Come again?: An Allegheny County grant of $225,000 to help underwrite a reality television show, a dubious endeavor for public money to begin with, violates the county's guidelines for disbursing casino tax dollars. And it's not the first time. The money is supposed to be reserved for economic development through “infrastructure assistance.” It's a pretty long stretch to say a reality TV show meets the definition of “infrastructure.”
Refreshing grocer: Commercial Properties Inc. of Raleigh, N.C., is set to begin construction next month on a Bottom Dollar grocery store in Pittsburgh's Garfield/Friendship area. And it will build the $10 million store with no public subsidies. Contrast that with the $11.6 million Shop 'n Save grocery store being built in the Hill District that's heavily publicly subsidized. Care to place your bets now on which store will have greater success? Our money's on the folks risking their own money in pursuit of profit.
Evolving Kanes: Allegheny County's Kane Regional Centers have been plagued with chronic deficits, typically $3 million to $4 million annually. But the county hopes that offering specialized care for Alzheimer's disease will help to whittle away at that deficit. To that end, it is spending $1 million to convert an unused wing at its Scott facility. Up to 28 staffers will be hired. And it hopes to compete with private facilities for Alzheimer's patients. While we still think the Kane Centers could and should be privatized, this effort is laudable.
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