ELMIRA, NY (WENY) -- Earlier this afternoon at the Steel Memorial Library in Elmira, the community had the chance to weigh in on how the city of Elmira's Department of Community Development should use federal grant money. We visited the forum to find out what the concerns of the public are and how the city's Department of Community Development plans to attack some of the issues.

This was the first of three forums that the city of Elmira's Department of Community Development held today, and public participation was immense. Many topics about the city were discussed at today's meeting including; economic growth within the city, city facility improvements, ways to improve public transportation, and community service programs.

We spoke with Emma Miran, the Director of Community Development after the meeting to talk about her plan of attack is to improve the city.

"So, we really want to create stronger neighborhoods within the city, stronger communities. We think that affordable housing is a huge need for the city as well and quality housing, We think that every body deserves to have a place that's safe to live and healthy," 

The biggest issue from this meeting that stuck out was how to get people to invest into Elmira and we spoke with Miran about how they could potentially plan to attack that.

"I think for us, being that our budget is small, what we want to do is create stronger, small businesses and local businesses. Someone had a really great idea on trying to support the existing businesses and the next generation. Really workforce development aspect of economic development and i think that is something our department could really get involved with."

Today was just the first of three public forums on this topic and the dates and locations for the next two forums are below and all are welcome!

1) Wednesday, January 22nd, 6pm to 7pm at Southside Community Center, 215 partridge Street?

2) Thursday, January 30th, 6pm to 7pm at the Elmira Regional Public Safety Center (Pulaski Park), 311 W. Center Street