Friday, August 20, 2010

Hearings for Regional Asset District Applicants

Next week the Regional Asset District will begin the process of deciding how it will divvy up more than $85 million in sales tax receipts in the coming year. 97 organizations have submitted applications for the funds and starting Tuesday, August 24, the RAD board will hold a series of public hearings. The first will come at 3:30 on the 31st floor of the Regional Enterprise Tower, Downtown.
Executive Director David Donahoe says RAD is responsible for distributing a portion of the county sales tax to regional assets each year, and this year they’re giving away a total of $85.6 million. He says these hearings are held to give applicants a chance to explain why they deserve funds.
Donahoe says the hearings will run for 4 weeks, ending in mid-September. He says applicants include 10 large organizations: the Carnegie Library, Carnegie Museums, City of McKeesport, Pittsburgh and Allegheny County Regional Parks, the National Aviary, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, Pittsburgh Zoo & Aquarium, and the Allegheny County Library Association. Smaller organizations make up the remaining 87 applicants.
Donahoe says there are no major differences this year in terms of applicants and the amount of funding, however Carnegie Library has asked for an increase from last year. “It receives funds from the state and will begin receiving money from table games revenue. Adding that all up they still feel they need an increase from the district and they’ve made that request.”
He says the board of 7 volunteer citizens will decide which 85 to 90 organizations will receive what they’ve asked for. Donahoe says there will be presentation meetings and public meetings sometime in October before any decisions are final.

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