Carrick council to use $100K grant for sound technology education program
March 3, 2020
The Carrick Community Council (CCC) opened their member meeting of 2020 with an announcement of a $100,000 grant from the Forbes Fund that will be used to establish a sound technology education program in Carrick.
The grant, which will be administered by the CCC, will be used to teach kids about sound technology through the Phillips Park Recreation Center and the HEAR Corp, a full-service event production company that operates out of 25 Carrick Avenue.
According to CCC board president Sherry Brown, the program will feature three courses each suited for a different age group. One of the courses will provide a professional certification that can help drive students towards careers in the event production industry.
"Really, it's about the technology of sound," Ms. Brown said. "The program is still in development with the HEAR Corp. More will be coming out in the next couple of months."
In addition to the Forbes Fund grant, Ms. Brown said the CCC received funding through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
Ms. Brown did not disclose the total amount of the grant, but said the funding will be used to revamp the CCC's website and also explore an automated calling system to inform residents of community meetings.
Following Ms. Brown's announcements, District 4 City Councilman Anthony Coghill introduced Blake Plavchak as his new chief of staff. He then urged residents to attend a public hearing Thursday, March 5 at 6 p.m. in council chambers to discuss how funding generated from the new Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy (PPC) parks tax should be distributed across the city.
The parks tax, which was approved by city residents last November, will generate an additional $10 million per year to improve the quality of city parks at the cost of $50 for every $100,000 of assessed real estate value per taxpayer per year.
According to the plan, the PPC would administer the funds and use them to improve a list of 20 to 25 parks each year. The list would be based on a "community need score" and would be recalculated annually.
The councilman said he would rather see the $10 million equally distributed across each city district and decisions around which parks receive investment should be left to city council members.
"The PPC came out with their top parks list, and not one of those parks serves the people in our district," the councilman said. "I want to make sure the money stays in our hands."
Representatives from the PPC were not in attendance and did not have the opportunity to respond to Councilman Coghill's comments.
In addition to the parks tax, the councilman announced his office will be conducting a clean-up initiative across the district before spring.
"What I'm asking of you is, if you see a road that really needs picked up, please let us know," the councilman said. "We really want to tackle this in the next couple of months."
Following Councilman Coghill, Ms. Brown introduced the chairs of each CCC board committee and gave a brief overview of what each group would work to achieve in 2020.
The beautification committee will be working to increase the number of cleanup volunteers in Carrick and will also be working to implement educational programs and materials.
The commercial development committee will build relationships with area businesses and create programs to incentivize new businesses to move into the community.
The residential revitalization committee will establish a Carrick landlord registry and create property improvement programs.
The positive press committee will build a marketing and branding strategy as well as a community communication plan.
The technology committee will be working to revamp the organization's website in a way that aligns it with the CCC's strategic plan.
The capacity committee will be looking to increase CCC membership while building community through neighborhood events.
Donna McManus, chair of the capacity committee, announced CCC memberships are available for $5 and include free admission to the Heinz History Center, the Fort Pitt Museum, and Meadowcroft village for the member and up to four guests.
Ms. McManus also announced dates for several upcoming community events:
The CCC will sponsor an Easter Egg Hunt at Phillips Park on April 4 from 1 - 3 p.m. The event will feature over 2,000 eggs and will be open to children ages 8 and under.
The HEAR Corp will host a bluegrass festival called Picksburgh at 25 Carrick Avenue on May 2 from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Only 700 tickets are available for the event.
The March meeting of the Carrick / Overbrook Block Watch has been cancelled. The next meeting will take place on Monday, April 5 and will involve a presentation on emergency preparedness.
A date for the next CCC member meeting has not been determined. For more information on the CCC visit https://carrickpa.org.