Artwork by our students hanging at the Erie Art Gallery. Thank you Brad Ford for sharing the Pixel Art project with UECDC! The gallery is located at 24 W. 8th St. And is open Wednesday thru Sunday from 1-5PM. These pieces are available for purchase at $25 each. ... See MoreSee Less
Great job! The announcement of the Tuskegee Airmen Rise Above Exhibit comes in at minute 27 give or take. Thank you to the City of Erie Government for including this program and some of our great kids today! The Airmen overcame adversity by following six principles that are a great lesson for the start of the school year: Aim High, Believe in Yourself, Use Your Brain, Be Ready to Go, Never Quit and Expect to Win!
City of Erie Government Here’s this week’s agenda: 1.) A update from our Department of Economic and Community Development, including the revolving loan fund, grant-writing, Pennsylvania’s Flagship Opportunity Zone, and the first round of Flagship Fund Grant Awards 2.) A report on the City’s Bond Rating 3.) An Announcement about the upcoming Tuskegee Airmen Rise Above Exhibit 4.) Some Back-to-school reminders and tips 5.) A request to complete the CelebrateErie Survey 6.) A congratulatory message to our Muslim friends who are celebrating Eid al ad-ha 7.) A reminder about Zabawa.
1. The Dept. of Econ and Community Development is identifying gaps in the economic development system and working on ways the City could build capacity and fill those needs. The City has provided $2.7 Million in direct lending to small and medium sized businesses thus far this year. This is a record amount of financing provided by the City in any given year and we have 4 months to go. These 11 projects have helped to retain and create hundreds of jobs in the city this year alone. generated by our larger economic development projects. This dept also made it a priority to build and add a solid outreach component. This effort has resulted in over 200 visits and tours to local businesses since the beginning of the year, around one every day. This drastic increase in direct contact has provided the City’s business owners with valuable connections and information and has provided meaningful feedback and advice as to how we can improve the business climate in the City. Since the beginning of the year, grant writer, Abby Skinner, has submitted over $35,000,000 in grant requests on behalf of the City and other businesses and organizations. One month ago, the Mayor recognized all of the various organizations working to advance the Opportunity Zone concept in the City of Erie. Less than two weeks ago we held a meeting of community leaders to discuss further developing Erie’s Opportunity Zone, and the branding of the zone as Pennsylvania’s Flagship Opportunity Zone. This meeting was an outgrowth of the Mayor’s highlighting these efforts a few short weeks ago. It was agreed that we were on the right tract, and that this would place Erie ahead of the curve nationally. In partnership with Knox Law Public Strategies, we developed a website, www.flagshipopportunityzone.com , through which you can sign up to receive information on our Zone. Eventually we will use the website to promote the City’s investment prospectus, the businesses in the zone and the investment opportunities. Good morning. We received 34 total applications, with a total amount requested of $153,000. Between the 34 applicants, the average employment was 2.48 employees per establishment. And an average annual revenue of $41,660. The average amount of grant dollars requested was $4,500. Awards Winners: 4045 Media Corp. 4045 Media is a no-frills ad technology platform where marketers can start running sophisticated, data-driven mobile ad campaigns in under 15 minutes. Located in the Erie Technology Incubator at Gannon University, 4045 Media is founded by Bob Reisenweber and Colin Jacobson. Obviously two talented young professionals, what impressed us the most is that they’ve decided to grow their ad-tech business not in New York City or San Francisco, but right here in Erie, Pennsylvania. 2. Whitethorn Digital LLC. Whitethorn Digital LLC is a publisher of off-beat indie video games, and a development and small game business incubator. Located in the Renaissance Center in downtown Erie and led by founders Dr. Matthew White and his wife Katie – Whitethorn Digital is uniquely positioned to capture the opportunity to make Erie, Pennsylvania a hub of a $30 billion dollar indie video game industry. 3. FW Millwork, LLC FW Millworks is a custom millwork fabrication shop located in the City of Erie and currently employs 6 full-time employees. Their innovative approach – to combine two extraordinarily different, yet creatively integrated manufacturing processes, has allowed the company to complete projects in areas such as high-end restaurants, universities, federal judge’s chambers, and most notably their involvement in the revitalization of the National Press Building in Washington DC - and worth noting, a majority of their work is performed outside of Erie, so the importing of outside dollars will enable Erie’s economy to flourish. 4. Uniform Outfitters Erie, PA Uniform Outfitters, a locally owned provider of equipment and uniforms for first responders recently purchased a new building in the City and are dedicated to improving the curb appeal of their 60 year old building, and make a statement to the community and their customers that they are invested in Erie for the long-haul. With a staff made up of current and former members of the military, law enforcement, first responders, and EMS services, this growing company serves those who serve our country and community every day. 5. @Grant Larson Productions, LLC Grant Larson Productions is a film and video content production company with a mission to develop and produce dramatic feature films with an emphasis on new filmmakers and strong female roles along with education through new media content. Grant Larson Productions is in the process of developing a mini-series that looks at the history or significance of the Battle of Lake Erie – and they would ideally love to time the release of the documentary with the Tall Ships festival in 2019.
2. City’s financial health. S&P assigned an “A” rating to the new Parking Authority Bond. The most interesting part of this report to me was when they addressed the projected $1 million deficit I had discussed with City Council last week. After mentioning the projected deficit and the lower Sewer Transfers as the cause, they said “Should the City end with this shortfall, it is unlikely that it will result in a material change in its budgetary performance. They concluded this section by saying: “In our opinion, we believe that it is likely that the city will make the necessary budget adjustments and achieve balanced or positive operations. Based on its track record, its actual results have consistently outperformed its midyear projections. The full report is available to any who would like to read it after today’s Press Conference.
3. Tuskegee Airmen Rise Above Exhibit The exhibit will take place at the North Coast Flight School, next to Erie International Airport, 1605 Asbury Road August 29-30 2 to 5 p.m. August 31-September 2 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. www.facebook.com/events/371659100004237/
4). The first day of school for students in Erie’s Public Schools is this coming Monday, August 27: 1. Students should report on the very first day to avoid falling behind. 2. Motorists should be mindful of walking schoolchildren and school buses, whether it is a school district bus or an EMTA bus, carrying school children, when the bus is stopped, cars must wait behind the bus. Cars are not to pass the bus on either side of the rode while children are getting on and off the bus. 3. The district has lots of info available for families at eriesd.org/backtoschool.
4. @CelebrateErie: Thanks to the Secure Smart City Initiative launched by the Erie Innovation District, we are able to estimate the number of people who were in Perry Square. The system picked up the following devices: -Thursday: 36,610 -Friday: 55,972 -Saturday: 69,820 -Sunday: 59,346 For a total of: 221,748 This does not take into account anyone without a device or anyone who did not pass through Perry Square to get to the Main Stage. So, we are secure in our estimate that more than a quarter of a million people were in attendance at CelebrateErie. Finally, the survey will be on-line through August 30. The link is celebrateerie.com/survey/
6). Eid Mubarak to our Muslim brothers and sisters who are celebrating Eid al-Ad-ha, which is the Festival of Sacrifice, and their holiest celebration. It honors the willingness of Ibrahim to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to God’s command.
7). The 25th Annual Zabawa Polish Festival is this Friday 5-10 p.m., Saturday 12-10 p.m., and Sunday 12-6 p.m. Admission is free. There will be live music, drawings, games, a kids area, and authentic polish foods and bakery items. Bishop Persico will lead a Polish Heritage Mass on Sunday at 11 a.m. And, my Chief of Staff and I will be serving concessions on Sunday from Noon to 2. Details are available to www.holytrinityrc.org/ So come on out and support Holy Trinity Parish. ... See MoreSee Less