The county has $25 million burning a hole in its pocket. Want to help them spend it?
Buying 50 million candy bars is out -- the money, from the federal Housing and Urban Development department, is supposed to go to affordable housing and community economic development projects, such as improvements to roads, sidewalks, sewer and water systems, playgrounds and job-creation programs.
But the county is still eager to hear which of these things are local priorities, and it's got the survey for you to prove it: www.county.allegheny.pa.us/economic/survey04/
John Dowling, spokesman for the county's economic development department, says 3,300 people have already filled out the survey online in the two weeks it's been up, and he hopes even more people will chime in. Local youth-activist groups have already put out the call for members to participate. That's because the same survey will help the county rank all the development work it needs to undertake for the next 10 years (as the state requires).
The survey is not just a paper tiger, Dowling says. Five years ago, when the county conducted a similar survey, citizens asked Allegheny to better adapt streets and buildings to requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act. County money was then channeled to create more curb cuts and wheelchair ramps.
The survey, which the county is also distributing on paper to various interest groups, has no deadline yet. The county is still seeking a data maven to look at the eventual results.
For a survey, call 412-350-1000 or click on www.county.allegheny.pa.us/economic/survey04/.