Bizzarro, Harkins, Merski announce $1.9M in grant funding for Erie County

Funding secured through COVID-19 American Rescue Plan dollars

ERIE, Dec. 19 – Nearly $2 million in state grant funding has been awarded to several Erie County organizations, state Reps. Ryan Bizzarro, Pat Harkins and Bob Merski, all D-Erie, announced Tuesday.

The Pennsylvania Department of Economic and Community Development released the money through three different grant initiatives, including the H20 PA Program, PA Small Water & Sewer Program and PA Arts and Culture Recovery Program. Funding for these programs was generated through the federal COVID-19 American Rescue Plan Act and appropriated by the state legislature through Act 54 of 2022.

Eleven different Erie County organizations are receiving a total of $1,976,794 in grant funding through the three different programs. These include:

  • $817,000 to Greene Township for the Greene Township Water System Expansion & Consolidation Project
  • $500,000 to Millcreek Township for the Kearsarge Force Main Replacement Project
  • $319,580 to the City of Erie for the Garrison Run Nonpoint Source Pollution Reduction Project
  • $70,000 to the Summit Township Sewer Authority for Ennis Subdivision Sanitary sewer repairs
  • $82,500 to Erie Arts & Culture to distribute pandemic recovery payments to arts and culture professionals
  • $28,436 to Community Access Media for operating expenses
  • $20,811 to Cultures, Arts, Festivals, and Events of Erie for operating expenses
  • $22,944 to the Erie Art Museum to offset lost revenue as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • $35,625 to the Erie Playhouse to offset lost revenue as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • $65,079 to Erie Philharmonic, Inc. for operating expenses
  • $14,819 to the expERIEnce Children’s Museum for operating expenses

"Upgrades and necessary maintenance to force main lines cost a significant amount, but that cost can pale in comparison to the sizable cleanup costs – not to mention health and environmental concerns – if a failure occurs,” said Bizzarro. “I’m so pleased to see the state is supporting Millcreek Township and Erie County in stepping forward to cover the cost for this necessary work.”

“These grant dollars infuse resources into projects ranging from updating Erie’s water treatment systems to building upon our region’s stellar reputation as being a premier destination for art and culture,” Harkins said. “Awards with such a broad and wide-ranging reach showcase Erie’s ability to champion initiatives that will have a profound, positive impact on our community. I look forward to seeing these innovative projects benefit all who have the privilege of calling Erie County home.”

“This current round of funding, along with past awards, have a consistent theme. That theme being forward-thinking, community-oriented development projects that make Erie County an attractive place to live, work, and raise a family,” Merski said. “Continuing to put Erie in the best possible position to receive influxes in funding will always remain of the utmost importance, and I am proud to see these vital dollars be brought back home.”

The H20 PA and Small Water and Sewer grant programs distribute funds to municipalities municipal authorities to assist with the completion of drinking water, small water, sanitary sewer and storm water projects. The PA Arts and Culture Recovery Program provides grants to nonprofit arts and culture organizations impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic.