Merski, Harkins: Nearly $500,000 awarded to fight blight, boost urban renewal in Erie

Erie, Aug. 2 – State grant funding of $482,251 will boost projects to clear blight and revitalize Erie’s urban landscape, state Reps. Bob Merski and Pat Harkins announced today.

The lawmakers, both D-Erie, said three grants awarded by the state Department of Community and Economic Development under the Keystone Communities Program are:

  • $229,251 to the City of Erie for the West Eighth Street Anchor Buildings Project.
  • $150,000 to the Erie Redevelopment Authority for the City of Erie Blight Reduction Project.
  • $103,000 to the PA Route 6 Alliance for the PA Route 6 Façade Program in the Great Lakes.

“The grant to the city for the West Eighth Street Anchor Buildings Project is extremely exciting because it will build on investments and projects already underway to renew and regrow Erie’s commercial corridor,” Merski said. “With the additional funding, the city can continue efforts to anchor revitalization of this key section of the city with new residential and commercial spaces that draw families, businesses and jobs.”

Harkins said the funding to the redevelopment authority will allow it to continue battling blight.

“The redevelopment authority has been working hard to acquire abandoned and distressed properties and demolish or renovate them,” Harkins said. “While those efforts are giving many areas a fresh look, there is still much work ahead, because blight still plagues many sections of our city, inviting crime and deterring investment.

“The funding awarded today is great news because it will allow the redevelopment authority to continue its progress attacking blighted areas and clearing the way for growth and renewal.”

The Keystone Communities program assists Pennsylvania’s core communities in achieving revitalization. More information about the grants is available here.