The Erie Downtown Development Corporation is pleading their case after the Erie City Council tabled moving forward with a grant involving the North Park Row project.
JET 24 Action News’ Chelsey Withers reports on why council members decided to put this on pause.
Back in August, the EDDC was awarded $2.5 million from the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) Grant.
CEO of the EDDC, John Persinger says that this is to address not only the buildings in North Park Row but the surrounding area.
“The areas that people know in downtown need some streetscaping, need some new lighting, we need to land some high speed fiber,” Persinger said.”But, really the plan was to hopefully get some state money to help the entire downtown.”
However, on a 5 to 2 vote, Erie City Council tabled a resolution that requests city officials forward a business plan and formal application for the project to the Pennsylvania office of budget.
“We had not actually had a presentation from EDDC about what their plans were,” said Liz Allen, Erie City councilwoman. “It’s my understanding that when previous RCAP grants were approved that those entities came in and did a presentation to City Council.”
One major concern voiced by council members was that they were unsure of how this project was chosen after the city sent the commonwealth a priority list of projects. The EDDC project was not on the city’s priority list.
“Generally speaking, it’s still positive to receive those grant dollars back into our local community, so I feel it’s important that we get those questions answered and get back into the job at hand which is to administer those funds.” said Chris Groner, director.
The EDDC gave a presentation to council members during the finance meeting in order to show what they have lined up for the project. Council is scheduled to vote on this during the October 16th meeting.
Despite the decision regarding the EDDC, council voted to move forward with the process for the Renaissance Centre project.