Added: Rodrigues Kawamura - Date: 06.05.2022 04:24 - Views: 27284 - Clicks: 3386
Learn more about efforts Erie County government is taking to protect our citizens and create safe communities. Effective immediately: Now that the board of trustees has been seated, the Erie County Community College is no longer an initiative of the County Executive.
It is officially an independent entity. The board will have an official website for all information moving forward, by the end of Until that website is established, Erie County will host this information. InErie County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper explored several municipalities around the county, visiting businesses, meeting with elected officials and hearing from local residents. It was part of her ongoing effort to highlight the unique communities that make up the patchwork of Erie County.
Our fifth stop in my Exploring Erie County initiative was in the borough of Edinboro on June 28, Langill had reached out to my office after he first took office in January, and I thought it would be a good opportunity to check in with him. Though he is new to elected office, Langill is no stranger to community involvement. He was a co-founder of the Flagship Niagara League, and has long been an advocate for his adopted home of Edinboro. It was a good way for me to get to know what is happening in the borough and how the county might be able to assist our local municipalities.
One of the topics that came up in our conversation was the recently formed Erie County Land Bank, which will be used as a tool to fight blight in communities across the county. Edinboro, as Opple pointed out, might be a unique situation among Erie County municipalities.
There are quite a few rental properties in the borough, thanks to the presence of Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. And in addition, about 54 percent of property in the borough is tax exempt. We left Edinboro borough and crossed into neighboring Washington Township for our next appointment — lunch at Engine House 39 Social Club, which opened in April on Route 99 behind the Washington Township building.
The remaining hours of the day, including dinnertime and late night, the club is for members and their guests. Proceeds from the social club benefit the fire department — which, like so many other local emergency operations, is looking for new ways to make ends meet. Washington Township operates with a township manager and a five-member council, and Campbell is in her third term on the council. As we dined, we discussed the social club, as well as some issues facing Washington Township. Many of those issues are similar to those we discussed earlier in the day with the Edinboro borough manager.
We also touched on the topic of recycling, which has been facing drastic changes nationwide lately. Washington Township hosted a recycling drop-off site for the county recycling program, until a persistent problem with illegal dumping forced the closure of the site last year. Now, recycling is undergoing more struggles, as waste haulers change their policies for what is accepted and what is not. As consumers, we are left with little recourse, which can be frustrating.
All we can do is make sure we are following local guidelines for recycling — and to try to reduce our waste as much as possible. With that idea top of mind, we passed on the plastic straws at the social club. It might be a tiny gesture, but it is one that could add up, since million plastic straws are thrown away every day in the U. With bellies full, we headed back to downtown Edinboro to visit another relatively new enterprise: Edinboro Market. Edinboro Market opened in an Erie Street storefront late last year, and it has been making a name for itself in the months since. The market is a nonprofit that aims to connect residents with locally grown and produced foods.
As Marti Martz, president of the nonprofit, showed us around, we could see evidence of that commitment for ourselves: Jars of local honey lined a shelf. Locally grown greens burst from a display. Glass jugs of milk and wrapped packs of beef, all from area farms, filled a wall of coolers.
Martz described her goal for the market as being almost an incubator of sorts for local growers, helping to connect those local food producers with the people who will buy the products. The challenge for a lot of local farmers or other growers is the distribution of their products, and the market hopes to be able to address that issue.
The county department has been working hard to connect residents to fresh, local food sources, and the Edinboro Market fits perfectly into that objective. Martz takes that mission a step further, though, not just offering local food but educating people about their food and where it comes from. To that end, she has been organizing classes at the market, including lessons on making homemade kombucha and yogurt, and one on raising backyard chickens.
She also offers locally made soaps as well as products that promote sustainable living, like reusable bags and wraps. The Goodell grounds were quiet on this weekday afternoon, but during special events — like the Homegrown Harvest Festival or Summer Music Festival — the place can be packed with visitors. In fact, as new executive director Amber Wellington told us, Goodell Gardens drew nearly 20, visitors inmore than a 10 percent increase over She ly handled a variety of tasks — including event planning, development, public relations and membership — as assistant to the longtime executive director Dana Atwood, who passed away in September Now Wellington is leading the tight-knit Goodell crew, which consists of five employees and dozens and dozens of volunteers — who are the lifeblood of the organization, she said.
Wellington spoke enthusiastically about plans for Goodell Gardens, which opened to the public in The facility is on land donated by sisters Carrie and Margaret Goodell. The sisters lived in the family home on the land, and arranged for an endowment to help their wish — that their family homestead be turned into a public garden — become reality.
Wellington and the staff have a vision for the future, backed by a master plan, that will create more opportunities for the public to gather and enjoy the gardens and green space. The goals for the future also include enhancing both the botanical and historical importance of Goodell Gardens. Our last stop of the day was an open session with residents, always a highlight of our Exploring Erie County days. This time, we gathered inside the Edinboro Branch Library. This branch library is unique, however, in that it holds a Literary Landmark deation from the American Library Association.
On this day, the always-helpful staff at the library set us up in a cozy nook, where I was able to have a wide-ranging conversation with several Erie County residents. We talked about Edinboro, of course, but also about the other communities that make up our county. One question broached the subject of all the investment and developments going on in downtown Erie, and what that means for the future of the city.
I expressed that my vision for the future is that by strengthening the urban core in Erie, we will then be able to strengthen the other Erie County communities — including Edinboro and its neighbors in our southwestern corner. On May 21,we made our fourth stop in my Exploring Erie County initiative. We spent some time exploring different areas of Millcreek Township. Our time exploring Millcreek Township started a little later in the day, with lunch at Bistro 26on West 26th Street. The restaurant, locally owned by George and Angie Gourlias, is warm and inviting, with a unique menu that includes a mix of American and Mediterranean cuisine.
It also happens to be just across the street from the Millcreek Township building, so it was convenient for our lunch companion — Millcreek Township Supervisor Jim Bock. Supervisor Bock is relatively new to the job, having just been sworn in to his first term in January. This is his first foray into elected office; he ly served as a Pennsylvania State Police Trooper for 25 years. It was a nice chance to get to know a new supervisor, and to discuss some of the things happening in Millcreek — and how the county can lend a hand. Supervisor Bock is the public safety administrator for the Township, which means he oversees police, emergency management and code enforcement and is the liaison to fire and emergency management.
The radio system will unite all emergency responders on a common frequency, replacing the fractured system that was used for decades — and that routinely put both first responders and citizens at risk. The group will be looking to address the decline of firefighters, emergency medical technicians and paramedics in communities. After a lunch of great food and great conversation — and with no room left for dessert, no matter how tempting it looked — we headed out to our next stop.
Our visit to Presta Contractor Supply took us north to West 16th Street, where the Prestas have operated their business since launching it in The company mostly sells exterior building supplies, although they do sell some interior products as well. Their showroom features an array of samples, allowing customers to choose windows, wainscoting and more.
On the north side of West 16th, Presta employees work on building pre-hung interior doors — a product the company has offered for about 20 years. It was one of the adjustments the business has made over the years to continue serving the needs of its customers. And those customers themselves have changed in the decades that Presta Building Supply has been in business.
Traditionally, the business served contractors who were buying equipment on behalf of customers. Presta Building Supply also sells to some do-it-yourselfers who buy the products and do the work on their own homes. Those customers largely come from about a mile radius, stretching into Chautauqua County, New York, Presta said. In fact, the changing price of lumber is one of the challenges that Presta Building Supply routinely faces.
Currently, for example, the price of lumber is the highest it has been in over a decade. Market factors that raise other costs also pose challenges: Aluminum and steel prices have increased, thanks to tariffs, and petroleum-related items, including shingles and transportation costs, are also rising.
In addition, demand for home construction products nationally is up, as a result of damaging hurricanes and wildfires that have devastated other parts of the country over the past year. Despite the challenges, Tim Presta enjoys the work, and his family business.
He said he appreciates the challenges of working with new materials and the constant change in the business. Our next stop brought us to the very southeastern edge of the sprawling township, which covers more than 30 square miles.
The Erie County Conservation District was started in by farmers to promote sustainable agriculture. Today, that mission continues, along with broader goals of conservation and environmental education. They were established under state law, and they work as a unit of county government, with board members appointed by county elected officials. Also on that site is Headwaters Park, which the Conservation District operates and has been steadily transforming into a true community resource. One new initiative, launched just a few weeks ago, is a Memorial Tree Trail. Members of the public are invited to memorialize or honor loved ones with a native tree, which will be planted at Headwaters Park.
So far, some of that work has included a foot trail expansion, the addition of an informational kiosk near the parking area and the transformation of some areas to native meadows. The Conservation District is working hard to enhance the park, with hopes to expand its footprint. Go for a hike, enjoy the native plants — and stop by the Conservation District for information or to buy a rain barrel for your home or business.
After our update on the Conservation District, we headed out on our final stop of the day, at the Millcreek Mall. This last visit brought us to yet another section of Millcreek Township, this one in the busy Peach Street shopping corridor. The library branch recently underwent a bit of a renovation. It gained a new circulation desk, courtesy of Blasco Library, and that desk was relocated to the front of the branch. On the day I was there, the Erie County Department of Health had a table set up to give library patrons important information about some summertime safety — including ticks, mosquitoes, algal blooms and picnic food safety.
It was against this busy but comfortable backdrop that I was able to discuss county issues with several concerned residents. We discussed broader community issues like urban sprawl and bayfront development, as well as some environmental issues like energy conservation, stormwater runoff, wind energy projects and more.
It was a lively conversation that provided a fitting cap on a fine day exploring Millcreek Township. We had a great day, despite the gray, chilly weather. Owner Patrick Skelly, who hand-made our doughnuts, told us about how he came to open the shop two years ago.
As he tells it, he used to treat his kids to doughnuts on Fridays. They would get the treats from the large case in a grocery store, and would choose from pre-made flavors.North East Erie PA Local Singles Chat
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