Falls council offered plan for tidying up downtown

File photoCity Administrator Nick Melson approached Niagara Falls city lawmakers on Wednesday with a request to support some enhanced clean-up efforts in the downtown area. 

Falls City Administrator Nick Melson took a walk through the downtown tourist district on Monday.

And he didn’t walk alone. 

Accompanied by City Public Works Director John Caso and others from the DPW, USA Niagara President Anthony Vilardo, and representatives from the Falls Street and downtown business associations, they took an inventory what they felt needs to be done to improve the city’s appearance.

“We found 46 trees that were missing or dead,” Melson said. “Twelve lights standards in need of repairs, four missing bollards at Centennial Circle and a broken tree grate on Rainbow Boulevard.”

The group even came across a pedestal with an unknown purpose at Third and Niagara streets. Some of the damage was in front of a collection of new hotels in the tourist district, while the other problems were identified near the sculpture circle by the former Turtle building.

Members of the City Council nodded in agreement as Melson ran through his observations.

“I don’t know if you noticed,” Council Member Kenny Tompkins said, “but the potholes by the sculpture circle are really bad.”

Melson assured Tompkins he had taken note. And the city administrator told him that the state-run USA Niagara Development Corp. would be addressing that.

“I think this is a good assessment of what we need in the downtown area and I’m going to share it with you,” Melson said. 

Then the administrator told the council that he and the business leaders had come up with a plan “to clean up downtown.”

After consulting with the Falls Street and downtown business association leaders, Melson said the group had settled on a $25,000 to $30,000 plan to do the work.

“We’ll be presenting you with a plan at your next meeting,” Melson said, while noting that funding for the effort would come from the city’s Tourism Fund.

Council members offered no comment on how they might receive the proposal.