Pittsburgh, PA (November 21, 2019). At a public meeting in Downtown Pittsburgh, the Allegheny Regional Asset District (RAD)’s Board of Directors voted to authorize its 2020 budget of $109.5 million.
Board Chair Daniel J. Griffin said, “We are proud of this budget and the impact RAD has had on our community for the past 25 years, and we thank the taxpayers of Allegheny County who make it all possible. Through operating and capital grants, RAD helps to provide a solid foundation for our region’s many assets whose work enhances our quality of life. From parks and libraries to arts and recreation, Allegheny County offers rich and eclectic cultural opportunities for everyone.”
The 2020 budget includes support for 106 regional assets, three of which are new RAD recipients: the August Wilson House (a project of the Daisy Wilson Artist Community, Inc.), Belle Voci, and Guardians of Sound. These three new assets offer unique and diverse programming with a deep commitment to community. The August Wilson House will serve as an arts center to nurture the historic Hill District community as it celebrates the legacy of August Wilson. Belle Voci is a community-based, intergenerational women’s choir that uses the power of song to benefit women’s causes. Guardians of Sound aims to build a stronger, younger, and more diverse audience for acoustic musicians by arranging, composing, presenting, recording, and teaching the music of today with acoustic and orchestral instruments and voices.
RAD is committed to ensuring that regional assets are for everyone, and while its funding primarily provides operational support, the 2020 budget also reflects $7.3 million in capital and special project grants, which contribute to the safety and accessibility of asset facilities. Carnegie Science Center received an accessibility grant for its Buhl Planetarium to acquire assistive listening devices, closed-captioning glasses, and tactile star globes, which will enable those with vision and hearing impairments to participate fully in the planetarium experience. Contemporary Craft also received an accessibility grant in support of automatic doors, an accessible ramp, ADA parking spaces, interior signage, and an ADA water fountain for their new home in Upper Lawrenceville, opening April 2020.
The preparation of the budget follows an application process which included public hearings and evaluation of 113 eligible requests, followed by a preliminary budget presentation and public comment period. Speaking on behalf of the Allocations Committee, Daniel Rosen said, “The 2020 budget will be funded by an estimated $103.5 million in new sales tax receipts with the balance coming from the District’s grant stabilization fund. An examination of revenue since the preliminary budget indicates there is no reason to change the revenue estimate at this time.”