August 6, 2009

Show Me The Money

I must admit, I'm somewhat perplexed. What has me in this conundrum is the amount of money that has and is flowing to Niagara Falls with no tangible improvements.

The latest announcement, $3.7 million worth of street projects for the city of Niagara Falls, was recently announced by Rep. Louise Slaughter, who apparently found use for her GPS by programming it to find the city that always weeps.

This is on top of the $50 million that Niagara Falls has received from the Seneca Niagara casino slot machine revenues and the money that Assemblywoman Francine DelMonte recently diverted from a separate pool of casino funds allocated for every other community in the county to fix the decrepit roads of the city.

But nothing has changed in the six years of millions of additional dollars flowing into the city. Actually, let me correct that - things have indeed changed - for the worse.

So where the hell is all of this money going? Whose pockets are being lined? Why has there been no attempt by any member of the so-called local media to investigate this? Are they such cowards that they fear getting on the bad side of the politicos?

Niagara County Democratic Committee mouthpiece, errrr, Niagara Gazette space-filler (calling him a reporter would be an insult to the real reporters of the world) Mark Scheer likes to think of himself of having the pulse of the political scene in Niagara County. What a joke - this part-time blogger has more relevant information than he does. Here's some free advice for you, Mark: Go to Niagara Falls City Hall, do a FOIL for every expenditure related to the city's share of the casino revenue and write a story about it.

Meanwhile, millions continue to flow into a city that has become a complete and utter embarrassment. Yeah, I know, that pedestrian walkway sure has some nice pavers. La-dee-freakin-da. A city that gets 11 million visitors to it each year should not be suffering the way Niagara Falls is. The only way to get to the bottom of these troubles is to follow the money trail. Does anyone out there have the courage to do it?


Pirate's Code said...

Now, this is a question worth asking. I certainly do not drive every street in NF on a regular basis, but my travels there recently tell me that improvements are hard to find. How is it possible to spend that much money and NOT see some tangible improvements?

Paladin said...

Hold on PC...Paul Dyster is building his half-million-dollar public art in the traffic circle! Now THAT, my friend, is an improvement.

Poopchute said...

Yawn, another hobbs bashing of the city of Niagara Falls. What I would like to have investigated is how the town of ______ can keep their assessments so far below their valve. My house in the city is assessed at 74,000, while my mom's house in the town is 100,000. Now its double the size of mine and all the houses around it sold in the 160,000's. Niagara Falls is unfairly taxed and its about time we get something back, so stop crying and using your childish la-da. Just face it your a racist!

James T. Kirk said...

Unfortunately, Poopchute, aside from yet again labeling anyone who criticizes the disastrous leadership of Paul Dyster & Co. a "racist," has shown an absolute lack of knowledge of how assessments and taxes work.

It's true: many towns DO have properties that are not assessed at their full current value. But then government--here, the county government--applies what they call an "equalization rate." This means the property tax rate paid to the county in each municipality is unique to that municipality. If a town has not raised its assessments, people pay more per $1000 of assessed value.

The end result is, everyone pays their fair share based on their property's actual worth.

Poop, it would help if you would maybe do some research before posting one of your silly little rants here.

Dark Knight said...

Here's another one for the old Pooper. Maybe the rest of the towns in the county aren't run as poorly as your beloved Niagara Falls and hence don't need to keep reassessing as a way to increase taxes in a backdoor sort of way. Maybe we don't have expensive out of towners who aren't even qualified for their jobs (city engineer.) Maybe we don't have the most disastrous, expensive and bloated water authority known to mankind (although N.T. could give you a run for that title). Maybe we don't have populations where 50 percent of residents are on government assistance.

Yes, maybe that's the differnce between the Falls and the towns.

Paladin said...

Shoot, DK, I couldn't have said it better myself.

Poopchute said...

Oh, then why should i have to pay a county tax? the county is bleeding the city dry with all the no show jobs they give their buddies. you quote the nfr, while bashing the nfg, like the reporter is really news worthy, its more like a paid program. rip billy.

Niagara Prognosticator said...

Hobbes. Anyone can file a FOIL. Even bloggers, Senate staffers or yo mama. lol

I'm not going to try and defend my friend Paul here. Too much, that is. He has been too tentative in decisions (Much like Obama) and he buys in too much to the idea outsiders are needed to make change. Change comes from the willful political leaders who insist that their subordinates be agents for change. Paul is hampered by a city council that remains factionalized, self-interested and suspicious of each other's motives.

But as far a road reconstruction is concerned, there are more streets being repaved and rebuilt in NF than at anytime in the last 30 years. I know, I drive them often.

However, to the occasional visitor, it would not appear that much is happening. This is because of the unprecedented deterioration over the last several years. There are just so many bad streets that without many more millions of dollars, progress will not be evident for a least 3 or 4 years from now. Plus, many streets are not touchable because of other infrastructure issues (water, sewer lines, etc) that add considerably to the cost of rehab and force a longer term approach.

Personally, as my view is that as NF goes so goes the county, ALL the available casino revenue plus some should be pledged to a massive bond ($50m++) that would be used in a blitzkrieg of repairs to NF's infrastructure, demolition of decrepit buildings and development of shovel ready land suitable for the development of middle-income housing subdivisions. Create the conditions for a modern day land rush, like what happened when the prairie was opened for homesteaders.

Giving middle-income folks a reason to move into NF would promote real bottom up growth, not the artificial top down "economic development" growth myth that continues to be the mantra of politicians far and wide. The economic development model is proved a failure year to year, but somehow the voters continue to accept it and continue to re-elect those who repeat it and praise those bureaucrats who perpetuate it (IDA, e.g.).

Yes, perhaps this idea poses some huge roadblocks to implementation, but SOMETHING dramatic needs to happen in NF.