Dormont Accepted Into Downtown Revitalization Program

The program provides matching grants and low-cost financing for improvement projects such as façade enhancements, streetscaping, business signage, awnings, and architectural lighting.

UPDATE: Adds cost for the borough.


has been selected to participate in an economic development program that will provide planning assistance to help improve its business districts.

“This is a great opportunity for the borough of Dormont and the business district,” borough Manager Gino Rizza said of the Allegheny Together program.

The five-year program will provide the borough with architects, real estate experts, community planners, community development specialists and project managers, according to a news release from the borough.

The program provides matching grants and low-cost financing for improvement projects such as façade enhancements, streetscaping, business signage, awnings, and architectural lighting.

Dormont must contribute $32,500 spread out in years two through five, but Rizza said the cost is “pennies on the dollar” compared to the value, which in the first year alone is about $50,000.

Rizza touted Dormont’s walkability and easy access to buses and the T, saying those attributes benefit existing businesses and residents and could be used to attract new ones.

“Dormont has some empty storefronts. We have to get those filled,” he said.

Rizza credited Dennis Davin, director of Allegheny County Economic Development, and his entire staff for “acknowledging that our community is moving in the right direction.”

“The county has the confidence in the management of Dormont to make this a success,” he said.

He also thanked state and Rep. Dan Deasy and their staffs for support, along with county Executive Dan Onorato and businesses and community organizations for their help and support.

“Neighborhood business districts are the economic backbone of communities throughout the county, and Allegheny Together is designed to help municipalities develop a vision and plan to improve their business districts and make them thrive,” Onorato said in a release. “By helping our traditional business districts succeed, we can attract additional investment and jobs to Allegheny County.”

Besides Dormont, Carnegie has also been selected to participate in the program this year. Tarentum, Swissvale, Bridgeville and several other communities are already in the program, which started in 2007.

“Our business district has a lot of potential and this will help us capitalize on that. We do have some challenges, and we need this kind of guidance to direct us toward where we want to go,” said Ian McMeans, assistant borough manager. “If you look at the other communities in the program, their business districts have a sense of uniformity and consistency — that’s what we want to develop here in Dormont.”

Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation and Town Center Associates are primary consultants to the program.

dormonter March 28, 2011 at 10:10 PM
Will this program be working in conjunction with the already-established Main Street program?
Shawn March 28, 2011 at 11:00 PM
Another incredible opportunity for our community! Please do not allow anyone that made the final Sprout Mural decision anywhere near the planning stages for the façade designs! Who is Slim Bryant?????? Jeeeeeeeez
Dan Nephin March 29, 2011 at 12:52 AM
Slim Bryant: http://tinyurl.com/4b5hdse
Dan Nephin March 29, 2011 at 12:54 AM
Ooops this one: http://tinyurl.com/4hcwny3
Shawn March 29, 2011 at 01:57 AM
Thank you Dan. He seemed like a wonderful person and very talented!
Lee March 30, 2011 at 08:16 PM
Finally!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! A Borough Manager with some ambition and intelligence - we have been waiting for you for over 20 years!!! All of the decisions you have made thus far in your tenure has been to better this community and I thank you Gino Rizza!! You are taking Dormont to a higher level - I am excited to see all the new changes!!! Just so you know, the majority of Dormont residents, although silent, concurs!!!!!
time for a change March 31, 2011 at 12:17 AM
Lee, Although you may think your the majority your not. Your the minority. Lets not get carried away with your praise he's the freaking manager that's what he and I might add his assistant are supposed to do. After all the fired manager of Carnegie got them into them same program last year. What are all these new changes your talking about? The CVS? Oh we are getting a diving board. I just hope we can get some life guards to work at the pool because they all want to work somewhere else. Why, you guessed it!
Lee March 31, 2011 at 12:47 AM
Stop hating and start appreciating, "Time for a Change" sounds like your are going through the change!!!!
James Kraus April 01, 2011 at 05:23 PM
Dear Dormonter, Lee & Time for a Change, I am commenting about Main Street and Allegheny TOGETHER working in conjunction. Although I do not know the answer, I would like to say "I HOPE SO". Being a past Chairperson of DIG Dormont, I have recognized the very devisive political nature that exists in Dormont. We are a very small community with very passionate residents. We are likely to have very lively confrontations. However, we need to work TOGETHER, compromising and embracing what Doromont needs now in order to survive tomorrow. I applaud all of the individuals (including our Manger) that have enabled us to work with Allegheny Together. Please put aside the anger, the differences of opinion, and the past; for the good of all Borough residents. Did I say TOGETHER? Jim Kraus
Lee April 01, 2011 at 06:47 PM
Mr. Kraus, I whole heartedly agree with you. I think to have the initiative and ambition to enter into such a program and to follow through takes a lot of endurance - given this is not the borough manager's only task. I was just recognizing and showing appreciation for all of his hard work. I know some of the procedures he had to hurdle for Dormont to even be chosen for such a project not to mention the day to day red tape. I am just astonished as to the behavior of some of the residents who claim to be upstanding citizen given their negative attitudes and constant bashing of a dedicated and intelligent person that has done so much positive in such a short time.
Mary Beth Kovic April 01, 2011 at 11:52 PM
Yes, this is a good thing. But, guess what? Mr. Rizza is taking credit for something that was set in motion long before him and before ANY of the current council members. We got the attention of the county around the time Main Street was formed and the surveys of our business district was completed several years ago. It would have been granted long ago, also, but we had to wait until more funding was available for the program.
Lee April 02, 2011 at 03:49 AM
Mr. Rizza does deserve the credit!!! I know for fact, he worked hard to get this program for Dormont and is working hard everyday to make Dormont a better community!!!! You really have a vivid imagination MBK!!!! ...and if you have any other fairy tales, to tell the public, Dormont Library is looking for volunteers for story time!!!
Mary Beth Kovic April 02, 2011 at 03:28 PM
Sorry if the truth hurts, Lee. My statements are based on facts. Check with the county. Ask when the survey of the business distrct was done for this program and how long it has been in the works.
Daniele Ventresca April 02, 2011 at 04:33 PM
While the borough may have applied in the past, I am sure that a lot of work was required on the part of borough staff to bring this wonderful opportunity to fruition. Grant money does not just fall from the sky! Bottom line is that this is a great opportunity for Dormont! How about not making this about who you like or don't like and just be happy that something good is happening in our community? Great work Gino, borough staff, and council!
Lee April 05, 2011 at 05:11 PM
MBK are you serious?????? At your age??? I am not here to fight with you - it just seems like you are so unhappy with your life - geeez lady - GROW UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Mary Beth Kovic April 05, 2011 at 11:02 PM
Lee, your immature comments do not warrant a response.


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