Earlier this week, Mayor Paul A. Dyster told the City Council a development agreement with the Hamister Group for a $25 million downtown hotel, apartment and retail project could be signed as soon as Friday.
Attorneys are still in the process of finalizing the contract, and "nothing new" compared to what was presented two months ago has appeared as the sides continue to work, Dyster told lawmakers.
NIAGARA FALLS - A public hearing on the proposed city budget for 2014 is scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday in Council Chambers in City Hall, 745 Main St.
The City Council is reviewing Mayor Paul A. Dyster's proposed spending plan, which calls for a .03-percent increase in the tax rate for residential property and a .01-percent cut in the tax rate on commercial property.
In the end, that means the tax rate for homeowners would go up by about 5 cents for each $1,000 in assessed value under the mayor’s proposal. The business tax rate would decrease by about 30 cents for each $1,000 in assessed value.
Mayor Paul A. Dyster, who is about to lay out his 2014 budget proposal, will say, according to an advance copy of his budget address, the spending plan has "essentially zero increase in business or residential taxes, no layoffs or drastic cuts in services, and no increase in the overall tax levy."
The City Council tonight is being presented with a $1 million plan from the Dyster administration to implement a "citywide parking system."
Under the proposal, recommended by Desman Associates, a firm hired by the city to study the issue, the city would buy new equipment for the ramp in the former Rainbow Centre and city-run parking lots, as well as "pay-and-display" equipment for on-street parking.
The Dyster administration is proposing to use funds from the city's share of slot-machine revenue from Seneca Niagara Casino.
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.
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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.