Niagara Gazette

Opinion

March 17, 2013

GUEST VIEW: Rail station project by the numbers

Niagara Gazette — There are five very important Niagara Falls International Railway and Intermodal Transportation Center (rail station) items up for city council vote at 7 p.m. on Monday. These votes will decide if this major construction project can move forward or will be delayed. To be clear, any delay does endanger this project. Unfortunately, misinformation is making its way through the community. As mayor, I want to make sure you have the correct details on this and every project. Here is the rail station project by the numbers:

• For every one dollar the city spends on this project, the federal and state government will spend approximately $10.

• The city council is not voting to spend any money on March 18. Further, no dollars will ever be spent in a lump sum. This is a pay as you go arrangement. Niagara Falls dollars are the last out of the door. The federal and state government pay their shares first. City funds stay in our bank account until needed.

• The rail station project equals jobs. It will create approximately 200 full time equivalent construction jobs and almost 400 indirect full equivalent time jobs. That is 137,000 total man hours.

• An average of 50-plus skilled laborers will be on the project site every day for two years. That’s scheduled and dependable work.

• Let’s break that down by households. The rail station carries 3,425 individual paychecks for trades’ workers with it. These are family supporting, full-time paychecks. We need this in Niagara Falls.

• Train station construction will create jobs right here, right now. A project apprenticeship program will get trades men and women ready for work tomorrow and training program will get local people trained for the future.

• In addition, there will be 20-25 separate contracts, giving local companies the opportunity to compete for work. I am confident in our community’s workforce and our local businesses’ ability to get that contracted work.

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