NOTICE OF FINDING OF NO SIGNIFICANT IMPACT AND NOTICE OF INTENT TO REQUEST RELEASE OF FUNDS

DATE OF NOTICE:              July 19, 2021

RESPONSIBLE ENTITY:     City of Erie

ADDRESS:                            Department of Economic and Community Development

                                                626 State Street, Room 404

                                                Erie, PA 16501

TELEPHONE:                        814-870-1274

These notices shall satisfy two separate but related procedural requirements for activities to be undertaken by the City of Erie (City).

REQUEST FOR RELEASE OF FUNDS

On or about August 4, 2021, the City will submit a request to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for the release of federal HOME Investment Partnership Program (HOME) funds under Section 228 of the Cranston-Gonzalez National Affordable Housing Act (NAHA) to be used for the following project:

Assessed Project

Richford Arms

The proposed Richford Arms project includes the rehabilitation of an existing, affordable high-rise apartment building along with the construction of a new 2-story addition on the north side of the existing building, at  515 State Street #129, Erie, PA  16501.  The existing building is a 10-story, mixed-use high-rise structure with a small mezzanine above the ground floor which is home to the only two-bedroom apartment. Floors 1-9 are residential with 11 one-bedroom apartments per floor. The ground floor is primarily dedicated to residential amenities and management offices and contains two existing commercial spaces.

The proposed project will rehab 99 apartments and provide six new accessible one-bedroom apartments in the new addition for a total of 106 units.  The exterior renovation scope includes a new entrance for the residents and improvements to the existing commercial storefront. The new residential entrance will include a new accessible stair, ramps, entrance doors and windows, and entrance canopy with apartment address and signage. Adjacent to the apartment entrance, a raised outdoor terrace with seating, planters, and lighting will be constructed for the residents. The existing commercial storefront window openings will be enlarged, and new aluminum storefront windows, doors, awnings, and accessible ramps and stairs installed. The existing stone and masonry façade will be cleaned and tuckpointed/ repaired as required.

The new 2-story addition is located to the north of the existing building on an existing surface parking lot. The floors of the addition will align with those of the existing building allowing for new internal connections at ground and first floors. On the ground floor, a substantial upgrade to resident amenities is included in the project; new amenity spaces include a modern community room, kitchenette, TV room, a wellness and fitness center, support services office, resident storage, accessible toilet facilities, new management offices, mail room, and formal lobby.

An additional commercial tenant space will also be provided on the ground floor with retail storefront along State Street. The second floor of the new addition will include the 6 new accessible apartments, common laundry room, and a new corridor connecting to the existing building to utilize the existing elevators.  Included in the renovation scope of work for the existing building is roof replacement, existing elevators will be completely upgraded and modernized. All existing lighting at the common areas and stairs (interior and exterior) will be replaced with LED’s.

All existing apartments will be upgraded with replacement fiberglass windows and new window treatments, LED light fixtures, and new PTAC units served by the recently replaced boiler and steam heating system. Existing kitchens will be updated with new cabinetry, countertops, Energy Star-rated appliances, sinks, and low-flow rate faucets. Existing baths will be upgraded with new vanities, countertops, low-flow rate sinks and toilets, and bath accessories. New flooring will be provided in each unit and in all common corridors and spaces in the building.

The existing sprinkler system serving existing building common areas will be expanded to provide coverage for any new and/or reconfigured common areas in the ground and first floors of the existing building and new addition. New standpipes with fire hose connections will be added to the existing stairwells, and a new Fire Command Center will be provided in the ground floor of the addition. Building ventilation will be upgraded – existing outdoor air supply risers will be replaced, and new manual dampers provided at each apartment. New air sealing will be installed in the attic, in all common areas, and where applicable in each apartment to compartmentalize the units. A new 100% OA unit will be installed on the roof with DX cooling, gas heat and energy recovery. A mini split will be installed in the elevator machine room.

Insulation will be upgraded throughout the existing building envelope as follows – 2-1/2 inches of R-7.5 blown-in cellulose/fiberglass will be installed in the existing wall cavity at exterior walls above grade. In the existing attic, R-12 fiberglass blankets or rockwool rigid insulation board will be installed. A replacement white TPO roof will be installed over new R-30 continuous rigid insulation. The existing diesel-powered emergency generator will be removed from the basement and replaced with a new diesel-powered, exterior pad-mounted, emergency generator sized to accommodate the existing building and new addition.

Total HOME funding: $750,000 (FY 2017 $257,906.50, FY 2018 $417,445.02, FY 2019 $74,648.48). Total Project Costs: $25,460,000

FINDING of No Significant Impact (FONSI)

The City has determined that the project will have no significant impact on the human environment.  Therefore, an Environmental Impact Statement under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969 is not required.  Additional project information is contained in the Environmental Review Record (ERR) on file with the City of Erie and can be accessed online at https://cityof.erie.pa.us.

Public Comments

Any individual, group or agency may submit written comments on the ERR to Debra Smith, Department of Economic and Community Development, 626 State Street, Room 404, Erie, PA 16501, or by email to dsmith@erie.pa.us.  All comments received by August 3, 2021 will be considered by the City prior to authorizing submission of a request for release of funds. Comments should specify which Notice they are addressing.

ENVIRONMENTAL CERTIFICATION

The City certifies to HUD that Joseph V. Schember, Certifying Officer, in his capacity as Mayor of the City of Erie, consents to accept the jurisdiction of the federal courts if an action is brought to enforce responsibilities in relation to the environmental review process, and that these responsibilities have been satisfied.  HUD’s approval of the certification satisfies its responsibilities under NEPA andrelated laws and authorities and allows the City to use CDBG and HOME Program funds.

Objections to Release of Funds

HUD will accept objections to its release of funds and the City’s certification for a period of fifteen days following the anticipated submission date or its actual receipt of the request (whichever is later) only if they are on the following bases: (a) the certification was not executed by the Certifying Officer of the City; (b) the City has omitted a step or failed to make a determination or finding required by HUD regulations at 24 CFR part 58; (c) the grant recipient or other participants in the development process have committed funds, incurred costs, or undertaken activities not authorized by 24 CFR Part 58 before approval of a release of funds by HUD; or (d) another federal agency acting pursuant to 40 CFR Part 1504 has submitted a written finding that the project is unsatisfactory from the standpoint of environmental quality.  Objections must be prepared and submitted via email in accordance with the required procedures (24 CFR Part 58, Sec. 58.76), and shall be addressed to the HUD Pittsburgh Field Office of Community Planning and Development (CPD), Attn: Phillip McKeough, CPD Director, by phone at (412) 644-5846, or by email to phillip.e.mckeough@hud.gov. Potential objectors should contact HUD Pittsburgh via email to verify the actual last day of the objection period.

Joseph V. Schember, Mayor

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