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Pittsburgh, county disagree on G20 costs

Sept. 1, 2009 at 2:09 PM

PITTSBURGH, Sept. 1 (UPI) -- Allegheny County officials say there's a funding shortfall to pay for the upcoming Group of 20 summit, but Pittsburgh's mayor denies it, observers say.

Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato says the Sept. 24-25 G20 summit will cost $25 million, but Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl says $16 million is the more relevant figure, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Tuesday.

"There's not an $8 million (funding) gap in my mind," Ravenstahl said. "The county suggests that there is."

The newspaper said Pittsburgh City Council officials left a meeting with Onorato under the impression that the city and county will face a combined $5 million to $8 million shortfall, rather than a more manageable $1.7 million funding gap that was discussed earlier.

"I think (City Council members) had an epiphany this morning," said Kevin Evanto, Onorato's spokesman. "They didn't know what the county had in costs and spending, and this meeting was about discussing that."

But Ravenstahl told the Post-Gazette the $25 million figure included many costs not related to public safety that federal and state officials have declined to cover, such as street paving and beautification.

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