Dahlkemper vetoes land bank proposal citing multiple "violations - Erie News Now | WICU & WSEE in Erie, PA

Dahlkemper vetoes land bank proposal citing multiple "violations"

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ERIE, Pa. -

Erie County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper vetoed the proposed Erie County land bank Tuesday because she says a pre-determined executive board contained in that plan violates the county's home-rule charter.

"All appointees to authorities and boards really come out of the administrative office of the county executive," Dahlkemper said following the decision.

The move comes just one week after county council narrowly approved the land bank, formally known as the Neighborhood Infrastructure and Revitalization Fund, or "NIRF." That would give $1 million in new gaming money allocated for a land bank in this year's state budget, to the Erie County Gaming Revenue Authority.

Newly-appointed council chairman Dr. Kyle Foust drafted the plan and has been a supporter of ECGRA.

"What these funds need to do are get in the hands of the people that are already running programs to match those funds to make the funds that we have here locally go even further," Foust said following a special meeting on Dec. 28 when council approved the plan.

Dahlkemper says NIRF set up ECGRA in a way that also violates the county's administrative code and their everyday duties.

"Which really are to administer gaming funds for municipal funds and for other reasons, but not to run programs," she said.

But Foust disagreed with Dahlkemper's concerns in a statement he sent to Erie News Now Tuesday.

"We now have no plan in place, which is unfortunate," he said. "I confirmed with our solicitor and ECGRA's solicitor about the legality of NIRF and there were no legal issues."

Dahlkemper plans to propose another version of the land bank before council's next meeting later this month. In that proposal, the county's planning commission would run the land bank, not ECGRA.

"It would be a separate authority," Dahlkemper said. "(The county) would just be administering it."

Council previously voted against Dahlkemper's version of a land bank last month. Foust's plan was approved by a 4-3 on Dec. 28.

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