Niagara Gazette

Local News

June 14, 2014

Lawmakers ask state parks to reconsider park police barracks plan

Niagara Gazette — Two local state lawmakers are asking the state Department of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation to reconsider plans for a police station along the gorge.

Assemblyman John Ceretto and State Sen. George Maziarz sent a letter to state parks on Friday asking the agency to reconsider a plan to place a new, 7,000 square foot parks police station on the Niagara River Gorge.

Both Ceretto and Maziarz say the station would detract from the natural beauty of the Niagara River Gorge and that there are alternative sights that the city of Niagara Falls has suggested.

Construction crews have already begun clearing trees on state-owned vacant land near the Rainbow Bridge for the police station, which will replace the current one located on Goat Island in the Niagara River.

Tourism officials say the decision to build on the site is a slap in the face to the people who worked so long to convince the state to rip out the Robert Moses Parkway to improve public access to the gorge.

State parks officials have defended the decision, saying a concrete barrier running between the selected site and the gorge already mars the view.

Local residents can get a look for themselves on Monday when a city board holds its meeting there.

Members of the Niagara Falls Tourism Advisory Board Meeting will hold their meeting at the proposed site, just behind 454 Main St., northeast of the Rainbow Bridge and south of the Gorge Discovery Center. The meeting is set for 6 p.m. on Monday.

Additionally, a petition posted on www.thepetitionsite.com had collected 180 “signatures” late Friday afternoon.

Ceretto said for years, residents have worked to open up the waterfront.

“A 7,000 square foot police station on the Niagara River Gorge would be counterproductive to that goal,” he said in a statement. “I am confident that we can find a positive resolution to this issue that encourages economic development in the city of Niagara Falls and preserves the natural beauty of the Niagara Gorge.”

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