Mayor Joe Schember is hoping Erie City Council will invest millions of American Rescue Plan dollars into park and neighborhood upgrades.

The mayor is asking city council members to invest more than $9 million into five city development projects. He is requesting $5 million of ARP funding for park and public space improvements. The plans include creating a new park on 16th and French Streets and an East Bayfront trail system.

“We have a number of vacant and blighted properties that will be removed because they are blighted and too far gone. A trail system, a greenway system, will be built back in their place so that funding will help with that.” said Kathy Wyrosdick, Director of Planning and Neighborhood Resources.

Wyrosdick says an additional $3 million will go toward neighborhood revitalization to improve the quality of life for city residents.

“Much nicer and provides services for our youth, our young people. It gives kids safe places to play within close to their homes. It’s really transformational in so many ways.” Wyrosdick said.

One new representative from the city’s Love your Block program says this funding would help the organization serve underrepresented neighborhoods.

“Working with them, listening to them, getting a plan together and then encouraging them to apply for mini-grants that are available through the Love your Block program.” said Gretchen Block.

Kerr says the mini-grants can be used for improvements that residents feel are necessary.

“They can address vacant lot cleanup, they can address demolition of blighted properties, removal of graffiti, the possibilities are endless.” Kerr said.

Erie City Council could pass this proposal at their final meeting of the year, which is on Wednesday, December 15th.

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