Niagara Gazette

November 25, 2013

City budget on tap for council during Monday meeting

By Justin Sondel
Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette — The Niagara Falls City Council will meet earlier than originally scheduled today to review and act on amendments to Mayor Paul Dyster’s proposed budget for 2014.

The council will meet at 4:30 p.m., a half hour earlier than usual, to vote on proposed changes to spending plan Dyster presented to the council in early October.

Dyster’s proposed budget contains no tax hike, layoffs or cuts to services, but uses more than $4 million in city reserves to close a budget gap.

In addition the council agenda includes;

• An administrative update on the status of the contract for the Hamister Group’s proposed development on a city-owned lot downtown. The developer and city and state officials signed the agreement last week, but the Gazette has yet to receive a copy of the contract.

• An administrative update on three housing initiatives that would see the Niagara Falls School District sell property to developers if a referendum vote passes on Dec. 5. The three projects would all develop housing for people with low to moderate incomes.

• A resolution that would allow Dyster to enter the city into the state’s new financial restructuring program. The city would receive advice from a panel of state-appointed financial experts who would review the city’s books and provide guidance in dealing with long-term structural issues in the city budget.

• A resolution to extend the consent decree between the city, the Niagara Falls Police Department and the attorney general for a maximum of two years.

Contact reporter Justin Sondel at 282-2311, ext. 2257