Niagara Gazette

Local News

March 25, 2013

Higgins seeks support

Niagara Gazette — U.S. Rep. Brian Higgins came to the Cataract City to meet with the Niagara Falls Tourism Advisory Board Monday evening.

Higgins, D-Buffalo and Niagara Falls, met with the board at the Niagara Falls Culinary Institute to discuss his vision for moving the Falls forward and to answer questions and address concerns for board members.

Higgins stressed the importance of negotiating with the New York Power Authority in order to get more money for infrastructure upgrades, often pointing to the money he was able to negotiate for Buffalo in the 2007 relicensing deal as an example of what is possible in the Falls. That money has been instrumental in the beginnings of a revitalization on Buffalo's waterfront and investments in downtown, Higgins said.

"We're injecting new economic viability into an area that's been economically dead for three decades," Higgins said.

Higgins was able to fight for more money from the power authority for Buffalo because he was armed with facts, public support and persistence and he's now prepared to fight that battle for the Falls, though he'll need the people on his side, he said.

"This could be a game-changing moment," Higgins said. "But, it's really within your power to do. I can't do it for you."

Higgins said with the support of other officials and the public the Falls can fight for what it has every right to have - a flourishing waterfront.

"I'm with you in the long run and I'm not going anywhere," Higgins said.

Higgins has suggested the authority pay for the removal and reconfiguration of sections of the Robert Moses Parkway, but said money from the authority could be used for any number of infrastructure upgrades.

"Niagara Falls is potentially the greatest waterfront, not only in Western New York, not only in New York state, but in the world," Higgins said.

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