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Ceretto gets behind Hamister proposal in downtown Niagara Falls

Assemblyman John Ceretto today announced his support for a proposed $25 million mixed-use development in downtown Niagara Falls that's been held up by three members of the City Council.

Ceretto, R-Lewiston, said the proposal from the Hamister Group for a five-story building on Rainbow Boulevard with a hotel, apartments and ground-level retail space would create jobs, improve the tax base, promote tourism and bring more cash into the city. The economic benefits are large enough that both sides should be able to come an agreement, Ceretto said.

Continue reading "Ceretto gets behind Hamister proposal in downtown Niagara Falls" »

Italian Festival kicks off Friday in Niagara Falls

A Niagara Falls tradition - the Italian Festival on Pine Avenue - is coming up this weekend.

Read more here.

Duke Center limited because of storm damage

The John Duke Senior Center will operate on a limited schedule next week because of damage from the July 19 storm.

Officials hope to be back to full operations by the first week of August.

For the week of July 29, the center, located at 1201 Hyde Park Blvd., will only be serving lunch.

Video: Rappelling the Seneca Niagara Casino

Participants rappell down the casino in support of New York's Special Olympics, and first-timer Josh Brunner of Williamsville speaks of his experience after his adventure.

Sewage plant back on in Niagara Falls

Less than a week after shutting down because of storm damage, Niagara Falls' sewage treatment plant has had some functionality restored. Read more here.

Audio: Niagara Falls City Council meeting gets heated

Wednesday night's City Council meeting in Niagara Falls turned into something of a spectacle - not only for what business was or wasn't taken up, but for how lawmakers behaved.

I've broken down the Council's discussion during a vote that would remove from the table a proposed development deal with the Hamister Group for a $25 million mixed-use project downtown. The vote failed with the three-member Council majority voting to keep the proposed agreement on the table.

Let's start with Councilman Robert A. Anderson Jr., who gives a quick "no" vote, and then Councilman Samuel F. Fruscione, who has a bit of a back-and-forth with Mayor Paul A. Dyster at the end of his comments.

Continue reading "Audio: Niagara Falls City Council meeting gets heated" »

Audio: Choolokian on Hamister deal: 'We're not killing the project'

City Council Chairman Glenn A. Choolokian spoke with reporters on Wednesday about why he says lawmakers aren't allowing a $25 million downtown development project to move forward.

One of the things Choolokian asserted was that the identities of the other bidders for the parcel have yet to be disclosed.

But that's simply not the case.

The other bidders were listed in public documents distributed July 8 at a USA Niagara Development meeting in their Niagara Falls offices, a meeting no Council members attended. (Information that was written about here.)

Listen to Choolokian respond to questions about that and other issues in this 5 1/2-minute audio clip:

Videos: Damage to Falls sewage plant detailed as hope for aid is expressed

Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster expresses hope for federal and or state aid for the sewage plant on Wednesday.

Damage to Niagara Falls wastewater plant is detailed in the wake of Friday's storm.

Audio: Mark Hamister on Niagara Falls: 'This is what I was warned about'

Mark Hamister today made his first public comments about the dispute in Niagara Falls tied to his proposal to build a $25 million mixed-use project.

The City Council refused to take a vote on the development deal (read the full story here), and afterwards Hamister had a lot to say about what it's like trying to get this project going in the Falls.

Here's about seven minutes of audio, including his statement and questions from reporters:

Falls residents, businesses impacted by storm invited to talk with state officials Wednesday

Residents and businesses in Niagara Falls whose properties suffered storm damage are invited on Wednesday to speak with and provide information to representatives of the state's Department of Financial Services Insurance Division.

The officials will set up a mobile command center outside City Hall, 745 Main St., and will be available from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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About The Brink

Tales of a world-famous natural wonder and the city that surrounds it. The Brink is home for all you need to know about Niagara Falls, N.Y.

Aaron Besecker

Aaron Besecker

Aaron Besecker joined The Buffalo News in 2007, where he has covered communities in Western New York as a beat reporter, multimedia journalist and assistant online editor. A Buffalo native, he began his career in journalism at the Niagara Gazette.

@The_Brink_Blog | [email protected]

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