Pittsburgh City Council gives members access to $400K for grants to athletic, community groups - TribLIVE

Pittsburgh City Council on Tuesday approved giving its members access to more than $400,000 to grant directly to athletic associations and community organizations in their districts.

The legislation, sponsored by Council President Theresa Kail-Smith, will move $410,000 from the Office of Management & Budget and Parks & Recreation to the City Clerk’s Office. Council members will then be able to use the money to provide grants.

Officials said moving the cash to the clerk’s office is meant to simplify the process of awarding the grants, increase transparency and give council members more discretion in where to allocate the funds.

Nonprofits will be able to apply for grants of up to $4,999 from the fund. Council will need to approve the allocations before the money is distributed to the athletic associations or community groups.

Council members Deb Gross, R. Daniel Lavelle, Erika Strassburger, Bobby Wilson and Ricky Burgess voted in favor of the measure Tuesday, while Councilman Bruce Kraus voted against it.

Kraus abstained from a preliminary vote last week, citing concerns about a lack of clear criteria in place to govern how and where the money is spent.

Council members Anthony Coghill and Kail-Smith were not present.

Julia Felton is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Julia by email at jfelton@triblive.com or via Twitter .