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Community Development

  • Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Funds are allocated to Elyria through a direct entitlement formula from the Department of Housing and Urban Development based on the City’s population and demographics.  Elyria generally receives a little over $700,000 annually. In calendar year 2021, the City expended over $640,000. 
  • CDBG funding was provided for the South Park Trail, the Elyria Public Library Statue, Emergency Home Repairs, Code Enforcement in Target Areas and Youth and Senior Programming with Elyria Parks & Rec. Various non-profit organizations were also funded to provide public services such as youth programming, employment training, fair housing and subsistence payments. 
  • The United States Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (H.R. 748) on March 27, 2020 providing an additional $5 billion for CDBG to aid in the result of COVID-19 on housing and economic impacts. As a result, the City of Elyria received a total of $691,693 in CDBG-CV funding. This provided much needed assistance to nonprofit organizations providing services in an effort to respond to the negative impacts of Covid-19. Two businesses were also assisted with these dollars. 
  • Community Housing Impact and Preservation Program (CHIP) provides funding to local governments for the improvement and provision of affordable housing for low- and moderate-income citizens. CHIP funds are distributed competitively to cities. Elyria utilizes the funds to rehabilitate homes owned and occupied by low and moderately low-income persons to bring the structure completely up to code.
  • The State of Ohio permits communities to receive CHIP funding every two years. As a recipient of 2019 funds, the City became eligible to apply for the 2021 program year. Community Development submitted a grant application to the State and received notification in December, Elyria was awarded another $250,000 for rehabilitation and tenant-based rental assistance projects.   
  • The City of Elyria also received an allocation of American Rescue Plan (ARP) and Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) directly from the United States Treasury to mitigate the impact of Covid-19. The primary objective of the ARP program is to support urgent needs related to Covid-19, replace lost revenues to government in order to support needed public services, stabilize small businesses and households, and to address systemic public health and economic challenges. As a result of this funding, City Council approved an Essential Services Program and Small Business Assistance Program. Initially, both initiatives were funded $500,000 each; however, due to the local need, both budgets were increased to $1 million. 
  • Community Development, in conjunction with the Mayor’s Office, provides management and oversight of the two ARP programs. In 2021, a policy and procedure manual was drafted and approved by City Council. The policy and procedure manual established program guidelines and a roadmap to ensure federal guidelines are followed. 
  • Essential Services Program: Funding requests were available to local non-profits. A total of 19 applications were received. Community Development, in partnership with the Mayor’s office, reviewed the requests and is currently in the process of determining funding amounts for recipients.   
  • Small Business Program:  The City received Thirty-four (34) applications, for a total request amount of $1,445,126. The Elyria Economic Development Committee is currently reviewing the requests.
  • In 2016, the City obtained “Impacted City” status for the Enterprise Zone. The status is set to be renewed in 2022. Under this certification, the City will be able offer incentives to manufacturing AND retail businesses. There are thirteen active Enterprise Zone and seven Community Reinvestment Area agreements.  
  • Further, Community Development assists the Mayor’s office with the Downtown Façade Improvement Program, Downtown Historic Redevelopment Program and Demolition Grant Program. 
  • The Downtown Façade Improvement Program, established in 2019, provides a matching grant of up to $10,000 to businesses in the Downtown area for façade improvements. In 2021, five (5) businesses were approved for funding ($38,271.29 in grant funding) with a total project investment level of $116,076.58. 
  • The Downtown Historic Rehabilitation Program, established in 2021, provides a matching grant of up to $50,000 to businesses in the Downtown for eligible improvements. In 2021, one business was assisted ($50,000 in grant funding) with a total project investment level of $160,000. 
  • The Downtown Demolition Program, established in 2020, provides a matching grant of up to $50,000 to businesses in the Downtown area for eligible demolition projects. In 2021, one (1) business was assisted ($50,000 in grant funding) with a total project investment level of $161,320. 
  • The Department plays an active role in the Design Review and Planning Commission. In 2021, staff reviewed a total of 58 sign applications for local businesses. Of those 58, fourteen (14) were referred to the Planning Commission. The Planning Commission approved all applications. In addition to the sign reviews, 48 applications were processed at the staff level for projects other than signs. Of the 48 applications, thirteen (13) were referred to and approved by the Planning Commission. 
  • New housing development is ongoing within the City. There are seven new and continuing subdivisions.
  1.       Field Stone Lake Subdivision; (Existing Subdivision) William Thomas Homes. Chestnut Ridge / West of Bender Rd. Final Phase of the existing Subdivision, 201 New Single Family Homes Proposed. Note: Total 436 for the entire Subdivision.
  2.       River Run Landing; (New Subdivision) RBR Development (Rich Beran). Middle Ave (East Side) First Phase of the Subdivision, 41 New Homes. Total 109 New Single Family Homes Proposed for the entire subdivision
  3.       Four Seasons at Chestnut Ridge; (K Hovnanian). Chestnut Ridge & East of Bender Rd. Phase Three, 99 New Homes Proposed. Total of 229 New Single Family Homes proposed for the entire subdivision.
  4.       Pikewood Manor; (UMH Properties) Midway Blvd & Pikewood (Near Lowes).Total 132 Lots available for Manufactured Homes.
  5.       Ridge Water; (Yost). West Ridge & Fowl. 13 (Four units each, 52 total .) Condos, and 34 Standard Residential lots. Total of 86 New Homes for the entire subdivision.
  6.       Harvest Meadows; (K Hovnanian). Indian Hollow (West Side) Phase One, 65 New Homes Proposed. Total of 230 New Single Family Homes proposed for the entire subdivision.
  7.       Oaktree Place; (Yost). Abbe Rd. & South Logan (Condos, Eight units each.) Total of 109 New Homes proposed for the entire subdivision.
  •  The Community Development Department will focus on the following in 2022

–          Update Design Review Guidelines

–          Downtown Slum & Blight Recertification

–          Enterprise Zone Impacted City Recertification

–          Assist with the Comprehensive Plan/Zoning Code Update

–          Complete 15 Emergency Home Repairs/3 Private Owner Rehabs

–          Continue working with Elyria Community Partnership/Affordable Housing


Parks and Recreation

  • We had a great 2021 as we slowly brought back programming as COVID protocols allowed. We were fortunate that the community responded positively to our offerings and as the year went on we were able to offer additional programming.
  • We had a very busy Pool Season in 2021. Our two seasonal pools are located at East Park and North Park – they were open from June 15th – August 28th. Due to the support of our Parks and Recreation Board, City Council, and our Administration team – we were able to offer free Swim Lessons and Open Swim this past summer. We had 779 registered participants for our three sessions of Swim Lessons.
  • Another part of our busy summer programming were the 8 camps that we were able to offer this year. We had 7 Summer Camp weeks and one week of basketball camp. Our Summer Camps catered to 466 registered participants – with 3 of the camps for Middle School students and 4 camps that were for the elementary aged students. Our Summer Camps included swim days, guest speakers, the Elyria Public Libraries, and food provided by the Elyria School District.
  • We also welcomed back our Senior TAP program this year. Our active seniors were ready to get back out there and get moving again. We offered Yoga, Chair Exercise, Line dancing, Walking, and Pickleball. The TAP program also gives our active older adults an opportunity to socialize with each other. Some like to come to walk, exercise, play cards or just catch up with friends! There is something for everyone and all abilities to enjoy!
  • Our Access Training classes were held from March – July at South Recreation Center. We had 182 registered participants in all of the sessions. This program was offered for all fitness levels with different classes available based on skill and experience. 
  • Looking Forward! Planning for 2022 is well underway and we look forward to adding new programs throughout the year. Some of the new programs/events that we will be offering are:

  Movie in the Park

  Open Gym (Basketball and Family time slots)

  Cooking classes

  Multi-Generational event with our Teens and Seniors

  Adult Basketball Leagues

  Adult Fitness classes (Example: Cardio, Weight Training, and Line Dancing)

  Dive In Movies at the Pools

Elyria Police Department

  • The Elyria Police Department has had many promotions this year.  Chief Whitely retired and Chief Bill Pelko was his replacement.  Lt. Mike Groomes was promoted to Captain, Sgt. Eric Palmer and Sgt. Bill Lantz were promoted to Lieutenant.  Patrol Officer Ben Harris, Eric Grove, Todd Straub and Detective Mike Mahony were promoted to sergeant.
  •  In 2021 the Elyria Police Department responded to a total of 33,823 calls for service which generated 4,568 cases and 2,162 arrests. We handled 1223 traffic crashes. A total of 1,796 vehicles were impounded. 
  • The Elyria Police Detective Bureau has officers assigned to the FBI Task Force and also work hand in hand with an FBI Agent who is working out of the Elyria Police Department.  15 individuals were charged federally in collaboration with the FBI.  These individuals are usually career criminals and will see a heavier sentence by taking them federally.
  • The Elyria Police Department has a state-of-the-art forensic lab that is used to examine electronic items, such as phones, tablets and computers. Two detectives are trained to perform these and we are in the process of training a third officer. This lab is not only used for Elyria Police but we have also forensically examined devices for other agencies throughout Lorain County.  A total of 285 devices were forensically examined in the past year. 
  • The Elyria Police Department has an unmanned aviation/drone unit.  Ten officers are FAA certified to fly drones.  These drones have been used on several missions over the past year.  Neighboring agencies and the fire department have called upon this unit for their expertise as well.  In collaboration with water treatment we have recently purchased two more of these drones to assist with our investigations.
  • We also updated our work out facility at the police department. The Elyria City Jail was closed down several years ago and in order to further develop our employee wellness it was decided to expand and renovate this unused portion of the jail. New equipment was purchased and we now have a state-of-the-art cardio and strength training facility to keep employees physically fit. 
  • The city recently purchased Tip411 which is an anonymous tip line for the citizens to inform the police of criminal activity. We will be rolling this out to citizens within the next couple of weeks.
  • We are currently working on obtaining body worn and in car cameras for our officers.  These will help us to be more accountable and transparent to the public. These will also improve our training and development of officers and should reduce citizen and use of force complaints. 
  • The Elyria Police Department is also looking to update our Mobile Computer Terminals.  Our current MCT’s are outdated and will not be compatible with the body worn camera software.



Elyria Fire Department

  • The Elyria Fire Department responded to a total of 4,945 calls for service, which included 165 fire events and 3273 were for 9-1-1 medical emergencies. People often ask, why does a fire truck show up when I call 9-1-1? The answer why is SPEED, we have paramedics on all of our apparatus that can deliver lifesaving drugs in the event of a stroke or overdose, defibrillate a stopped heart or just bring a calming presence until an ambulance can arrive.
  • There were unfortunately six civilian fatalities due to motor vehicle accidents in 2021, and on February 24th 2021 the department and surrounding departments responded to one of the largest fires in the city’s history at the Washington Towers Complex at 100 Washington Avenue. The firefighters work saved the buildings in the 400 block of Broad now being revitalized into new complex.
  • The EFD took delivery of two new pumpers and also new self-contained breathing apparatus, the pandemic and staffing issues provided a huge challenge with our members putting in an incredible amount of overtime to cover our shifts, this issue should be alleviated by the addition of eight new members that occurred at the end of 2021 and the additional hiring of three more beginning of 2022.


Economic Development

  • While navigating the uncertainty of the past two years hasn’t been easy for many we have a lot of reasons to be optimistic about Elyria’s future.
  • Income Tax revenues were up by $2.7M in 2021 – an increase of nearly 9% over 2020 revenues. Most employers in the City are reporting a need for workers and have positions offering a livable wage open.
  • Downtown was a big focus for us during 2021. We awarded 7 grants to business downtown, totaling $138,271 and leveraging nearly $600,000 in building improvements. 
  • It wasn’t even a year ago that we experienced a devastating fire downtown. It could have been catastrophic to downtown’s progress, but instead we worked together with the developer to redirect the project and earlier this year we were able to announce a $35M investment to renovate the historic Dixon and Robinson buildings into an esports area and complete brand-new construction for a 51-unit multifamily housing complex. This project will attract new investment and completely transform downtown.
  • Manufacturers like Invacare, Crane Aerospace, and VTD Systems invested in facilities and expanded their operations. Combined, these projects brought over $6M in investment and 60 jobs to the City during a pandemic. Many other manufacturers experienced growth in 2021 despite supply chain constraints and increased costs.
  • In early 2021 we closed out the Elyria CARES Small Business Grant program. Funded by the CARES Act, this program allowed us to provide over $500,000 in grants to 24 small businesses to assist with covid response.