The project was first declared dead by its developer in March 2018.

This past week, the NFC Development Corp. put another nail in the coffin of a Third Street water park, proposed by hotelier Michael DiCienzo, by terminating a $300,000 grant that would have supported the project.

The grant had been approved in October 2017 but none of the funds were ever dispersed to DiCienzo's NFNY Hotel Management LLC. Wednesday's termination of the grant means those funds can be returned to the NFC's fund balance, where they can be used to provide assistance to other projects.

City Council Member John Spanbauer, a new appointee to the NFC board, asked if DeCienzo had any plans to replace the water park project.

Mayor Robert Restaino, who chairs the NFC, told Spanbauer, "There are a variety of conversations with this developer on this project and others."

A spokesman for DiCienzo said the developer was not immediately available to comment on potential future projects in the Falls. The water park had been proposed for a plot of land adjacent to the developer's Sheraton Hotel in the 300 block of Third Street. DiCienzo's company has declared a themed waterpark planned for the city's downtown is dead.

DiCienzo has, in the past, blamed the failure of the water park project on a refusal by the Empire State Development Corporation to provide $2 million in public assistance. The project had received, in addition to the $300,000 grant from N.F.C., a $6.6 million tax abatement from the Niagara County Industrial Development Agency and a $1 million grant from a fund established by state Sen. Robert Ortt, (R-North Tonawanda) known as the Niagara Falls Tourism Target Zone.

The water park project had carried a total price tag of $13.4 million.

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