ERIE COUNTY, N.Y. (WIVB) — In Thursday’s 2021 State of the County, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz touched on topics like investments in county infrastructure and parks, development of the former Bethlehem Steel site, and addressing racial injustice.
Poloncarz also highlighted the response to the pandemic and plans for the future. The county executive took time to praise the work of local healthcare workers throughout the past year and a half.
“As we are recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic it’s necessary to reflect on what we’ve been through, how we faced the challenge, and what we learned,” Poloncarz said. “This address recounts Erie County’s response to the pandemic, honors the healthcare and public health heroes who worked tirelessly throughout it, and brings perspective to the numerous actions we took to guide our community through.”
According to the State of the County, among the pandemic response efforts was investments of $40 million in U.S. CARES Act funding in local schools by the county. The county executive says that includes $14 million for virtual learning support centers.
Poloncarz said, “In addition to our robust pandemic response, the 2021 State of the County address takes note of numerous infrastructure improvements completed in 2020 as well as advances in other county programs and initiatives.”
His address also notes the Back to Business grant program, which invested nearly $20 million in CARES Act funding to assist almost 1,400 local businesses.
Poloncarz also said the county is moving forward with millions of dollars in new investments as part of his administration’s RENEW Plan.
“We are building a better Erie County for the future,” he added.
Part of that future includes the upcoming investment of $3.8 million in federal housing funds to assist developers and not-for-profits in constructing new affordable housing units across the county, Poloncarz stated.
You can see the address in its entirety in the video player above.