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McKeesport fares well in RAD budget fund request

| Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2013, 4:41 a.m.

McKeesport's Renziehausen Park would get $652,800 in operating funds and $80,000 for capital improvements in 2014 in the Allegheny Regional Asset District's proposed budget.

That is $7,800 more in operating money but $104,300 less in capital funds than what city administrator Matt Gergely and recreation director Jim Brown requested on Aug. 22.

The operating amount is higher than the $640,000 grant given to the city for this year. The capital grant for 2013 is $100,000.

“We're very grateful for the funds we get from RAD,” Mayor Michael Cherepko said.

The program is funded by Allegheny County's 1-percent sales tax.

The proposed budget released by RAD officials on Tuesday allots capital funding for road and trail resurfacing and ball field improvements at the park.

“We didn't expect to get everything we asked for, based on the history of what was given,” Cherepko said.

The city wanted $53,000 to pave Sycamore Drive, $44,300 for a second phase of the Jimmy Long field project, $29,500 to resurface a walking trail and $57,500 for upgrades to Jacob Woll Pavilion.

The mayor said that capital funding from RAD this year and next are above what the city received in recent years.

Renziehausen Park is one of the contractual, or long-term, recipients of RAD funding.

Other contractual assets with direct impact on the Mon-Yough area include the Allegheny County Library Association, which would get $6.2 million in 2014 according to the preliminary budget, and the county's regional parks which would get $18.85 million for operations and $870,000 for capital improvements.

Most preliminary operating allocations are unchanged from this year, with Bulgarian-Macedonian National Educational and Cultural Center to get $5,000, McKeesport Little Theater $5,000 and McKeesport Symphony Society $8,500.

Allegheny Land Trust would get the same $7,500 operating grant. It received capital grants this year of $50,000 for a Mon Wharf switchback project and $45,000 for Allegheny Valley access to a water trail.

Edgewood Symphony, which performs locally at East Allegheny High School, would get $4,500, up from $3,200 for this year.

Patrick Cloonan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161 ext. 1967, or pcloonan@tribweb.com.

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