Mayor Restaino Accused of Withholding Funds from Centennial Park Opponents

During the ongoing debate surrounding the controversial Centennial Park Project and its cost to the community, various organizations and groups have shed light on a concerning trend: Mayor Robert Restaino’s alleged withholding of community development funds and grant money for those who oppose his vision for Centennial Park.

Reports suggest Mayor Restaino is even withholding essential citizen needs for any who dissent with his vision of taxpayers paying the bill for his events center.

Jim Szwedo, President of the Niagara Street Neighborhood Revitalization Organization, suggests the time may have come to investigate whether community funding should depend on the support of the mayor’s project.

Szwedo said,

After talking to several organizations and groups, it is becoming increasingly apparent that Mayor Restaino withholds community development funding and grants for organizations willing to speak out against his Centennial Park Project. He even orders his departments to ignore citizens’ needs in areas that oppose his views.

I believe it is time to take the decisions out of his hands by contacting our County, State, and Federal representatives and expressing to them the importance of the two-solution project, not just for Niagara Falls but for the County, Western New York, and the State itself.

The information highway that NFR and Urbacon is trying to build is too essential to allow one petty, egotistical, and vindictive person to stand in the way of what could be transformational for our region. It is time to run it up the food chain to people with real power.

“Niagara Digital Campus” rendering


The two project solution touted by Szwedo is one in which both the events center and NFR’s Data Center are built.


By the mayor not killing the data center through eminent domain – forcing the sale of 10 acres of NFR land in the middle of where the company, in partnership with Urbacon, plans to build a 60-acre data center.

Szwedo proposed using land that the city already owns, with adjacent parking already available, for the events center.

The proposal of a two-solution project is gaining traction as a potential resolution that could benefit not only Niagara Falls but the entire Western New York area.

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