The city of Niagara Falls is home to a world famous natural attraction that draws more than four million annual visitors from across the world. We have a renowned hydroelectric facility that powers a large part of the U. S. and Canada. Located on one of the world's busiest international borders, we're only a stone's throw away from the bright lights and big city of Niagara Falls, Ont. We also host a very successful downtown casino.
Yet, with all of these positives, our mayor and city administrator are looking to cut off the garbage collection of our own local businesses.
After hearing about this plan I was just in awe; I could honestly say I was speechless. It is hard to do business here in Niagara Falls already, with the two-tier tax system that the city has in place with commercial property owners paying nearly double the taxes of residential property owners.
The city of Niagara Falls was the one city that was picked out of hundreds to be the host of a first class gaming venue. Did the administration forget that the city of Niagara Falls received over $200 million dollars from the casino and another $240 million to come? Did the mayor and the administration forget how we were supposed to be blessed by getting picked to be the host city of the Seneca Niagara Casino? But now, 11 years later, we are now talking about stopping garbage services for our local businesses. How could this be possible? Would any other city be in this mess? Would the other cities that lost out on being the host community believe this was possible? In my mind, I can't believe we are at this point.
I often disagree with many wasteful programs that the city spends money on, but I would fully support committing funding to ensure that the local business owners will not shoulder the burden of the additional costs related to private waste removal. The leadership of Niagara Falls continues to pay consultants, the leadership of Niagara Falls continues to pay out-of-towner's to do business here, but the leadership of Niagara Falls does not want to continue to pick up local businesses' garbage. Does this make sense?
I also made a statement at a recent council meeting that I fully support a recycling program, but because it seems that we are not a 100 percent ready to move forward with this program, there is nothing wrong by taking a step back and sorting out all the kinks that will bring headaches, stress and frustration to all the families of Niagara Falls.