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Poloncarz unveils updated economic plan

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Erie County's economy continues to grow. Just last week, a financial services firm announced plans to locate in Amherst, bringing 1,500 jobs to the region. County Executive Mark Poloncarz says he wants to continue that momentum with a plan he's calling "Initiatives for a Smart Economy 2.0."

Poloncarz says there are 71 objectives in the plan dealing with tourism, brownfields and agriculture.

"The release of the new economic agenda is a development strategy for growing all of Erie County, not just a particular region," Poloncarz said.

Poloncarz says his plan would increase the county's hotel bed tax by 1.5 percent, the first such hike since 1987. He says all the revenue generated by the increase would go toward arts and culture and tourism promotion.

The Poloncarz plan also calls for brownfield redevelopment at the old Bethlehem Steel site and a new agriculture-oriented industrial park in Angola.