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First Niagara Falls Heritage Area meeting set for Wednesday

The long-standing effort to create a National Heritage Area for the Niagara Falls region really gets going Wednesday with the first meeting of the commission that will manage its development.

The first meeting of the 17-member commission is scheduled for 2 to 5 p.m. Wednesday in the community meeting room on the lower level of the Power Vista at the Niagara Power Project, 5777 Lewiston Road, Lewiston.

The purpose of the commission, and the federal designation, is to promote regional tourism with an effort involving the National Park Service. The commission will control up to $15 million over five years, and must complete a management plan by the spring of 2012.

Bob McIntosh, of the National Parks Service in Boston, Mass., speaks during a December 2005 public hearing in the auditorium at the Earl W. Brydges Public Library in Niagara Falls on creating a Niagara Falls Heritage Area. (Charles Lewis / Buffalo News file photo)

The 15 members of the commission appointed, so far, by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar are:

-Robert H. Borgatti, Niagara County Community College professor

-Bill Bradberry, chairman of Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Area Commission and former Niagara Falls city administrator

-Deborah L. Conway, National Parks Service

-Thomas A. Chambers, Niagara University associate professor of history

-Willie Dunn, nominated by Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand

-Niagara Falls Mayor Paul A. Dyster

-Chris Glynn, president of Maid of the Mist Corp.

-Margaret-Ann Hanson, former Youngstown village trustee

-John H. Percy Jr., president and CEO of Niagara Tourism and Convention Corp.

-Christopher J. Schoepflin, president of USA Niagara Development

-Mark W. Thomas, western director of the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

-Jan H. van Harssel, Niagara University professor

-Barry White, nominated by the Seneca Nation

-Jeffrey D. Williams, partner in Lewiston Management Group and Niagara Falls Properties

-Lillian S. Williams, University at Buffalo associate professor of African-American history

Nominations have yet to be made from the Tuscarora Nation and the New York Power Authority.

The alternates are Timothy Adamson, engineer Robert A. Gallucci, Marjorie E. Gillies and Lewiston Town Board member Michael J. Marra.

Paul A. Dyster, now a member of the Niagara Falls National Heritage Area Commission and mayor of Niagara Falls, speaks during a December 2005 public hearing in the auditorium at the Earl W. Brydges Public Library in the Falls on creating a heritage area. (Charles Lewis / Buffalo News file photo)

Here's the federal legislation enacting the heritage area.

Here's a story from February 2009 when the first seven nominees to the commission were named.

Here's the study report that had to be completed before a designation could be made.

--Aaron Besecker


Niagara Falls | tourism
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