Niagara Gazette

June 23, 2013

Dyster asking city council to add more streets to 2013 paving program

By Justin Sondel
Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette — More roads may be a little less bumpy for Niagara Falls residents this year.

That’s thanks, in part, to the end of the four-year casino cash dispute that nearly pushed the city to the brink of a financial crisis.

Mayor Paul Dyster has included a measure on the agenda for Monday’s city council meeting that will significantly expand the city’s street paving plan for this year.

The move follows the pending release of $89 million in withheld casino revenues which is expected o arrive in the city’s coffers in a matter of weeks.

“We think this one of the most important uses that we have for these casino revenues,” the mayor said.

Dyster’s administration has asked the council to consider adding portions of the following streets to this year’s road repair plan: Van Rensselaer Avenue; Chester Avenue; Chasm Avenue; Maple Avenue; Rankine Road; 19th Street; Weston Avenue; Cleveland Avenue; Colvin Boulevard and Military Road.

The measure calls for $760,000 of the $1.5 million originally set aside for the 2009 street paving plan to be transferred to the Department of Public Works’ milling and overlay budget line once the casino funds arrive.

Dyster said the added streets are concentrated in the city’s DeVeaux neighborhood because repaving those streets has been put off while the Lewiston Road project was ongoing.

With that project nearing completion, Dyster said it now makes sense to pave the roads that intersect with Lewiston Road.

“The people of DeVeaux have been very patient,” he said.

With the arrival of the casino revenues, the city will be able to pave some of the longer, more expensive streets.

“If you’re one of those people that have been waiting for your road to be repaved, I think this is going to be a great relief going forward,” Dyster said.

Council Chairman Glenn Choolokian said he believes the measure will be supported by the council during Monday’s meeting.

He agreed with Dyster saying casino revenues are meant for infrastructure projects like road paving.

“That’s what the taxpayers deserve and that’s what we’re trying to bring them,” Choolokian said.

The council chairman plans to reach out to Dyster and explore the possibility of tackling even more roads.

“I hope we can sit down and expand it even more,” Choolokian said.

ROAD WORK Under a $760K plan being considered Monday, additional paving projects would be conducted on: • Van Rensselaer Avenue • Chester Avenue • Chasm Avenue • Maple Avenue • Rankine Road • 19th Street • Weston Avenue • Cleveland Avenue • Colvin Boulevard • Military Road