Niagara Gazette

Local News

June 16, 2013

'Real work' beings for Falls officials in dealing with $89M in casino cash

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — “This is something that we did to avoid massive tax increases on our already overburdened taxpayers,” Dyster said. “We did avoid that and we are now validated.”

Dyster has been meeting with department heads in recent weeks to review capital plans in anticipation of the negotiated settlement and is working to get back on track with the multi-year draft plan that his administration began plotting in the spring of 2008, he said.

“This is an evolving process,” the mayor said.

Now he will work with those department heads to prioritize deferred maintenance issues like street paving and repairs for city buildings.

Dyster’s administration and the city council will need to act quickly, as council does not meet in August, he said.

“Some things need to get moving because the construction season is only so long here,” Dyster said.

City Council Chairman Glenn Choolokian said he is glad the casino dispute is over, but the experience has made him realize that the city needs to plan for fiscal disasters in the future.

“This has taught us a lot of lessons,” he said.

Choolokian feels the city should develop a back up plan to avoid the stress that came with casino dispute.

“We don’t want to be put back in that situation again,” he said.

Choolokian said the city council will continue its conservative approach to spending in the future.

“Anything we do moving forward has to be a major effect on the families and businesses of Niagara Falls,” Choolokian said.

Contact reporter Justin Sondel at 282-2311, ext. 2257

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