Niagara Gazette

Local News

January 5, 2014

Casino cash fix, council makeover has Dyster optimistic about 2014

Casino cash fix, council makeover has administration optimistic

Niagara Gazette — Niagara Falls begins 2014 in a more stable position than it did 2013.

The city, though still faced with many of the same challenges that plague upstate cities across New York state, can move forward without the threat of financial calamity, with the expectation that it will be paid tens of millions of dollars in casino revenue payments and with a healthy fund balance, all results of the settlement reached between the Seneca Nation of Indians and New York state last summer, with the entities returning to the terms outlined in the 2002 gaming compact that saw a 27-story casino erected in downtown Niagara Falls.

The settlement, along with a renewed interest in the city from Albany, has Mayor Paul Dyster confident that 2014 will be a big year for the Cataract City.

“It’s going to be an exciting time,” he said this past week,

Another stabilizing factor Dyster believes will create an environment for success, he said, is the election of three council members who vowed to work with the mayor to move the city forward during their fall campaigns.

Councilman Andrew Touma will join Council Chairman Charles Walker and Councilwoman Kristen Grandinetti on the city’s legislative body creating a council that Dyster said will be willing to work with him on some of the difficult issues the city will continue to attempt to tackle.

Dyster often found himself at odds with the former council majority of former Councilman Sam Fruscione, who lost his seat in the fall elections, Councilman Glenn Choolokian and Councilman Robert Anderson Jr.

“We have many things that we’ve lined up that maybe were delayed some time during this period of political turbulence in the city that now we’re going to have the opportunity to get started or to get moving again or to come to completion in 2014,” the mayor said.

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Do you think cigarette sales to non-Native American customers should be taxed on reservations?

Yes. Items should be taxed like they are everywhere else.
No, the indian reservations are sovereign land and they are selling them on their land.
Not up to me. Native Americans decide the rules on their land.
Don't care. Smoking isn't good for you.
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