Reclaim Niagara Set to hold Third Rally September 15th

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Photo courtesy of Rob Bennett, RobShots


By: Nicholas D. D’Angelo

Managing Editor

Just over a month ago, on July 28th, Reclaim Niagara held its second Rally in the heart of Niagara Falls’ tourism district to call attention to the exploitation of the City’s resources. This time, the attendees marched from the State Park entrance through the park to the brink of the Falls.

The event was widely attended and, like the first Rally, was a huge success. The two rallies drew hundreds of residents clearly dissatisfied with the State’s parasitic relationship with the City. Yet despite the clear unified voice, the State still ignores Niagara Falls and its residents.

Reclaim Niagara, which is a not-for-profit organization that is seeking to unify the voice of Niagara Falls and bring these issues to the attention of our elected officials, is set to hold its third and final rally of the year on Saturday, September 15th, 2018, from 11am to 1pm outside the New York State Power Authority Power Vista at 5777 Lewiston Road, Lewiston, New York.

“The City needs to become partners with the State in the resources that are in our own backyard,” said Organizer Jason Cafarella. “These resources had once been City resources but over the course of generations the State has swooped in and taken control of these resources and kept the profits for themselves.”

So what is Reclaim Niagara asking for?

  1. The City needs to receive two dollars for every car that is parked in the Niagara Falls State Parks parking lot and twenty dollars for each bus. This can be a surcharge added to each vehicle. This will not affect the State budget, but will be a huge help to our City.
  2. The City needs to receive one dollar for every attraction ticket sold in the Niagara Falls State Parks, including the Cave of the Winds and The Maid of the Mist. This again can be a surcharge added and will not affect the State budget.
  3. The New York State Power Authority must pay property taxes to the City of Niagara Falls for the property that they own and all of the underground infrastructure and conduit. Again, will be cost neutral to the State taxpayers but will be an invaluable benefit to the City taxpayers!
  4. The New York State Power Authority must offer free power to all industry within the City of Niagara Falls with no strings attached and no bureaucracy. This will create a catalyst for future economic development for generations to come as industries will quickly migrate to our City.
  5. Any private or “for profit” enterprise operating on State Park property within the City of Niagara Falls shall pay an annual property taxes. This again will not cost State taxpayers a cent!
  6. Renegotiate the Seneca Casino compact to allow the City, as the host municipality, to receive 75% of the slot revenue.

What will this mean for the Residents of Niagara Falls?

“If we are successful,” said Cafarella, “the City will receive immediate revenue from the State and its authorities. These funds should be dedicated to the repair and maintenance of our streets, reversing the trend of decaying neighborhoods and lowering the crushing tax burden that hinders strong economic development.”

Equally important to Reclaim Niagara is obtaining free power for all industry in the City of Niagara Falls.

“If industry is given free power, with no bureaucracy or ‘red tape,’ it will create a catalyst for future development,” said Cafarella. “Industries will flock to Niagara Falls with the ability to manufacture products with the reduced overhead of free power. This will create jobs that pay living wages for our residents. Those residents will stabilize the tax base, build neighborhoods, and reduce poverty in the City.”

“In the end, Niagara Falls will be more prosperous, with less crime, more opportunities, and stronger neighborhoods. But we cannot achieve this without the State and its authorities making us partners in the resources in our own backyard. Further, the State can partner with the City at a zero impact to the State budget. Given the enormous impact that this could have on Niagara Falls, why wouldn’t they want to help?”

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