Niagara Gazette

Local News

October 31, 2013

Maid of the Mist lifted into its newly built US dry dock on Thursday

Maid of the Mist lifted into its new US dry dock on Thursday


Niagara Gazette —

With no storage facilities on the American side of the gorge, the company was in danger of losing its ability to operate the attraction.

But Gov. Andrew Cuomo joined the Glynn's in announcing an amendment to the Maid's existing 40-year contract — inked in 2002 — that would see the state take in an additional $105 million over the course of agreement and see the Maid spend an additional $32 million to convert the historic Schoellkopf Power Station site into a dry dock facility for the boats and "enhance" the historic aspects of the site to create another attraction for visitors.

The company and several state agencies have faced a series of lawsuits from Hornblower, seeking to reopen the Maid's no-bid contract on the American side, and from the Niagara Preservation Coalition, a preservation group seeking to stop the Maid and the state from altering the historic site, which was added to the National Register of Historic Places in February after a push from state officials for the designation.

In addition, the Niagara Preservation Coalition accused the Maid, the Cuomo administration and a variety of state and federal agencies of rushing through environmental review processes to meet the dealine and appease the politically connected Glynn's in court documents.

The Niagara Falls Historic Preservation Commission, the city's designated preservation board, also raised concerns this summer when they felt they were being shut out from the site and information regarding the state's plans for the historic aspects of the former power plant, which broke away from the gorge and tumbled into the Niagara in June of 1956.

They were taken on a site visit and granted access to the documents they were seeking after several news stories were published about the state's reluctance to cooperate.

The commission is now working with the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, the New York Power Authority and Preservation Buffalo Niagara to formulate a plan for interpretive elements on the site.

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