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Copelin May Be Missing the Big Picture On Greenway Grant for Jayne Park

Cheree J. Copelin, the Niagara County Republican legislator in the 3rd Legislative District, seems at times in lockstep with the Democratic Mayor of Niagara Falls, Paul A. Dyster.

Several weeks ago she began a push to get the city to accept a matching Greenway grant that was originally based on Dyster's plan to radically alter Jayne Park on Cayuga Island.

Copelin seems to miss the mark when she says, take the money but spend it as she wants it spent.

 She has no say in how the city of Niagara Falls spends a matching grant. Copelin is a county legislator.

The Greenway grant is for $145,000. City taxpayers have to match it with $145,000 of city money.

Dyster's original Greenway grant calls for a parking lot, flood lights, picnic areas, paved walking trails, restrooms and canoe launches, converting a quiet neighborhood park into a regional attraction.

Copelin says she doesn't want a parking lot or restrooms. She wants to clean up dead trees and debris from the river, add picnic tables, a playground and some benches. And a modest hiking trail.

But that won't cost $290,000.

What Copelin says she wants for Jayne Park will probably cost less than even the city's share of the matching Greenway grant.

So why take the grant.

Once Dyster gets the grant money he has to spend it, and spend the city's matching share all $290,000, all on Jayne Park.

And not as Republican County Legislator Copelin likes.

It is spent the way Democratic Mayor Dyster likes.

He gets the money. He spends the money.

Look out for the bulldozers and the paving trucks.



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

AUG 20, 2013