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See the state's request for outdoor recreation development in Niagara Falls (pdf)

From the north Grand Island bridges to Devil's Hole State Park, Niagara Falls has about 11 miles of waterfront.

The state sees the area as perfect for various types of outdoor recreation opportunities - from horseback riding to zip lining to rappelling into the Niagara Gorge.

Earlier this month, the state asked for interest parties to submit proposals to bring this vision to fruition.

Here are the documents they released:

Continue reading "See the state's request for outdoor recreation development in Niagara Falls (pdf)" »

Top official to make local 'State of the State' address in Falls Friday

Matthew J. Driscoll, president and CEO of the New York State Environmental Facilities Corp., will deliver a regional presentation of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's State of the State at noon Friday at the John Duke Senior Center, 1201 Hyde Park Blvd.

New York Power Authority President and CEO Gil Quiniones was originally scheduled to make the appearance, but is no longer able to attend because of a scheduling conflict.

In his State of the State issued Jan. 8, Cuomo unveiled a wide range of proposals including funding for a genome research consortium between Buffalo and Manhattan, bonuses for top-performing public school teachers, modest tax breaks for property owners and tougher penalties for repeat drunk drivers and teens who text and drive.

Dyster praises Cuomo's State of the State address

Niagara Falls Mayor Paul A. Dyster, a strong supporter of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, on Thursday issued a statement about the governor's State of the State address:

“Gov. Cuomo's address provided both a look back at the many accomplishments of the past year and a preview of priorities and initiatives for 2014. From initiatives to reduce the state's tax burden to an effort to fund educational innovation through a bond referendum, the governor continues to offer bold and imaginative solutions to the state's most pressing problems. I was particularly impressed with his unflagging commitment to upstate economic development, his forceful defense of his initiative on ethics reform, and his timely reminder to the Legislature that the time to pass the Women's' Equality Act is now.”

Cuomo has taken an active approach in the Falls, which many observers believe has led to the state doing more here than it has under other recent governors.

Deadlines, duties outlined in contract for Hamister project in Niagara Falls

The 155-page contract among the City of Niagara Falls, USA Niagara Development and the Hamister Group outlines the duties and deadlines to make the $25.3 million project happen.

A copy of the agreement was obtained by The Buffalo News through a request to the city under the Freedom of Information Law.

Here's the deal:

Continue reading "Deadlines, duties outlined in contract for Hamister project in Niagara Falls" »

Isaiah 61, Niagara Tourism & Convention Corp. to benefit from state grants

The City of Niagara Falls will receive a $132,000 grant from the state to help turn a former fire hall on HIghland Avenue into a training center for the Isaiah 61 Project, which provides job training through the renovation of vacant homes.

The Niagara Tourism & Convention Corp. will share a $300,000 grant with five other tourism promotion agencies in Western New York to develop a branding plan for the region.

Continue reading "Isaiah 61, Niagara Tourism & Convention Corp. to benefit from state grants" »

State parks offers glimpse at redesign of Goat Island in Niagara Falls tonight

The public can look at plans to redesign Goat Island in Niagara Falls State Park tonight during an event at Conference & Event Center Niagara Falls, 101 Old Falls St.

Though there will be no formal presentation, state parks officials will be on hand to discuss renderings for Stedman’s Bluff, the plaza adjacent to the Cave of the Winds complex, the Gorge Rim Trails, Terrapin Point and the area immediately surrounding the Top of the Falls restaurant. There will also be information on parking lot No. 2 and plans to relocate the Park Police.

Continue reading "State parks offers glimpse at redesign of Goat Island in Niagara Falls tonight" »

State formalizes plans to remove section of Robert Moses Parkway

Updated 2:14 p.m.

The state parks office today released the final version of a report formalizing a decision announced earlier this year to remove a two-mile stretch of the Robert Moses Parkway.

The issuance of a final scoping report is a procedural step which allows the state to begin design work on what has been called the first phase of planned changes to the parkway, taking out the stretch of highway between Main Street and Findlay Drive in the city's North End.

It will be replaced with a multi-use nature trail for pedestrians, bicyclists, cross-country skiers and others.

Continue reading "State formalizes plans to remove section of Robert Moses Parkway" »

State, city launch competition for downtown development projects

Updated 4:53 p.m.

The state and the City of Niagara Falls are offering $40 million in incentives as part of a competition to create downtown development projects.

Dubbed the "Downtown Niagara Falls Development Challenge," officials are looking for proposals for "signature projects" to boost tourism.

One of the reasons for the challenge is to build more attractions to try to get tourists who visit the Falls to stay longer and spend more money while visiting.

The area is not capitalizing on potential revenue, according to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's office, because overnight stays and visitor spending are less here than in places around the country with national parks, even though the Falls draws more visitors than most.

The loss in revenue "can be traced to the limited number and quality of amenities in the Niagara Falls area."

Continue reading "State, city launch competition for downtown development projects" »

Niagara Falls eligible for new form of state aid

The City of Niagara Falls is among several hundred municipalities across the state deemed eligible to apply for a slice of $80 million in aid for financially distressed local governments.

The Fiscal Restructuring Board, which was established this year, will have up to $80 million available in allotments of up to $5 million. The 10-member board will make recommendations for fiscal management improvements, which a municipality must accept in order to receive the aid.

The Falls was deemed eligible because of its tax rate.

Continue reading "Niagara Falls eligible for new form of state aid" »

Audio: Cuomo comes to Falls to celebrate Hamister deal

Cuomo
(Derek Gee/Buffalo News)

Updated 2:35 p.m.

NIAGARA FALLS - Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and developer Mark Hamister signed a ceremonial agreement this morning for the $25.3 million hotel, apartment and retail project downtown.

Cuomo got personally involved in the proposed development two weeks ago after a political mailer almost made Hamister walk away.

"Mr. Hamister, I can't tell you how grateful we are that you gave us the benefit of the doubt," Cuomo  said during an event in the Conference & Event Center Niagara Falls.

Listen to Niagara Falls Mayor Paul A. Dyster's introduction of Cuomo and the governor's remarks:

Hamister said he expects to break ground on the project sometime in the second half of 2014.

While he said he has yet to apply for a franchise agreement for the hotel, Hamister said the hotel will likely be either a Hilton, Marriott or Intercontinental.

"I suppose you can read into my order of things in that response," he said.

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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 | abesecker@buffnews.com

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