Niagara Gazette

Local News

February 20, 2013

Council majority turns down Oishei offer to help NACC

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — He described the council majority’s view as “disappointing and “very, very frustrating,” noting that his foundation has provided upwards of $10 million in financial help to various local organizations, including Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center and Children and Family Services on Main Street. 

“I see the effects of making these Draconian cuts down to the bone on organizations that are the lifeblood of the community,” Gioia said.

Anderson said the city simply can’t afford the NACC, especially when extreme financial hardships are being experienced at the local, state and federal levels. He suggested without cutting costs, the city of Niagara Falls will find itself in an even worse position in 2014. 

“We are trying to survive and keep this city alive,” he said. 

Fruscione questioned the city’s ability to stay afloat as well, noting that it has significant debt payments ahead this year, including several million dollars owed on the debt service for the construction of the public safety complex on Main Street. Failing to live up to the city’s debt obligations could lead to dire consequences, including possibly a control board for the city, Fruscione said. 

“We’ll be the ones who are responsible at the end of the day, not yourself, Mr. Gioia, with all due respect,” he said. 

Council members Charles Walker and Kristen Grandinetti thanked Gioia for the foundation’s offer and its support for various city organizations throughout the years. 

“I’m sorry that things are going in the direction that they are because in this community the NACC is such a valuable resource to so many people,” Grandinetti said. 

Both Walker and Grandinetti felt it would be a mistake for the city to pass on the foundation’s offer. Walker said he viewed it as an opportunity for the city to save $15,000 while continuing to support an institution that clearly has plenty of support from residents. 

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