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.
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.
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:
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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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.