Erie County Council discusses land bank possibilities

A special meeting of Erie County Council is underway at this hour to discuss proposals on the creation of a land bank.

A land bank would allow the county to purchase vacant, blighted, or tax-delinquent properties and restore them for productive use.  Recently, the state legislature designated $1 million of Erie County's existing gambling revenue for the creation of a land bank.  

County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper proposed an ordinance creating a county land bank, with a nine-member board of directors, but County Councilman Keyl Fousts wants to create a neighborhood and infrastructure revitalization fund.  This would go beyond the traditional work of a land bank.

Dahlkemper says, "we have the ability to really develop this program in a way that all citizens feel confident in the way that this money is being used... and make progress on this issue that not only effects places like the city of Erie, but many of the other boroughs across Erie County".

Tonight is the second and final reading on the two proposals.

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