Niagara Gazette

Local News

June 19, 2013

Dyster details casino cash plan

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette —

“Our financial planning kept us out of harms way for over 40 months,” Dyster said. “We avoided layoffs, tax increases and the need for increased borrowing.”

Dyster said his administration can now work to get back to the multi-year financial plans it began to plot when he took office in 2008 and to mitigate some of the damage caused by the casino revenue drought.

To that end, Dyster said his administration will work to restore the city’s bond rating which has been downgraded by several bond rating agencies in recent months. He said the administration also will replenish the city’s reserve fund and begin work on infrastructure and economic development projects that were put on hold during the dispute.

Dyster said he’ll seek the city council’s help in quickly approving several construction projects - including an additional $1.5 million worth of road paving projects - in order to get some important repairs done before winter.

“Now that the situation has been resolved, it’s an opportunity, as I said the other day, for us to shift back into fast forward in terms of our work on economic revitalization,” Dyster said.

Councilman Sam Fruscione, who is part of a three-person majority on the city council, said he was disappointed Dyster had not reached out to him or other members of the majority to discuss a plan for the casino revenues before publicly presenting the details of the next steps.

“We’re willing to work with (Dyster) and we’ll continue to work with him, but he’s got to bring a lot of stuff to the table so that we can have a consensus of what needs to be done,” Fruscione said. “Because the residents are very concerned that this cash is going to be squandered.”

Fruscione said he would like to see more of the casino money put into savings for the city in the future.

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