Local legislators announce $10.5 million in grants for Erie projects

ERIE, Aug. 1 – State Reps. Ryan Bizzarro, Pat Harkins and Bob Merski, all D-Erie, announced today that $10.5 million in grants have been awarded under the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program to fund projects around the region.

The legislators noted that the grants will provide benefits for generations to come.

“I’ve always been a proponent of regional representation and understand the value of community assets that go beyond legislative district boundaries,” Bizzarro said. “I am proud to have worked diligently with my colleagues, House leadership, administrative leadership and community innovators to secure this funding for our community.

“These grant benefits will extend far beyond the individual campus, facility or neighborhood project receiving the investment – they will enhance learning, living, shopping and economic opportunities for residents and generations to come in each of our legislative districts.”

“These grants are incredible news for Erie,” Harkins said. “I’m especially pleased that we were successful in our efforts to help secure $2 million in funding for the project to expand Saint Vincent. My wife and I – and all three of our children – were born there, and we have many friends who work there. It is truly a regional investment.”

Merski agreed, saying, “These state investments in the city of Erie are critical to accelerating our transformation. From the Bayfront Place Market House to the investments in downtown development, these grants show that the state believes in the direction our local leaders are taking in building Erie. The funding to Mercyhurst and Gannon Universities invests in attracting young people to our region in programs that will enhance the Erie area academically, economically and recreationally.” 

The projects and grants are as follows:

  • $500,000 to Mercyhurst University for athletic and academic facility renovations.
  • $1.5 million to the Erie County Convention Center Authority for construction of an 18,000-square-foot “Bayfront Place Market House” with grocery shopping, parking, and other retailer opportunities.
  • $1 million to the EHCA Foundation for construction of new units for residents with disabilities.
  • $2.5 million to the city of Erie for the Flagship City Development project, which will revitalize two blighted buildings in downtown Erie.
  • $2 million to the Erie County General Authority for creation of the Gannon University Institute for Health and Cyber Knowledge.
  • $1 million to the city of Erie for renovations to the historic Renaissance Centre, including replacement of original wooden windows, repair of deteriorated masonry, electrical upgrades and other improvements.
  • $2 million to Saint Vincent Hospital to allow the former emergency room area to be renovated and add 36 patient bays, which will be used as a 23-hour, short-stay patient observation wing.

RACP is administered by the Office of the Budget for the acquisition and construction of regional economic, cultural, civic, recreational and historical improvement projects. RACP projects are authorized in the Redevelopment Assistance section of a Capital Budget Itemization Act, have a regional or multi-jurisdictional impact, and generate substantial increases or maintain current levels of employment, tax revenues or other measures of economic activity.