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Dyster's Engineering Woes Date Back to the Beginning

Bob Curtis might have saved the city millions.

Ali Marzban didn't last long.

The day Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster took office on Jan. 1, 2008, he fired City Engineer Bob Curtis. The city had no engineer for the next 15 months and the courthouse was built without the benefit of a licensed city engineer.

On March 30, 2009, Dyster hired Ali Marzban of Los Angeles.

Five months later, Dyster fired Marzban following a Niagara Falls Reporter expose that revealed Marzban did not have an engineering license.

The city went back to having no engineer again as it undertook its second big project of the Dyster era-- the Lewiston Road reconstruction project.

The project was supposed to cost $7.9 million, but, due to negligence, hiring the wrong contractor and not having a licensed city engineer to monitor the work, the project will end up being in the neighborhood of $16 million and take several years longer than anticipated to complete.

Dyster had no engineer until January, 2010, when he hired Tom Radomski. A few months later, he fired Radomski for being in violation of the city's residency ordinance.

He hired Jeffrey Skurka in July 2011.

“He has a really interesting mix of experiences,” Dyster said of Skurka at the time.

Almost every Dyster project has been monitored by outside engineers and plagued with change orders. Nearly every contractor and outside engineer -- almost to a man -- have contributed to Dyster's campaign.

Now with Dyster planning to build a $25 million train station, the city is once again without the services of a licensed engineer.

After a dispute with the mayor, Skurka has gone on medical leave.




Niagara Falls Reporter - Publisher Frank Parlato Jr. www.niagarafallsreporter.com

Apr16, 2013