You'd be hard pressed to find many people in Western New York who aren't extremely pleased with yesterday's announcement that our five county region will reap over $100 million in state government cash and tax incentives for economic development. As we've stated many times, our region has failed to see the economic boom that much of the country has enjoyed over the past couple decades. While these funds are far from a panacea, they could give Western New York a nice little boost.
That being said, we believe we have found someone who is far from pleased with yesterday's announcement of funds for Western New York: Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster. In a nutshell, Dyster got squatoosh.
The Western New York Regional Economic Development Council made the pipedream Niagara Experience Center (NEC) in Niagara Falls a significant focal point of their presentation. Clearly that was to appease the incessant whining of Dyster to see this ridiculous $100 million waste of time, energy and resources come to fruition.
In the end, the NEC didn't make the cut, but Dyster's woes don't end there. From what we estimate, 22 different projects in Niagara County were approved for funding or tax credits. Of the 22, only one project submitted by the City of Niagara Falls was approved: $102,440 for LaSalle Waterfront Park. Frankly, that's pathetic.
That doesn't mean that Niagara County as a whole didn't make out quite well; we did. Three projects applied for by the City of North Tonawanda were approved for over $1 million. The City of Lockport was awarded over $900,000. Even Newfane got $63,800 to upgrade marina facilities. But it doesn't end there. NCCC got $2 million for its culinary school. Artpark got nearly $400,000 for improvements. The Niagara Wine Trail got $30k for marketing. The NFTA got $970k for a master plan for the Niagara Falls International Airport (which is in Wheatfield). The list goes on and on. Niagara Falls got dick. We're really starting to get the feeling that someone in Albany doesn't much care for the overbearing Dyster.
Other than the NEC, we don't know is what else the city applied for, and thus, what was rejected, if anything. Frankly, it wouldn't surprise us one bit if Dyster put all of his eggs in one basket, the NEC. He's just that arrogant and foolish.
As the Buffalo News piece states, a total of 720 projects were funded statewide, totaling $785.5 million in cash and tax breaks. Niagara Falls got one project for $100k. Coincidence? Doubt it.