People living in Millcreek residents had a lot of questions about the township’s Presque Isle Gateway Project.

Some taxpayers said the township is spending their money, without giving them a say, but township supervisors said that’s not the case. 

It was a packed house Tuesday night, as Millcreek residents made their voices heard about the township buying five, high-value properties. It’s all part of the Presque Isle Gateway district plan.

“Why even have a meeting to discuss what’s going on along West Eighth Street when they’ve already kind of made their decision?” said Tom Smith, Millcreek Township resident.

Two of those properties have already been purchased. The other three are reportedly close to a deal.

The township plans to demolish the buildings and develop an opportunity for tourism and business to thrive near the entrance of Presque Isle.

However, not everyone is on board with the plan. 

“They’re over $2.5 million on overpaying on all of these properties where they had consultants and appraisers that gave them values, so it seems like everybody’s concerned about that,” Smith said.

Some taxpayers said the township is acting more like a real estate agency rather than a municipality.

“These nine acres are arguably the most valuable acres in all of Erie County and being right at the foot of Presque Isle. So these were not easy properties to negotiate on,” said Kim Clear, Millcreek Township supervisor.

In addition to a special, public meeting to be held by the Millcreek general assembly, the township is also working on a way for the community to provide direct feedback.

There have been off-and-on debates about this project for several weeks at this point, however, some say that it’s important to have a vision.

“I think that this whole project is about vision: the vision of what’s going on downtown, the vision of what’s happening on the Bayfront, and the vision that we have for this corridor to be completed. I can see it in my head and I know that it’s going to be lovely,” said Robyn Crago, Millcreek Township resident.

Millcreek Township announced on Tuesday two special information sessions on March 21 regarding the project: one at 9 am and another at 5 pm.