by Kelsey Shea
A three year financial agreement between the Northside Leadership Conference and Rivers Casino has ended with no signs of an extension or renewal.
In bidding for the sole Pittsburgh casino license, Rivers Casino promised the NLSC $1 million to invest in Northside communities for the first three years of its residency on the Northside.
2012 marked Rivers three year anniversary on the Northside, and representatives from the casino have stated that they have no intention of renewing or extending a financial commitment to the NSLC.
Casino representatives told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that the financial obligations to Northside neighborhoods had become a drag on the property’s worth.
“The comments from the casino are disappointing, but they’re not surprising,” said Mark Fatla, executive director of the NSLC.
The NSLC invested $2.7 million in housing developments in Manchester and Fineview, the revitalization of Brightwood’s Woodland Avenue, commercial development on East Ohio Street and gateway projects in Fineview and East Deutschtown. The additional $300,000 went towards operational support of the NSLC.
The projects chosen to receive funding were chosen by the leadership conference’s board, made up of representatives of grassroots organizations.
“The conference board has done well in choosing the projects that they funded. It’s been very productive,” said Fatla. “I think the casino should provide continuing support for something that was working.”
The original agreement between the NSLC and Rivers can be viewed on the NSLC website.
Though the financial agreement has ended, the casino will remain a corporate partner to the leadership conference and continue working on parking and hiring initiatives.
However, Rivers will be NSLC’s only corporate who does not make a financial contribution that will be reinvested in the Northside.