Niagara Gazette — Mayor Paul Dyster, who has been a vocal supporter of the project since the partnership with the city was forged last fall, said the many entities willing to contribute to the nonprofit serves as proof of the sound mission the organization has crafted.
The program will likely receive the state grant because it accomplishes so much for a relatively small amount of funding, Dyster said.
“We feel that, whatever level of funding we receive from the Regional Economic Development Council, that project is likely to advance,” Dyster said.
Dyster said the program is also a prime candidate for funding because it can be expanded and emulated in other communities.
“We also think it’s a program that can be modeled in other upstate cities that face exactly the same situation with surplus housing and people in need of jobs,” Dyster said.
State Sen. George Maziarz, R-Newfane, sponsored legislation that invests money from excess power sold back to the grid into organizations and businesses within a 30-mile radius of the Niagara Power Project.
Maziarz said he called members of the power proceeds board of directors to lobby for the project to be funded.
“They’re doing great work,” he said.
The senator is so impressed with the work that Isaiah 61 is doing that he is working on setting up a meeting between Haid and Darryl Towns, the commissioner of the New York State Department of Housing and Community Renewal.
“He said I was so enthusiastic that he had to come out and see it himself,” Maziarz explained.
The project provides the sort of programming Maziarz had aimed to assist when he was helping to craft the legislation, he said.
“This is exactly the type (of organization I had in mind),” he said. “Teaching young people skills.”Big red number $155K Amount of grant awarded to the Isaiah 61 Project by the New York Power Authority. Contact reporter Justin Sondel at 282-2311, ext. 2257