Pittsburgh Cultural Trust leads applicants seeking increase in RAD money
More than 100 cultural and recreational groups are asking for $102.1 million in county money for next year, and some mid-size or big groups such as the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust are seeking double-digit increases from this year.
The trust's $1.3 million application for Regional Asset District money represents an increase of $300,000, or 30 percent, according to documents released on Monday. That's the highest dollar increase for operations among groups that ask for RAD money every year without a guarantee of funding.
With RAD funding, the trust would “continue to increase accessibility efforts in its programming and within trust venues, as well as expand free and low-cost programs targeted to special audiences,” said J. Kevin McMahon, its president and CEO.
Trust programs bring millions of people and tens of millions of dollars of direct spending to the Pittsburgh region, he said.
RAD records show that 106 groups sought the tax dollars for their 2015 daily operations and maintenance, repairs and the purchase of equipment. That compares with 104 groups asking for $102.5 million for this year.
RAD supports parks, libraries, stadiums and cultural groups with half of the proceeds of an additional 1 percent sales tax in Allegheny County.
“I thought it would be about the same as prior years, and it was,” said David Donahoe, executive director of RAD. “Last year, the August Wilson Center was included. If you added that back in, the number would be virtually the same.”
RAD last year withheld the August Wilson Center's $300,000 grant for 2014 and $225,000 of its 2013 grant because of its failure to file an audit and subsequent concerns about its finances. A court-appointed receiver is recommending that an Allegheny County judge approve a $9.5 million offer from 980 Liberty Partners to buy the center. The center's mortgage-holder, Dollar Bank, set an Oct. 6 foreclosure date.
The Pittsburgh Opera asked RAD for $250,000, an increase of $105,000, or 72 percent, over this year.
“We feel our range of activity and educational outreach is so extensive, we respectfully request that they consider additional funding,” said Christopher Hahn, general director of the opera.
Nine groups that are guaranteed some level of money from RAD over five years, called “contractual assets,” asked for $65.1 million for daily operations. As is the norm, the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh topped the list.
The Carnegie Library seeks $20.1 million for its operations, up 3 percent, and more than $3 million for the digital infrastructure for city and county libraries that allows patrons to check online books that are available and to reserve them.
If the trend holds, RAD may have a little more money than it had for this year's requests. Donahoe said tax collections through June are $44.1 million, or 3.3 percent ahead of the same period last year.
“In the last few months, car sales seem to have taken off,” he 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.
- 12-year-old’s donated heart joins families, lets her memory live
- Pittsburgh police officers start wearing video cameras
- Proposal to limit access divides Penn Hills, Homewood neighborhoods
- Former Rollier’s store to become art gallery, cafe
- Pittsburgh VA director gets more time to appeal firing recommendation
- Foundation donates $350K to revitalize facades in Downtown Pittsburgh
- Allegheny County Council members outspend expense accounts
- Pittsburgh Trails Advocacy Group volunteers cut trail in South Park
- Western Pennsylvania residents chill about forecasters’ spat
- City suspending trash collection Tuesday to honor slain worker
- Newsmaker: Thomas J. Usher