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May 21, 2020

RAD Board Approves 2020 Budget Adjustment due to COVID-19 Crisis

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Allegheny Regional Asset District (RAD) Board of Directors Authorizes 2020 Budget Adjustment Due to COVID-19 Crisis at Quarterly Meeting.

Pittsburgh, PA (May 21, 2020). At a public meeting conducted via Zoom due to the COVID-19 health crisis, the Allegheny Regional Asset District (RAD) Board of Directors approved the Allocations Committee report which calls for reducing all 2020 operating grants by 20 percent. This action is a direct impact of May’s actual revenue (March sales) which came in $1.82 million below budget projections, or 23 percent lower than May 2019 revenue, due to the economic impacts of the COVID-19 crisis. The committee noted that this marks the beginning of a decline in revenue, which is anticipated to further decline in the coming months before hopefully turning back upward once consumer spending resumes.

The Allocations Committee will continue to monitor and evaluate RAD revenue on a monthly basis, making any necessary or feasible adjustments. The committee reported that the 20 percent reduction utilized a portion of RAD’s Grant Stabilization Reserve Fund, which will continue to mitigate potential adjustments for the remainder of the year.

“The committee believes that these recommendations and guidelines emphasize the Board’s goal to preserve a group of quality, well-managed, diverse and inclusive regional assets,” said Daniel Griffin on behalf of the Allocations Committee. He continued, “All future funding options and decisions will be considered and evaluated periodically with our assets’ sustainability foremost on our minds.”

Board Chair Dusty Elias Kirk reiterated the Allocations Committee’s careful work and consideration in these unprecedented times, adding: “We are committed to supporting our assets as strong stewards of taxpayer dollars.”

The Allocations Committee also recommended that guidelines for 2021 funding focus on applicants’ most current financial position, their sustainability, and the ways in which they have responded to this crisis as they plan for the future. Given the uncertain economic forecast, the committee recommended that discretionary capital grant proposals not be accepted for 2021. Operating grant applications will be accepted beginning May 27 through July 8, 2020.

The Board also voted to approve a request from the National Aviary to reallocate capital funding from 2019 and 2020 to phase one of their two-phase expansion project. RAD funding had originally been granted for phase two. However, this capital funding, as is the case for all remaining 2020 capital funding, is suspended until further notice.

Finally, the Board voted to approve the appointment of Dr. Daniel Rosen to an additional two year term as the At-Large public member. Dr. Rosen was nominated by Landforce, a community and workforce development organization that helps restore and maintain land and green assets by providing professionally-skilled crews who assist in environmental management. Dr. Rosen is an Associate Professor in the School of Social Work at the University of Pittsburgh.

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