Niagara Falls Reporter
Home | Archive/Search
July 29 - Aug 06, 2014

Reporter’s Role in Quashing Bridgewater
Project Just a Part of What We Do Here

By Mike Hudson

July 29, 2014

Bridgewater is dead: to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that. The register of its burial was signed by the town board, the clerk, the supervisor, and the chief mourner; Steven L Reiter who has now placed his mother's property up for sale again. Old Bridgewater was as dead as a door-nail.


The goal line failure of the Bridgewater Estates project on Route 104 in Lewiston was good news for the people of Lewiston, bad news for former Town Supervisor Steven L. Reiter, and all in day’s work for the Niagara Falls Reporter.

In comparison to his actions in the Bridgewater affair, the theft of gasoline from town pumps that led to Reiter losing in a primary election as supervisor was penny ante.

But were in not for the Reporter’s investigation into the project, the shady details of the project would never have come to light.

In that respect, Reiter’s Bridgewater project can now take its’ place alongside Jimmy Glynn’s Maid of the Mist contract, the under the table payoff of $40,000 from developer Joe Anderson to former Niagara Falls Mayor Vince Anello and the investigation into Laborers Local 91 that helped trigger federal indictments of the union’s top leadership as evidence of this newspaper’s ability to root out corruption.

In his role as supervisor, Reiter took charge of a deal between his mother, who was selling a six-acre piece of property located at the intersection of Route 104 and Model City Road. Reiter’s mother had been trying to sell the land for $350,000 for a number of years with no takers.

Reiter rammed through a change in the town’s zoning ordinance that changed the zoning from R-2 Residential to a far more lax general business zoning that requires no buffer zone between residential and industrial properties and allows for high density apartments and four story buildings.

Lo and behold, buyers for the parcel emerged from out of the woodwork with a plan to build 138 units of “luxury senior citizen housing” on the site, which is right next to Modern Disposal’s storage yard.

And the buyers weren’t paying a measly $350,000 for the parcel either. The change in zoning also resulted in a price hike, to $1.4 million. Just as quick as that, Reiter’s 85-year-old mother became America’s newest millionaire.

But Reiter wasn’t through helping the Bridgewater Estates project. In his official position, the town supervisor signed waivers eliminating the need for a traffic study- despite there being plans for some 200 seniors to exit from a single driveway against 55 mph-plus truck traffic, or an environmental impact statement, saving the developers as much as $1 million.

Later on the Reporter revealed that the site was once a gas station and auto repair shop, which by normal operation of safeguarding for hazards, an environmental study is required.

By the time the county Industrial Development Authority received a request from the developers for $1.8 million in tax breaks for the project, Reiter was actually listed as owning a 19 percent stake in the project. The supervisor, it turned out, was one of the developers!

The IDA proposal was presented by none other than longtime Reiter friend and supporter Henry Sloma, who had only recently stepped down as IDA chairman. He told the IDA members they should approve the developers’ request and they did what he told them to do, just as they had during the seven years he spent as chairman.

About a year after the approval, Sloma quietly returned to the IDA as chairman. How much he was paid for his role in the Bridgewater deal is unknown.

Almost certainly, aspects of the project were illegal, unethical and potentially dangerous. It is a dead letter now, since all of those things were exposed on the pages of this newspaper.

Because of this newspaper’s reporting, the town Planning Board kicked approval of the project back to the Town Council for review. Specifically, they said they wanted a traffic study done at least. The IDA rescinded their approval of the $1.8 million in tax credits.

The Town Council tabled any action on the proposal and all the Bridgewater approvals expired, meaning that the developers, if they choose to pursue it, would have to start from scratch, something that in more than a month they have failed to do.

With Reiter and Councilmen Ernie Palmer and Michael Marra now out of the picture, it is likely to remain in limbo.

You won’t often read or hear a word about public corruption in the mainstream media on the Niagara Frontier until grand jury subpoenas go out, or indictments are handed down.

But, as our investigations into Bridgewater Estates, the Maid of the Mist, Laborers Local 91 and more than a dozen other cases proves, here at the Niagara Falls Reporter corruption on the part of public officials is our bread and butter.

The clever plan had luxury senior housing backing up to about 1000 Port-O-Potties owned by Modern Disposal.








Where Have all the Republicans Gone?
Forster likes Dems’ Chances in November
Mario Cuomo Defends Son as Moreland
Controversy Heats Up; Astorino
Likens Governor to Mafia Boss
Walker’s Campaign Finances Cloudy;
A Reasonable Explanation to Come?
Will Republican Legislature Again
Give Voting Booth Storage to Ulrich?
Touma Can Rescue Garbage Plan
Residents Entitled to More Than 64!
Marra’s Final Act:
‘Engineer Will Test Joe Davis Parking Lot’
Councilman’s Trash Bag Snatched
Johnny Rockets Waitress Victimized
By Poor Policy, Aretha’s Publicist?
Will Historic Hornblower Appeal
Finally Sink Glynn’s Maid of the Mist?
Are New Maid of the Mist Docks Just Tragedy Waiting to Happen?
Jury Nullification set Wild Bill Hickok Free Although He Killed a Man Illegally!
Former Council Secretary Receives
'Probable Cause' Determination in Age Discrimination 'Firing'
Reporter’s Role in Quashing Bridgewater Project Just a Part of What We Do Here
Free Idiot's Test
Racism By Any Other Name Stinks Just As Badly Online
Letters to the Editor
Did You Hear the One About Charlie Walker?

Contact Info

©2014 The Niagara Falls Reporter Inc.
POB 3083, Niagara Falls, N.Y. 14304
Phone: (716) 284-5595

Publisher and Editor in Chief: Frank Parlato
Managing Editor: Dr. Chitra Selvaraj
Senior Editor: Tony Farina