Democrats in the Niagara County Legislature are on the move and have plans for resolutions to reform industrial development agencies, eliminate the statute of limitations for violent crimes and bring more low-cost power to a local hospital.

The resolutions surface during a week when controversy surrounding a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement between the Niagara County Industrial Development Agency and AES Somerset, a power plant, continued to swirl and the Niagara County GOP announced two candidates for Legislature who are planning to run against Legislators Harry Apolito and Sean O’Connor, both Democrats.

Legislator Renae Kimble, D-Niagara Falls, will offer two resolutions, one in support of low-cost power for Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center and another that encourages the state to enact reforms to industrial development agencies.

Legislator Dennis Virtuoso, D-Niagara Falls, is also calling for IDA reform.

“We’re the poster child for IDA reform in the state,” Virtuoso said. Virtuoso has been opposed to the PILOT for AES, as has the rest of his caucus.

Legislator Sean O’Connor, D-Niagara Falls, will introduce a resolution to encourage the state to rescind the statute of limitations for violent felony crimes.

“I feel it’s a law that protects the criminal versus the victim,” O’Connor said. “If you commit the crime you should pay the time.”

Kimble’s IDA resolution encourages passage of IDA reform that was sponsored last year by Sen. George Maziarz, R-Newfane.

Reforms include greater disclosure of PILOT agreements among other things.

“We’ve got to make sure that IDAs are more accountable to the public,” Kimble said.

The resolution in support of Memorial Medical Center supports the allocation of more expansion or replacement power from the Niagara Power Project for the hospital.

“A business like Memorial that has a vested interest here should be able to receive it,” Kimble said.

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