This seems to be an op-ed by Andrew Touma, a member of the Niagara Falls, NY City Council:
When I ran to become a Niagara Falls city councilman three and half years ago, it was based on the premise of being honest, putting residents first and listening to them, and working together with all stakeholders to make Niagara Falls a better place to live, play and work. My campaign centered on improving economic development, and in turn, growing our job market.
Since 2014, we have effectively used casino dollars to generate economic development in Niagara Falls. In just over three years we have issued seven loans and 34 grants in the amount of $1,794,771.54 to a variety of businesses. In turn, private developers invested $44,403,659.53 toward the projects. Meanwhile, 208 full-time jobs were created in addition to 63 part-time jobs. That’s progress! Now we have the recent announcement of the $42 million project to create a new Hotel Niagara.
From the Niagara Falls Review:
A suggestion from Niagara Falls Coun. Wayne Thomson the city and Niagara Region put a moratorium on development charges for new hotel developments is a “really interesting concept,” says regional chairman Alan Caslin.
“I think it’s a great idea,” Caslin told Thomson when he recently updated local politicians about several regional council activities.
“Development charges, as you know, are meant to offset the cost of the infrastructure in the ground and on the streets. Let’s look at it with a lens of what does that infrastructure cost, really, instead of just the cookie-cutter development charge — what’s the real cost of that infrastructure, and is that substantially less than what they would have paid, and is that a benefit that we might be able to afford through economic development.”…
Thomson said Niagara Falls has 27 hotel development projects on the books “that have been approved and ready to go,” but have not proceeded.
From the St Thomas Times Journal:
Niagara’s mayor and regional chairman have asked the province to scrap plans to select new operators for the region’s two casinos.
In a letter to Finance Minister Charles Sousa, Mayor Jim Diodati and Niagara Regional Chairman Alan Caslin asked the government to terminate an ongoing request for pre-qualification and request for proposal process for a new service provider for Casino Niagara and Fallsview Casino. Read More…
From WGRZ Channel 2 in Buffalo (includes video):
Investigative Post Editor Jim Heaney interviewed Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster on the impact of the Wallenda walk, the numerous challenges faced by Niagara Falls, and how the standoff between state and Seneca Nation officials is costing the city money that would otherwise be helping to promote economic development.
From WGRZ Channel 2 in Buffalo:
The Robert Moses Parkway has long been viewed by some as a “concrete moat” between the city and its riverfront, and thus an impediment to potential economic development.
But for just as long, its proposed removal has been mired in red tape according Falls Mayor Paul Dyster.
“Sometimes people call it the ‘Peace Bridge’ of Niagara Falls,” Dyster remarked, in reference to the now decade long debate over building a new international border crossing between Buffalo, NY and Fort Erie, Ont.
On Monday, U.S. Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) came to Niagara Falls to announce his support for the effort to remove the Robert Moses Parkway between John Daly Boulevard and Main Street and replace it with a park road, improving pedestrian access between the city’s South End tourist district and the waterfront, in hopes of sparking economic growth.
From the Niagara Gazette:
Imagine having developer and one-time gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino as a tour guide.
Well, under a plan for bringing more business to Niagara Falls and Niagara County, such a scenario may well play out next month.
“We found a good niche and it’s working,” said Paladino, the owner of the Giacomo Hotel, one of the planned stops along a so-called Business Familiarization Tour local economic development officials are planning for Sept. 22. “Our apartments are full. We’re pleased with the result and we’re looking for other opportunities in Niagara.”