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Neighborhood Revitalization at National Night Out

Committee hopes to revitalize neighborhoods with West Bayfront Initiative.
For the third year in a row, neighborhood watch groups and downtown residents came together to meet their neighbors and discuss revitalization.

"It starts with families, it starts with individuals, it starts with the neighborhood so the stronger we can keep the neighborhood feel and the commitment of the people that live and work in the neighborhood strong, the better off we're gonna be,” said Dr. Keith Taylor, President of Gannon University.

A neighborhood feel tonight at Gridley Park, where hundreds gathered for “National Night Out.”

The event was hosted by five neighborhood watch groups.

These groups are also the driving force behind an initiative to revitalize the west bayfront neighborhood, located from State Street to the Bayfront Parkway, and West 12th Street to the bay.

A steering committee has been working for the past year to find the best ways to decrease poverty and drugs and increase business and community involvement.

The committee is also working with Gannon University, and hopes their results are as successful as those in other erie neighborhoods.

"We saw all the good things that they were doing and so we're optimistic that we can make some improvements and move forward in our own area,” said Bill Lechner, Garden Court Association President.

"We've done that in other areas of the city, where the neighborhoods have come together and worked under a revitalization plan, and the subsequent actions with that and we've had very positive results. So I expect the same here, we've had a lot of dedicated people here, they really wanna see this neighborhood become what it can be,” said Mayor Joe Sinnott of Erie.

The committee needs to raise a total of $50,000 dollars to create a neighborhood action plan.

They have raised $25,000 so far and will continue to look into donations and grants.

Tonight’s event was sponsored by the United Way of Erie County, Gannon University and Emerson Gridley Elementary School.

To get involved in the initiative, you can visit http://www.ourwestbayfront.org/.

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