Niagara Gazette

Letters

June 11, 2009

LETTER: City heading up the creek

Two weeks ago at a City Council meeting Cayuga Island residents expressed fear that a city plan would damage or even destroy Jayne Park.

The residents were so upset that they passed a petition securing several hundred signatures in order to stop the plan that would remove shoreline, construct a canoe launch and build two parking lots in Jayne Park.

I have recently learned that while the city planner stood in front of the council and denied any such “Jayne Park plan” that he had already made plans to construct a canoe launch at 89th Street and Cayuga Drive. While he was denying his involvement with the Jayne Park canoe launch he had already completed work to set aside $80,000 to build an additional canoe launch there. That $80,000 expenditure would be in addition to the $293,000 for the Jayne Park project.

Consider: One third of our residents don’t own a car. The average annual household income in our city is $25,000. More than half of our residents receive social assistance. Our streets are in terrible shape, our trees and sidewalks are years behind in maintenance and the parkland we have isn’t consistently maintained due to budget concerns. We are in need of jobs and of new development. We aren’t building new attractions and we aren’t luring investors into town ... we are BUILDING CANOE LAUNCHES! And it’s all being done to accommodate the Buffalo Riverkeepers, the Niagara River Greenway Commission and Ken Sherman of Hamilton, Ont., who is a paid consultant to LaSalle Pride.

If these “projects” represent the very best use of greenway dollars then I have to say, no thanks, keep your greenway dollars because these projects are beginning to look like nothing more than a disturbing excuse to waste dollars to benefit a few bureaucrats and consultants. I intend to take a closer look at what is going on here because damage is being done to the city and the taxpayer.

I promise our residents that I will make every effort to see to it that our streets, our sidewalks and trees receive the attention they deserve while this unacceptable waste of dollars on “canoe launches” and “park plans” is stopped.

Sam Fruscione

Niagara Falls City Councilman

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