Erie Metropolis Council OKs $31M deployment of COVID funds

Greater than $30 million in American Rescue Plan funds will quickly be distributed all through the town of Erie.

Two of Mayor Joe Schember’s largest plans for the usage of ARP funds — targeted on blight, housing rehabilitation, helping companies, lowering blight, funding environmental cleanups and a bunch of different initiatives — had been authorized by Erie Metropolis Council on the panel’s common assembly on Wednesday evening.

Erie Mayor Joe Schember.

The funding represents roughly 40% of the town’s total $76 million allocation from the $1.9 trillion federal stimulus invoice, signed into regulation this 12 months by President Joe Biden to help within the restoration from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Schember, at Wednesday’s assembly, thanked Metropolis Council members for his or her votes, saying the funding will likely be used to have an effect on metropolis residents hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic, together with communities of coloration.

Council signed off unanimously on two resolutions concerning the funding.

One decision, authorized by a 7-0 vote, units apart roughly $17 million in ARP funds to numerous initiatives.

The former Quin-T Tech Paper and Boards property at 140 East 16th St.  The Erie County Redevelopment Authority and the city of Erie plan to demolish the building.

The previous Quin-T Tech Paper and Boards property at 140 East sixteenth St. The Erie County Redevelopment Authority and the town of Erie plan to demolish the constructing.

Extra: Schember eyes $17 million in COVID funds to help Erie eating places, companies, spur growth

The proposal consists of the next:

  • $5 million to supply low-interest loans and grants aimed toward redeveloping former industrial websites, together with environmental cleanup.

  • $2.15 million to put money into numerous neighborhood belongings in underserved neighborhoods.

  • $2 million for a program that can assist fund large-scale reasonably priced housing developments. The initiatives should contain 5 or extra housing models.

  • $2 million to assist small companies negatively affected by the pandemic via debt restructuring help.

  • $1 million for a small-business mortgage/grant program that might help minority and female-owned companies.

  • $1 million for Tradition, Arts Festivals and Occasions of Erie, or C.A.F.E., which is the nonprofit established as a fundraising automobile for CelebrateErie. The cash could be used to assist native artists, musicians and entertainers; carry packages to numerous metropolis parks situated in low-income areas; and to spice up variety and inclusion for the CelebrateErie competition.

  • $1 million to supply low-interest loans and grants to giant redevelopment initiatives aimed toward enhancing Erie’s city core/downtown.

  • $1 million to supply extra capital for 2 metropolis grant packages: the Flagship Fund, which assists small companies; and the Commodore Fund, a enterprise growth help program.

  • $1 million to supply technical assist to small companies.

  • $500,000 for a brand new program that would offer grants of as much as $5,000 to eating places and leisure companies within the metropolis that misplaced income due to the pandemic.

  • $300,000 for the town’s ARP-related administrative prices.

  • $100,000 to assist the entrepreneurial KIVA program, a crowd-funded micro-loan program that helps minority, immigrant and female-owned companies that may have issue securing conventional financing from lenders.

The opposite decision, additionally authorized unanimously by council, earmarks a bit of greater than $15 million in ARP funds for plenty of housing-related packages that the Erie Redevelopment Authority will oversee.

The plan consists of $3.2 million for grants aimed toward making properties inside the metropolis lead secure; $3 million for housing rehabilitation loans; $2.3 million for brand spanking new house development; $2.3 million for a rental funding program; $1.8 million to amass blighted properties inside metropolis limits; $990,000 for home-owner incentive grants; $990,000 for grants that can help owners and companies meet metropolis housing/constructing code necessities, and $500,000 for loans to minority contractors

“Individuals want the assistance,” Councilwoman Kathy Schaaf stated.

Renee Lamis, Schember’s chief of employees, informed council that the town is engaged on rapidly creating a grant/mortgage software for the funds.

“Many events have requested in regards to the funding,” Lamis stated. “There will likely be a course of developed by the town for processing grant purposes that will likely be very clear.”

ARP supervisor: Jacqueline Spry sees $76M from American Rescue Plan as ‘historic alternative’ to assist Erie

Metropolis Council’s votes on Wednesday evening sparked important debate.

Councilman Michael Keys questioned the choice to place $15 million within the Redevelopment Authority’s arms, partially as a result of the authority has needed to return cash up to now or has “reprogrammed” funding for different makes use of.

“We will likely be watching,” Keys stated earlier than voting sure on each resolutions.

Kathy Wyrosdick, the town’s director of planning and neighborhood sources, informed council the town will carefully monitor how the ARP funds are distributed.

Kathy Wyrosdick, left, the city of Erie's director of planning and neighborhood resources, and Jake Binney, a city code enforcement officer, discuss a blighted property in the 900 block of West 11th Street in this 2020 file photo.

Kathy Wyrosdick, left, the town of Erie’s director of planning and neighborhood sources, and Jake Binney, a metropolis code enforcement officer, focus on a blighted property within the 900 block of West eleventh Road on this 2020 file photograph.

In different enterprise, Metropolis Council on Wednesday evening authorized a $1.7 million mortgage to Beacon Communities, the Boston-based proprietor of downtown’s Richford Arms condominium advanced.

Enhancements plan: May Richford Arms improve plan get a $1.7 million metropolis mortgage? Erie Metropolis Council will determine

Beacon is planning an intensive renovation of the property that’s anticipated to price greater than $27 million. The zero-interest mortgage will likely be repaid over 30 years.

The town beforehand authorized a $750,000 mortgage for the mission. Richford Arms tenants vary from folks of their mid-20s to seniors of their early 90s, and so they obtain Part 8 rental subsidies or different help via the federal Division of Housing and City Growth.

Metropolis Council additionally heard from a number of residents concerning the legality of short-term leases inside metropolis limits, equivalent to Airbnb leases.

Quick-term leases: Erie Metropolis Council debates proposed adjustments to zoning code for short-term leases

Metropolis Council plans to host one other public listening to on the difficulty earlier than taking a remaining vote on a proposed ordinance that addresses the difficulty.

Contact Kevin Flowers at [email protected] Observe him on Twitter at @ETNflowers.

This text initially appeared on Erie Occasions-Information: American Rescue Plan: Erie Metropolis Council OKs $31M COVID funds plan

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