Harkins, Merski: $200,000 to enhance Erie building code, permitting operations

Grant will allow city to purchase computers, software for greater efficiency

ERIE, Dec. 10 – A $200,000 grant will allow the city of Erie to purchase computer equipment and software needed to keep building code enforcement and permitting operations running smoothly, state Reps. Pat Harkins and Bob Merski, both D-Erie, announced today. 

The lawmakers said the funding from the state Department of Community and Economic Development will also allow the city’s code enforcement office to retain a consultant to guide effective, cost-efficient purchasing.

“Building code enforcement and permitting are critically important services that impact both the safety of residents and business patrons and the economic operations of local businesses,” Harkins said. “Equipment and software purchased with this funding will be indispensable to department staff in managing reports and workflow, addressing concerns and following up on compliance.”

Merski said: “While computer software can never take the place of hands-on site inspection, computer systems and software can make certain operations – including receiving and processing applications, reviewing plans and tracking code compliance – much more efficient. This funding is going to give code enforcement officers and related staff the tools they need to streamline and enhance operations for the benefit of residents, business owners, builders and the entire community.”

The grant was made through DCED’s Strategic Management Planning Program. The lawmakers said a 10% match from the city is required.