Governor Corbett Announces Funding to Continue Transforming the City of Erie’s Little Italy Neighborhood
Harrisburg–Governor Tom Corbett today announced that the Department of Community and Economic Development awarded a $412,899 Keystone Communities Public Improvement grant to continue improving of the City of Erie’s Little Italy Neighborhood.
“My administration is proud to award this Keystone Communities grant to help the Little Italy Neighborhood make substantial enhancements,” said Corbett. “These investments will support improvements to increase pedestrian safety while enhancing properties to encourage new, local investment.”
The Keystone Communities grant will provide public improvement funding to undertake a streetscape project along West 18th Street in the City’s Little Italy designated Elm Street Neighborhood. West 18th Street is the most traveled street in Little Italy and is currently in most need of repairs. The Historic Little Italy Revitalization Plan cites improvements to the West 18th Corridor as the City’s number one priority for public improvement projects.
Funding will support new sidewalks, curbs and greenspace with trees used as a buffer between pedestrians and vehicles. A 2012 neighborhood-conditions survey conducted by 25 volunteers from ServErie, indicate 52 percent of the sidewalks and 61 percent of the curbs in the target area need to be repaired or replaced.
“The proposed streetscape improvements funded by the Keystone Communities Program will enhance property values and trigger a ripple effect of further investment in this neighborhood. It is a signal to local residents, businesses and the wider community that Little Italy is working to re-establish itself as the settling place for new Americans regardless of their origin,” said Mayor Joseph E. Sinnott. “I thank Governor Corbett and his administration for recognizing not only the need, but the potential of the Little Italy Neighborhood and funding this grant application.”
The Keystone Communities program was created in 2011 to assist state communities in achieving revitalization. The program supports physical improvements to both designated and other communities that are undertaking revitalization to restore deteriorated downtowns, residential neighborhoods and industrial/manufacturing sites.
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