$17 million in federal funds unlocked for local development projects


BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Nearly $17 million in federal funding was unfrozen to be put back into the community, local leaders announced on Tuesday.

Sen. Charles Schumer says he came to an agreement with federal agencies to end a “decade long tug-of-war.”

According to the senator, Erie County was prevented from using the funds for “critical” economic development projects.

“After a decade-long bureaucratic tug-of-war, I’m thrilled to announce that we have succeeded in bringing HUD and the EDA to the table so we could develop a plan to unfreeze these critical funds. Unlocking nearly $17 million in federal funds means we can finally energize potential job-creating development projects in Erie County once again,” Schumer said. “This agreement to a path forward is a real breakthrough and has the ability to transform Erie County – and I will not stop pushing until Erie County residents and businesses can see this money put to work in their community.”

$3 million of the funds is direct federal grant funding and the other $14 million is revolving loan funds. Here are some of the projects that the funds will provide for:

  • $500,000 for remediation of the former Bethlehem Steel Site
  • $325,000 for the Kennedy Avenue Greenway Improvements in the Town of Evans
  • $872,000 for community revitalization projects
  • $400,000 for a lead paint remediation program
  • $470,000 for a local municipal plan assistance program

“Many years of frustration, unrealized dreams and wasted opportunity can finally be put behind us now that the green light has been given to access funding that will spearhead tremendous economic development throughout Erie County. We will see the birth of projects that will instantly create jobs and also establish long-term careers in a number of different business sectors. Senator Schumer’s persistence and leadership in unlocking this funding will allow for countless companies in our region to evolve into businesses that will help reinvent Erie County as a destination for unlimited economic growth,” Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said.

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