Erie could set aside $ 3 million for the demolition and redesign of Savocchio Park
- City Council to Consider Request to Transfer an Additional $ 1 Million in ARP Funds to the Redevelopment Authority
- Million dollars would help advance redevelopment plan for eastern business park, Savocchio Park
American rescue plan funds could soon help raze two prominent dilapidated properties in the city of Erie and advance an ambitious plan to renovate an eastern business park in one of the city’s poorest neighborhoods .
Erie City Council, at its regular Wednesday night meeting, will consider resolutions that would set aside a total of $ 2.1 million in ARP funds for plans to demolish the former Erie Malleable Iron property in West 12th and Cherry Street as well as the former Quin- Owned by T Tech Paper and Boards at 140 East 16th St.
Both properties were purchased by the Erie County Redevelopment Authority, which is leading the demolition / redevelopment efforts of both properties.
The properties have fallen into disuse and have been unoccupied for years. The city had previously pledged at least $ 2 million to help demolish and clean up the sites.
In addition, city council will consider a request to transfer an additional $ 1 million in ARP funds to the county planning authority.
West 12th and Cherry:Part of old EMI building in Erie could be saved from wrecking ball
This million dollars would then go to the Minority Community Investment Coalition to help plans to create a community center at Savocchio Park located near East 16th Street and Downing Avenue in one of Erie’s poorest neighborhoods.
MCIC is a group made up of the Booker T. Washington Center, the Martin Luther King Center and the John F. Kennedy Center as well as the Eastside Grassroots Coalition.
The plan for Savocchio Park could include a community solar farm where residents of Erie could be trained in the manufacture, installation and / or maintenance of solar panels; an inland urban farming system that can grow fish, produce and other foods that can be distributed to needy local residents; a small business incubator; vocational training programs; a health and wellness center; and other components.
Savocchio Park:The plan seeks a “major investment”
The Urban Erie Community Development Corp. – which is affiliated with MCIC – in January 2019, closed a $ 100,000 purchase for 19 of the 25 acres of the business park.
Tina Mengine, CEO of the County Redevelopment Authority, said the authority is now managing the Savocchio Park project.
The million dollars will be placed in an escrow account and the MCIC will be reimbursed as it incurs expenses, Mengine said.
Gary Horton, Executive Director of UECDC, said the ARP funding represents “an unprecedented amount of money coming into our community… We appreciate the funding that will help us advance the development of Savocchio Park.”
The city of Erie is working on a detailed framework to spend its $ 76 million in US bailout money. The city has already received $ 38 million from these funds; An additional $ 38 million arrives in 2022.
Erie ARP Fund:City still working on plan to spend COVID relief funds
The money must be spent by the end of 2024.
Mayor Joe Schember said the money should be used in a variety of ways including plans to tackle the scourge, aging infrastructure, parks / green spaces and improving the lives of poor and disenfranchised residents .
City Councilor David Brennan has said he supports the ARP fundraising resolutions.
“Without the money to redevelop these properties, they would literally sit there for decades with no investment,” said Brennan.
Mengine said part of the EMI complex – the office building at the corner of West 12th and Cherry streets and some of the buildings attached to it – will not be demolished.
In addition, work to remove what remains of the walkway on West 12th Street that connected the old EMI building to Erie’s modern industries is expected to begin on Friday.
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation previously announced that 12th West between Liberty and Cherry Streets could be closed for up to three full days, but the project is expected to be completed sooner than that.
Plans call for traffic to be rerouted along Bayfront Drive on these days.
The EMI and Quin-T demolition projects are expected to be completed sometime in 2022, officials said.
City council meets Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. in the Bagnoni Council Chamber at City Hall, 626 State St. The meeting can also be viewed on the city’s website. YouTube page.