under the Act of July 31, 1968 (P.L.805, No.247), known as the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code.

Act 13 of 2012 requires that the governing body of any county electing to impose a fee on unconventional gas wells must adopt an ordinance.  For Allegheny County to receive any funds under the Act, the ordinance must be enacted by Council by April 16, 2012.

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