Merski, Harkins: Erie County Public Library secures $41,608 grant

ERIE, Feb. 24 – A new state grant of $41,608 will fund improvements to the Erie County Public Library, state Reps. Bob Merski, and Pat Harkins, both D-Erie, announced today.

The lawmakers said the funding was awarded under the Keystone Grants for Library Facilities, which is administered by the state Department of Education.

“Our Erie Public Library serves the community in so many ways,” Merski said. “Beyond the books, it’s a place where neighbors can connect for events and classes, where kids are inspired by the power of storytelling and where residents with limited access can find the resources they need. I’m thrilled we were able to help secure more funding for this essential Erie resource.”

Harkins said, “Every new investment in our library helps ensure that this amazing community center can keep its door open to the students, families and neighbors who have come to rely on it. It brings us together, and we need to ensure that it remains the powerful resource it is.”

The grant is part of a package of more than $4 million in competitive grants to 21 public libraries statewide funded through the Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund. The state Department of Education administers the public library portion of this program, which is funded from a portion of the state’s realty transfer tax.

Grants pay up to 50% of eligible costs in planning, acquisition, construction, and rehabilitation of public libraries. Examples of fundable projects include but are not limited to: ADA upgrades, roof improvements, replacement windows, energy efficient upgrades to HVAC systems, facility expansion, and new construction.