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Building Innovation is a collection of stories by 90.5 fm WESA reporters about the Pittsburgh region focusing on efficient government operation, infrastructure and transportation, innovative practices, energy and environment and neighborhoods and community.

RAD To Distribute $93 Million For 2016 'Quality Of Life' Grant Cycle


Local organizations and agencies can start lining up Monday to make their pitch for grants from the Allegheny Regional Asset District, or RAD.

RAD annually awards tens of millions to support parks, libraries and cultural organizations.

“We have … 100-plus applications that will appear publicly in front of our volunteer board of directors,” said Richard Hudic, RAD executive director. “They will have the opportunity to pitch their case and state their case for why they’re deserving of regional asset district taxpayer dollars.”

Hudic said the organizations that receive this funding are important because they enhance the experience of all taxpayers in the county, leading to a greater quality of life.

“Over the past 22 years, we’ve invested over $1.6 billion in these regional assets,” he said. The money comes from the extra 1 percent sales tax in Allegheny County.

The RAD board will release a preliminary budget around Oct. 1, with a roughly two-month public comment period, according to Hudic. The board will then approve a final budget near the end of November that will take effect Jan. 1, 2016.

“This year, our funding cycle’s budget is around $93 million, and we have well over $100 million worth of requests,” he said, “so obviously the need is greater than what the availability of funds are.”

Due to the disparity between the available funds and the requests, Hudic said it is often difficult to decide which organizations get funding and which do not, but they make the best investments that they can with the information presented to them.

He said the board is tasked with asking “great questions to these assets to find out which ones have the most strategic impact on that quality of life.”