Optimism high for turning around Niagara Falls, NY

Aug 1, 2013

There is a great deal of optimism for a better Niagara Falls after large check arrived Wednesday. The Seneca Nation of Indians and New York State delivered back payments of millions of dollars in casino revenues to Niagara Falls, Buffalo and Salamanca. Niagara Falls received $89 million.

Niagara Falls
Credit WBFO News file photo

Both Governor Andrew Cuomo and the mayor of Niagara Falls say they are hopeful the economy will improve. The governor recognized the toll those lost revenues had on the Falls over the last four years as a dispute lingered between the state and Seneca Nation.

The governor blamed bad politics in both Albany and locally.

"This disagreement when on for four years. What did you accomplish? What did the fighting accomplish? What did the conflict accomplish? Niagara Falls wasn't getting the money. The Seneca nation couldn't plan, they couldn't grow they couldn't build, and we wasted four years," said Cuomo. 

But Cuomo says he is certain the city can revitalize its economy.

WBFO News asked the Governor if he believes Niagara Fall can make a comeback like Buffalo has in recent years.

Governor Andrew Cuomo at the Seneca Niagara Casino in Niagara Falls.
Credit WBFO News photos by Eileen Buckley

"I do. I do.  Look you have every asset imaginable. Right? Just flip it the other way. Is there any reason why Niagara Falls shouldn't be doing well?. No" said Governor Cuomo. "I mean God couldn't have given Niagara Falls more assets to market and to flourish."

Mayor Paul Dyster is also voicing optimism for the future of the city. 

Niagara Falls had payment obligations to distribute the casino revenue money as a first priority to stakeholders such as the Niagara Falls city school district and NFTA. But Dyster he already went to the city council to begin infrastructure improvements to sewers and other projects.

"But it is the sewer work that has to be done before you can pave streets. We are going to ask the Council at their next meeting for $100,000 to be set aside for removal of large and dangerous trees.

WBFO News asked Dyster if it is frustrating to see all the construction cranes in downtown Buffalo and not see the economic development in the Falls.

"Give us six months and come look at Niagara Falls,"said Dyster.