City Councilman Wants Help From County to Fund City's Land bank
The City of Erie is ready to start battling blight. The only problem, they don't have the money to do so.
The City of Erie is ready to start battling blight. The only problem, they don't have the money to do so. However, one city councilman is looking to change that, with a little help from the county.
Last fall, state lawmakers set aside $1 million dollars from the gaming revenue fund to help combat blight and fund the county's land bank program. City Councilman, Bob Merksi thinks that the city should get a cut of that, saying that a majority of the blight in Erie County is in the City of Erie.
Merski is set to make a resolution to ask for $250,000 of the $1 million from the county.
That request that will need to be passed by both city and county councils if the deal were to go through.
A land bank is a program that helps to put vacant, blighted or tax-delinquent properties back into use either by tearing them down or fixing them up and repurposing them.
“What it will allow us to do is acquire properties that have been languishing and just sitting there vacant for years, Merksi said. “I think that if we can do that and do that in clusters that make sense, you'll see a visible difference in the neighborhoods," he added.
Word is that the county will give the city some amount of money, however it is unclear how much or when.