Erie County Council discussing options to continue demolishing blighted properties

Local News

Erie County Council is hoping property values increase with the demolition of blighted properties, through a budget resolution for the Erie Land Bank.

During Thursday’s meeting, officials discussed an ordinance that would give Erie County Land Bank more money to continue demolishing blighted properties. Although a final vote was not passed, council members say it will improve the community.

The Erie County Land Bank is requesting $250,000 from the restricted demolition fund to meet their budget of $400,000 for 2021.

Before that can happen, the land bank officials must get approval by Erie County Council.

“Anytime there is a deed that is registered in the Erie County Clerk of Deeds office, we collect that fee and set that aside for potential demolition costs that would occur in the land bank,” said Carl Anderson, Chairman of Erie County Council.

Money has been entering this fund since 2018. Vice-Chairwoman Kim Clear says its accumulated a lot of money to use now for demolition since the COVID-19 pandemic halted some work.

“In 2020, we weren’t able to do as much demolition because of the pandemic. We have all this extra money in there, which is why we were able to do more projects in 2021,” Clear said.

“It assists the land bank on removing the blighted properties, which are a drain on the property values of the houses surrounding them, a drain on the tax base on Erie County,” Clear said.

Clear says demolishing blighted properties will improve the City of Erie.

“I think anytime we can get rid of blighted properties in Erie County, we can look at our neighborhood and our municipality and our county to actually have better property values and better property values are better for everyone in Erie County.” Clear said.

Clear says the Erie County Land Bank will begin more demolition on some properties within the next few weeks.

The council members will make their final vote at the next meeting.

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