Niagara Gazette

Local News

May 13, 2014

City council OKs Housing Vision tax agreement


Piccirillo said the not-for-profit needs the long-term deal to offer stability for the group's financing projections.

"Just like anybody who is looking to purchase and renovate they have to put equity in and finance," Piccirillo said.

In the November vote the original measure, which had a 20-year term, was defeated with one no vote, a rare circumstance.

Councilman Robert Anderson Jr. was absent, home ill. Former Councilman Sam Fruscione abstained, citing his employment with the school district, while Chairman Charles Walker and Councilwoman Kristen Grandinetti provided the only votes in the affirmative, failing to draw the three-member majority needed for passage.

Councilman Glenn Choolokian provided the only no vote in both November and at Monday's meeting.

"Everyone knows I have not supported this project in the past and I still don't support it," Choolokian said before casting his vote.

Councilman Andrew Touma, who began serving on the council in January, said he has met with Housing Visions officials and has toured a similar project the agency completed in Lockport.

"I obviously believe it's going to improve the quality of life for citizens in that area," he said.

In other news;

• Mayor Paul Dyster pulled his proposal to enter the city into the the state's Financial Restructuring Board for Local Governments during the work session of Monday's meeting. Dyster, along with Touma and Anderson, have met with city unions in recent weeks to discuss the advisory program, but the mayor said he wished to wait for the recommendations the board is set to issue in Fulton, N.Y. later this month, so they might use those recommendations as a discussion point before asking the council to vote again on the matter. The council unanimously defeated a measure from Dyster's desk last year asking to join the newly created program.

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