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Proposal on hold to provide $40k in funding for Niagara Falls Blues Festival


Jon Dretto, guitarist with the Bravuras, performs last year at the Niagara Falls Blues Festival on Old Falls Street. (John Hickey / Buffalo News file photo)

Mayor Paul A. Dyster on Monday night pulled a proposal from the City Council agenda to provide $40,000 in funding for September's Niagara Falls Blues Festival.

During the Council's Committee of the Whole meeting, which precedes its regular business meeting, Councilman Andrew P. Touma moved to amend the proposal - dropping the funding amount to $10,000.

But Dyster said he'd rather pull the item rather than amend it then, saying there hasn't been a chance to talk about the change. The mayor also said withdrawing the proposal will give his administration a chance to go back and talk to festival organizers. 

"This is a big event, so I'd rather we had a discussion about it before we do something like that," Councilwoman Kristen M. Grandinetti said.

The money was slated to come from the city's tourism fund balance, according to the resolution that was pulled. The event is run by Toby Rotella and Sherry Kushner through a nonprofit group called Niagara Festival & Entertainment Group.

This year's Blues Festival is scheduled to take place on Old Falls Street Sept. 11 through 14.

Earlier this year, city lawmakers rejected a proposal from the Dyster administration to provide $40,000 for a proposed free outdoor concert downtown this summer.


City Council | city government | downtown
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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.

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