Niagara Gazette —
• Plans to use state money to emphasize outdoor activities with extended biking and hiking trails in the state park to enhance the experience of visitors.
Dyster said that the plans to enhance the outdoor aspects of the parks will draw more people — both locals and out-of-towners — to the city each year.
"When we were kids growing up along the gorge we used to say that state parks only had one rule for using the park, no having fun," Dyster said. "Consistent with keeping people safe and preserving the fantastic ecology of the gorge, we're going to repeal that rule and look at innovative ways to enhance ecotourism, active outdoor adventure and anything else that enhances people's experience of our great natural resource."
City Council Chairman Glenn Choolokian said the speech was “positive,” but he worries Dyster didn't convey the many fiscal problems that the city continues to struggle with in 2013.
"I want to stress that, again, the city council and council majority are going to be conservative in not blowing money," Choolokian said. "We're going to look at new initiatives to bring revenue in and we've got to work as a team with the mayor's office just to keep things moving forward."
Norma Higgs, the treasurer of the Niagara Falls Block Club Council, was thanked during the speech for the volunteer work the she and her block club members do for the city.
She said she appreciated the mention.
"We work very hard to do what we're supposed to do and we try to work hard to support everything and everybody in the city," she said.
Standing in the atrium of the culinary institute, Higgs said the building was proof of what can be accomplished in the city when people work together.
"I think (Dyster) showed us that what's been done can be improved upon, it can be multiplied many times," Higgs said. “I really truly am very optimistic.”