Ravenstahl takes issue with Fitzgerald's plan to tap RAD money for Port Authority
Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl expressed concern Wednesday about plans for a long-term deal for the Allegheny Regional Asset District to help fund troubled local transit operations.
County Executive Rich Fitzgerald said the day before he will seek $3 million in funding from RAD not only to help prevent sweeping service and job cuts at the Port Authority of Allegheny County through June 2013, but annually for a term as long as 10 years.
“It's probably responsible to look at RAD for funding and, of course, we all want a solution (to Port Authority's financial problems),” Ravenstahl said. “But I want to make sure this would not adversely affect other organizations.”
Ravenstahl said he viewed any potential RAD funding as a “short-term solution” that he would not like to see become permanent. He said he planned to take a closer look at the proposal soon.
Fitzgerald said Tuesday that RAD funding would be a critical piece of local funding totaling $4.5 million that could leverage an additional $30 million in state funding to help Port Authority. He said the allocation wouldn't hurt other organizations because it would come from excess revenue that RAD has received this year, projecting the program will receive about $5 million more than anticipated this year.
The county executive appoints four of the board's members, the mayor appoints two and those six appointees select a seventh board member. At least six board members must agree on all budgetary matters and contractual agreements, said RAD Executive Director Daniel Donahoe.
RAD uses half of the proceeds from a 1 percent sales tax in Allegheny County to fund so-called regional assets, including civic, recreational and cultural entities, libraries and sports facilities. The law allows the district to consider other groups, but health-care entities, educational institutions and parks of less than 200 acres are not eligible.
“I can't think of a bigger regional asset we have than Port Authority,” Fitzgerald said.
Donahoe said the board is considering 101 requests for a combined $98 million in funding for 2013. This year, the board received $82 million from the sales tax. No applications for funding have been submitted on behalf of Port Authority, he said.
“There are a variety of regional assets in the city that would be happy to receive that money,” Ravenstahl said.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.