The legislation that has been proposed by Assemblywoman Francine DelMonte to take away the county's share of the casino revenue has caused some old wounds to open.
When the city of Niagara Falls, the County of Niagara and the state were working on the initial distribution formula for the casino revenue, the county had filed a lawsuit seeking a greater percentage of the revenues. The case was dismissed, not because it did not have merit, but because the formula had not yet been determined when the suit was filed.
Subsequently, an agreement that was deemed acceptable to DelMonte, State Senator George Maziarz and Governor George Pataki was passed, eliminating the need for the lawsuit.
With the legislation that DelMonte has recently brought before the Assembly, coupled with State Senator Antoine Thompson's "mirror" legislation in the Senate, there is a very real possibility that this change to the distribution formula will happen.
And you know what the spin off will be? A re-filing of the lawsuit by the county seeking a higher percentage of the casino revenue, possibly as much as 75%. And you know what else? The county will win. The county unequivocally has standing.
In essence what has transpired here is this: Because DelMonte is a petty tyrant seeking revenge for the series resolutions the county leg has brought forward questioning the actions of the New York Power Authority, DelMonte is looking to punish the county by taking away their share of the casino revenue; revenues that have totaled about $900,000 compared to $50,000,000 the City of Niagara Falls has received.
If the DelMonte/Thompson legislation does in fact pass and Governor Paterson signs it, there will be litigation. DelMonte is putting millions of dollars that flow to the city at risk because of a political vendetta. When this ruling comes down and the city gets screwed, every single resident of Niagara Falls needs to remember how you got to that position.