Niagara Gazette —
Dyster highlighted some of the projects that Community Development began in 2012 including the city's tuition reimbursement program Live NF and the city's partnership with the Isaiah 61 Project, a not-for-profit that buys city-owned properties, repairs them while training unemployed city residents and then sells the home to low-income families at a reasonable cost.
The mayor also announced several initiatives that the city will roll out in 2013 including:
• A crack down on vacant and blighted properties from the city's Department of Code Enforcement
• A plan that will financially punish land speculators who hold onto unoccupied, blighted buildings for long periods of time
• Plans to demolish 50 structures and to seek more funding to expand that number if possible
Dyster said the city needs to get buildings into the hands of people who are planning to use them.
"One way or another we are going to make it impossible for land speculators to hold down development in Niagara Falls by hanging on to multiple key development parcels year after year, decade after decade, with no regard for how that impedes the overall development of the city," Dyster said.
Dyster said downtown development, with a boost from Gov. Andrew Cuomo's "Buffalo Billion" plan to help cultivate the city's natural resources to attract tourists and major engineering projects that city residents never thought would happen — some in the planning stages and some already under way — will help drive the economy of the city for years to come.
Dyster highlighted some of the projects including;
• Downtown development projects like the Hammister Group's planned mix-use building, the Hotel Niagara project and the renovation of the Days Inn at the Falls.
• Road projects like the industrial stretch of Buffalo Avenue already under way, the state's revamping of the south end of the Robert Moses Parkway which is still in the planning phase and the Lewiston Road project scheduled to wrap up in 2013.