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Thread: Local leaders ask Spitzer for housing help

  1. #1
    Unregistered Dr Funky's Avatar
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    Local leaders ask Spitzer for housing help

    http://www.niagara-gazette.com/siteS...355222334.html

    Local leaders ask Spitzer for housing help

    Senecas, state leaders join city in call for downtown housing initiative

    By Denise Jewell
    Niagara Gazette

    Elected leaders for Niagara Falls and the Seneca Nation of Indians united Thursday to call on Governor-elect Eliot Spitzer to use the state’s casino dollars to fund a project to lure new homeowners to the center of the city.

    Seven community leaders signed an open letter to Spitzer asking to support a project that would replace houses in a 13-block area between Fourth and 10th streets with a new development. Three more officials are expected to sign the document, which will also be sent to Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.

    “Niagara Falls is in dire need for new housing,” Mayor Vince Anello said at a Thursday morning press conference at the Conference Center Niagara Falls in which the leaders signed the letter.

    The project calls for acquiring and clearing the entire area between Niagara Street and Ferry Avenue from Fourth and 10th streets. A second phase of the project would focus on improving existing homes and building in-fill houses near existing homes between Ferry and Pine avenues.

    Anello said a study done of the area in 2004 found 316 housing units that were occupied by 80 families. He said the survey also found that 110 houses in the area should be condemned because of building code violations.

    Anello said the city has already started demolishing homes in those areas. He did not say whether the city would use its power of eminent domain to acquire the land.

    Seneca President Maurice John, Seneca Gaming Corp. Chairman Barry Snyder, Assemblywoman Francine DelMonte, state Senator-elect Antoine Thompson and members of the City Council joined Anello Thursday in the call for “assistance and guidance” for the project.

    The group asked that the state economic development agency, Empire State Development Corp., lead the project. They also proposed that Spitzer and state leaders dedicate a portion of the state’s share of slots revenue from the Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel in future years to the housing initiative.

    According to a proposal distributed Thursday morning, the city is prepared to use $12 million of its slots revenue for the project.

    Leaders from the Seneca Niagara Casino and Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center said new housing in the city is crucial to attracting workers to the area.

    Joseph Ruffolo, president and CEO of Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center, said housing is also a priority for doctors and nurses considering jobs at his facility. Ruffolo said the center has created more than 100 new jobs during the last year and currently has 80 openings.

    “The very first question that they ask us is: Is there housing near the hospital?” Ruffolo said. “Housing is a number one priority for all of us with respect to being able to recruit a high-quality workforce.”

  2. #2
    Member BorderBob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Funky
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    Elected leaders for Niagara Falls and the Seneca Nation of Indians united Thursday to call on Governor-elect Eliot Spitzer to use the state’s casino dollars to fund a project to lure new homeowners to the center of the city.
    Is that from the STATE's part of the slot machine quarter, or the CITY's quarter of that?

    b.b.

  3. #3
    Unregistered Dr Funky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BorderBob
    Is that from the STATE's part of the slot machine quarter, or the CITY's quarter of that?

    b.b.
    I think its the states part

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