District 19 News from Rep. Aerion Abney: Dec. 2022
Multiple local projects receive grant funding
Photo: Office of Rep. Abney
Hello to my Northside neighbors! I’m eager to share with all of you some of the important work I’ve been doing in Harrisburg and here at home.
Nearly two weeks prior to Election Day, I led a roundtable with my House Democratic colleague Rep. Donna Bullock of Philadelphia, chair of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus, and acting Secretary of the Commonwealth Leigh M. Chapman at the Capitol. We wanted to educate people about the rights they have as voters and things to be aware of at the polls once Nov. 8 arrived. I’m proud of all the work I’ve done on behalf of All Voting is Local before I became state representative, and I continue to advocate for voting rights in my current role.
Allegheny County has been awarded a $2 million state grant from the state Department of Community and Economic Development. The funds will allow homeowners to make renovations and improvements to their houses. Leaky roofs and compromised foundations are just two kinds of projects these funds will be able to address, ensuring the safety and well-being of many households.
Speaking of state grants, a combined total of nearly $47 million was allocated to local projects throughout the district I represent, made possible by the state’s Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program.
The commonwealth grant program, overseen by the Office of the Budget, assists with regional, cultural, economic, civic and historical projects that improve a community’s economic growth by creating jobs and opportunities.
I’m excited to announce that North Side projects I’ve fought hard to secure additional funding for have received $20.5 million of these dollars!
Astrobotic, the space robotics firm, received $3 million to fund construction of a four-story facility, adjacent to their current headquarters, to house labs, cleanrooms and offices.
The Carnegie Institute was allocated $1 million to help build the Pop District Live performance and event venue. An expansion of the Andy Warhol Museum, the space will feature a new, live performance and event facility, a six-square-block public art initiative and a scalable workforce development program focused on creative economy training for underserved, regional youth.
A $2 million grant went to the Allegheny YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh to update and renovate pool and fitness facilities, as well as rental units.
Allocated for a project along the riverfront, $10 million will be utilized towards what will be called the Esplanade. Features of the recreational complex to be constructed include a Ferris wheel, amphitheater, splash park, ice skating trail and multiple restaurants and retailers.
A $3 million grant was awarded to Horace Mann Village for the redesign and renovation of the Horace Mann School into residential and commercial spaces.
The National Aviary received $500,000 to construct a state-of-the-art veterinary hospital, equipped with viewing areas for visitors to observe doctors at work, and a learning space to engage with animal ambassadors.
Finally, $1 million was allocated to the Urban Impact Foundation, a multi-faceted community outreach organization, to renovate two buildings at their North Charles Street campus and construct a parking lot.
An additional state grant was made possible by the Gaming Economic Development Tourism Fund which falls under the Redevelopment Authority of Allegheny County and the state Commonwealth Financing Authority. A total of $100,000 went to the North Side Animal Shelter to reconfigure their veterinary clinic layout by relocating and downsizing certain areas to increase the number of animals that can be treated and updating the building’s community room.
I also want to give a shoutout of appreciation to the North Side Christian Health Center for allowing me to deliver keynote remarks at its annual fundraiser weeks ago. They provide critical health care services for uninsured individuals and those who are only partly insured. Thank you for extending your valuable resources to everyone in need of care!
I wish all of you a Merry Christmas, a happy holiday season and look forward to seeing and talking with you in the new year!