Erie County unveils $123M Renew Plan, includes major capital investments
Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz has unveiled the “Renew Plan,” aimed at helping Erie County recover from the pandemic using federal aid. $123 million will go into capital repairs and improvement, county jobs, long term investments and funding the county’s Department of Health Equity.
Poloncarz says while the pandemic isn’t over yet, the money should help as we get to a new normal.
“We’re not back to normal. I don't know what the new normal will be but the Renew Plan will help us get to a point that we can be proud of as we go forward,” Poloncarz said.
He also explained in a Tweet that the $123 million is the most money invested into the county, ever. There is also a second wave of American Rescue Plan funding anticipated for 2022, expected to bring another $89 million to the county.
The Buffalo Niagara Convention Center is also going to get a face-lift thanks to the federal stimulus money. Poloncarz says the convention center needs repairs, and a refresh will make it look like a new building.
“For the new Convention Center facade, we've found out that the convention center facade is in some disrepair and needs to be strengthened, but we will also do it so it will look like a new Convention Center from the outside," Poloncarz said.
As WBFO reported in 2018, the current convention center was deemed “functionally obsolete” and, according to a study, it would cost 440-million to build a new convention center on Delaware Ave. With a price tag of $4,500,000 dollars, the facade renovation is just one percent of the cost of a new center.
Poloncarz says the Renew Plan also includes spending $10 million to repair the county office building at 50 Delaware Avenue, and the roof of the SUNY Erie City Campus.
“You know, if you've seen it, there scaffolding that's protecting people who walk along 50 Delaware, because we've actually had pieces of the building fall off, it has to be really re-plated, so we're going to do that. And the tiles on top of SUNY Erie City Campus unfortunately have to be redone. So we're going to put new roofing tiles on top of that," Poloncarz added.
Other major investments include $33 million for sewers, $14.3 million for county parks, and $5 million for public works road funding.