The City of Erie and Millcreek Township are long-time neighbors, but very rarely do the local governments in those communities work together.  However, a plan is in place for both Erie and Millcreek to develop a joint economic development strategy.


Erie has a new comprehensive plan that focuses on economic development along its east- west corridors.  Millcreek is finalizing a comprehensive plan that focuses on economic development on its east- west corridors.  It just makes sense that the neighbors would work together.


8th Street, 12th Street, and 26th Street, are all main corridors of both the City of Erie and Millcreek Township.  Government leaders in each community have jointly decided to bring in an expert from  the National Economic Development Council  to help spur economic development along those corridors on both sides of the border.     


"There's actually a 4-day training course that this group offers to municipal staff and elected officials, and local developers and financial institutions.  We really felt it would be beneficial to both the township and the city," said John Morgan, Millcreek Supervisor


Both Erie City Council, and the Millcreek Supervisors have approved a plan to jointly apply for a grant from the Erie County Gaming Revenue Authority.  The grant would provide half of the $20,000 needed for the training.  Each municipality would equally provide the rest.


"That would give us an opportunity to be in the room together over some time and really talk about what other opportunities are there for us to be partnering on things like economic development," said Kathy Wyrosdick, City of Erie Planning Director


Much of the economic development strategy will focus on Presque Isle State Park, a place that's important to both communities.


"The city definitely benefits  by any enhancement and improvement to Presque Isle in developing a more functional gateway and corridors to Presque Isle.  It's going to benefit city residents," Wyrosdick said.


Millcreek is proud of its nickname, “The Gateway to Presque Isle." Erie is working hard on improving the bayfront as a great place to run, walk, bike, and boat.  The area between the bayfront and Presque Isle is an excellent target for two communities to work together on economic development.  Or are we really one community?


"Peninsula Drive and State Street.  There's only 4 miles apart for those two streets.  Those are really the cores of our two communities,” says Morgan. “We really are one community and we need to start working together.  This is a great first step for us to start doing so."


The two communities hope to secure the gaming money by the end of next month.  The training sessions hopefully would be held by the end of the year.