Niagara Gazette

Columns

June 13, 2013

SCHEER: Finally, the casino cash stalemate is over

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — When many others did not, Dyster trusted what Cuomo and his people kept telling him.

It paid off on Thursday, in spades. His "I-told-you-so" moment came in the form of a visit to his city by Cuomo himself.

"This is one of the great, happiest days of my life," Dyster said.

The money — all $89 million of it — does not make for an immediate fix for all that ails Niagara Falls financially.

It is expected to arrive in a matter of weeks and when it does Brown said the first order of business will be addressing the city's current general fund needs.

In the near-term, she said, the money will allow the city to take care of its most pressing problem - an extremely delicate cash flow situation that turned normally routine things like paying vendors and meeting payroll into daily concerns.

In the months ahead, Brown said the city should be able to move beyond addressing everyday financial concerns so it can once again focus on longer-term goals, including making good on capital projects and creating a sound plan for future spending.

She credited Cuomo and Snyder with getting over their issues and getting the job done when it mattered most.

"This is tremendous news," she said.

It looked like all hope might be lost last week when Snyder called Cuomo a "bully" and the on-again, off-again negotiations between the two sides appeared to break down. To their credit, both Snyder and Cuomo managed to rise above the rhetoric and get themselves back to the bargaining table where they hammered out what Cuomo characterized as a "win-win-win" deal for all parties involved.

The new agreement makes the city whole again, allows the Senecas to continue their exclusive gaming operations in Western New York and assures the state of tens of millions of dollars in slot machine revenue each year through 2023, the anticipated end to the now-extended gaming compact.

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