For the first time since its launch more than two years ago, the city of Erie’s land bank has the money it needs to combat blight.
A first-of-its-kind cooperative agreement approved by Erie County government’s land bank in late October, which the city’s land bank board approved on Monday, will move $414,000 into the city land bank and enable it to take 20 blighted, vacant, tax-delinquent properties and put them back into productive use.
The money comes from $1 million of casino gaming revenue from Presque Isle Downs & Casino that state lawmakers in 2017 carved out for land-banking purposes and awarded to the county.
Erie County Council formed a separate entity to deal with blight, the Erie County Land Bank, earlier this year after being allocated the $1 million.
Amy Murdock, the county’s planning director, said the agreement, as crafted, also allows the city’s land bank to request additional funds “on a project basis” once the city’s initial blight-reduction project for those 20 properties is complete.