County Gaming Money Sees a Shake-Up

As we have pointed out since the slots gaming law was passed and the disbursement of economic development money was codified into law, the language allowing for Allegheny County to receive $80 million for the "construction, development, improvement, and maintenance of infrastructure projects" was overly broad. The County receives the money in annual installments of $6.6 million and funneled the money through the Redevelopment Authority of Allegheny County to a special entity created within the Authority known as the "Allegheny County Economic Development, Community Infrastructure, and Tourism Board (CITB)".

Just this past week Council acted on a measure that would allow the Redevelopment Authority to act as the agent for handling the money since the CITB plans to "dissolve itself, which shall take place on or before March 31, 2010". The decision to end the CITB must have came quickly as the measure was introduced on December 1st and approved on the 15th.

Given the broad statutory language, some of the awards made by the CITB included disbursing $250k to Point Park University for its academic village, $50k to Monroeville for a traffic signal (the money was moved to help research on a site plan for a health club), as well as to construct a parking lot in Lawrenceville, for new housing in Manchester, for a fountain in Allegheny Commons park, for promotional work in Monroeville, and for a retaining wall in Shaler to help prevent flooding along Girty’s Run.

It is unclear why this change was made and what it will mean when the remainder of the money is handed out in the coming years.