Niagara Gazette

Local News

March 24, 2013

As Sabre Park crumbles around them, the few remaining residents deal with frustration of situation

As Sabre Park crumbles around them, the few remaining residents deal with frustration

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette —

“They’re going to build it anyway, tax break or no tax break,” Jeff said. “So now, they’re going to put the burden back on the people they evicted. They already took advantage of us once. Now they’re taking advantage of us on taxes because that extra money that they should be paying should be reducing our taxes.”

Jeff said in his efforts to help save the park he contacted state representatives — Assemblyman John Ceretto, R-Lewiston, and Senator George Maziarz, R-Newfane — to see what they could do.

Both Maziarz and Ceretto told Jeff they would be at a residents meeting held in August of 2010. Maziarz did not show up but called to apologize. Ceretto sent a staffer who promised to try to help. Jeff has not heard from either politician since. Now both politicians are on board with giving the mall a tax break on the expansion despite saying that they would help the residents, Jeff said.

“They were never going to help us anyways,” Jeff said.

When asked about the comments of residents of Sabre Park, Maziarz said Friday that he could not attend the residents’ meeting because he was in Albany and that he had tried to help them by putting them in touch with the state’s Division of Homes and Community Renewal.

He also noted the buyout offer, saying the mall owners tried to help residents relocate.

“The town and the mall owners did everything that they could ... to help them get alternative housing,” Maziarz said.

A Ceretto staffer sent a statement from the assemblyman in an email, noting the participation of an aid in the first tenants’ meeting and saying he did what he could to be helpful with “any insight on applicable state law.”

“The Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls is a destination for many people outside of the area and the sales tax revenue is a significant benefit to Niagara County and the local municipality,” Ceretto said in the statement. “We are talking about tax revenue from visitors; not residents — its [sic] new money for our region. I wish everyone involved and impacted nothing but the best.”

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