The price tag has been determined for security updates needed to reopen Erie City Hall. Erie City Council has given the thumbs up to spending the money to make it happen.
Erie City Council members have sealed the deal with a five to two vote to use the nearly $1 million fund for improving city hall security.
Funds will be used to purchase metal detectors, outdoor fencing, a new access control system and much more. There will be at least three new city hall security officers.
Vice President of City Council Michael Keys and President Ed Brezezinski voted against the project. Keys says part of the money is coming from the capital fund.
“The personnel going forward and maintenance agreements and contracts is going to be more than another $600,000 over the next five years.” Keys said. Keys says this is the people’s hall and the people deserve to know where the money is coming from.
“It’s not money that we didn’t have budgeted, but we’re using most of it for this particular project.” Mayor Schember said.
Schember says he hopes part of the $79 million coming from the American Rescue Plan can be used.
“That may be possible for us to use some of that money. We don’t know for sure because we don’t know the rules for that yet.” Schember said.
Mayor Schember says the security upgrades will not be funded by city taxpayers. Schember says in the past there were concerns for people’s safety. Keys says he wishes his fellow council members would listen to him since he has done security for over 25 years.
“If this were a private building, great and excellent choices, but this is a public building and people should have access to a public building.” Keys said.
Mayor Schember says the security project should have been done 20 years ago. Erie City Hall will open on June 1st.