PITTSBURGH— The Allegheny Regional Asset District today released a 2014 preliminary budget totaling $90.2 million, the first District budget to top $90 million. The plan includes recommendations for 102 separate grants to 89 organizations. The spending plan was outlined to the District’s Board and the public in a report from the Board’s Allocations Committee.
Among the recommendations included in the plan are:
- increasing operating grants to many of the region’s major cultural and recreational assets; in total operating grants increase 2%, the same as the projected increase in budgeted tax revenue;
- $586,000 in increased support for libraries and the countywide library electronic information network;
- funding $930,000 in capital grants given preliminary approval last year;
- funding for $1.8 million in new capital projects in the regional parks;
- providing, for the second year, a $3 million match for $30 million state funds critical to maintain local transit service;
- keeping consideration of further capital grant awards open until the final budget review (read the full list of submitted capital requests);
- new resources for accessibility enhancements at regional attractions and venues.
The report said that the Committee is estimating 2014 tax revenue at $87 million, a 2% increase from the tax revenue budgeted for 2013. It noted that the county sales tax fund is now 1% ahead of the same time last year mostly as a result of significant auto sales activity that began in the spring. Tax revenue on all other sales remains flat compared to last year.
Libraries would remain the largest single category of RAD support with some $28.6 million allocated to library service next year.
Regional park and trail funding remains the second largest category of funding with $26.9 million recommended for operating support and another $1.8 million in capital grants. Those grants would fund shelter, pool and recreational court repairs, new equipment and the development of an accessible playground in Boyce Mayview Park.
In addition to libraries and parks, the plan contains recommendations for increased operating support to all of the other contractual assets and a number of annual grant organizations based on their records of service and community impact.
The full press release (in pdf) contains the list of recommended grants for 2014.
A copy of the complete budget document can be downloaded here.