"I want to take an opportunity to speak to the Erie Aquaponics Center at Savocchio Park, which is a unique private/public collaboration with huge growth potential," says B. Scott Kern, vice president and general counsel of C.A. Curtze Co. of Erie.
"This ambitious urban agriculture project will allow us to locally sourced products such as greens, herbs, and microgreens which we currently purchase from California and, sometimes, Mexico. Having the ability to locally source products from a controlled environment is not only good for our business, but it's also good for our employees and neighbors by adding jobs. We also believe strongly that the plan to develop Savocchio Park contributes to the community by investing in our neighborhood and renewing an area that has long suffered from systemic divestment."
This is an excerpt of testimony that B. Scott Kern, vice president and general counsel of C.A. Curtze Co. of Erie, delivered to Erie County Council in October amid the county's 2023 budget deliberations. Kern explained his support for the aquaponic urban farming facility planned for Joyce A. Savocchio Business Park.
County Council in December failed to override Erie County Executive Brenton Davis' veto that eliminated $750,000 in American Rescue Plan funds previously awarded to the Erie County Redevelopment Authority to administer toward the Savocchio Park project. County Council's four Democratic members — Mary Rennie, Andre Horton, Terry Scutella, and Jim Winarski — voted in favor of the override, and the council's three Republicans — Brian Shank, Ellen Schauerman, and Charlie Bayle — voted against it, as reporter A.J. Rao has detailed.
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