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The Niagara Falls City Council will vote today on a contract that could make Nustadia Developments USA the exclusive developer and operator of Hyde Park for 20 years.

Nustadia, a subsidiary of Toronto's Nustadia Developments, was chosen last month to carry out a possible expansion plan for the Hyde Park Ice Pavilion, a twin-rink complex.

At the time the Council ordered the free study, Nustadia officials said they would be willing to look at the potential of the whole park. The city administration now has negotiated that contract.

As before, Nustadia would not be paid up front for its feasibility study "for the purpose of identifying the cultural, recreational, tourism, social and revenue potential of the park." However, if the city and the consultant agree that third-party consultants need to be called in, the city would pay for them.

The contract says that will include possible improvements to the existing facilities, including the potential of finding a minor-league baseball team or other primary tenant for Sal Maglie Stadium. Also to be examined are the prospects for making money through concession sales in the park.

If, after the preliminary study, the city decides to allow Nustadia to pursue its recommendations, it will be the exclusive development company for the park for 20 years. After a one-year "due diligence" period, either side could cancel the arrangement.

But if the city rejects the company's preliminary plan, the city will have to pay Nustadia $25,000.

Also on today's Council agenda is a $15,000 out-of-court settlement with a Lewiston man who suffered heart attack symptoms when he was arrested on housing code violation charges that later were dismissed.

Michael J. Bergey was charged Nov. 12, 1996, after the city accused him of violating its Clean Neighborhood Ordinance.

His lawyer, Edward P. Perlman, said Bergey began sweating, experienced severe pain and became short of breath when he was booked and placed in a cell in the Public Safety Building. He had to be taken to Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center in an ambulance, Perlman said.

Bergey was accused of violating the ordinance at four different properties he owned in the city, Perlman said. All the charges later were thrown out of court, Perlman said. They pertained to unregistered vehicles, debris and high weeds.

Bergey's suit against the city alleged negligence and personal injury. Acting Corporation Counsel Timothy G. Bax told the Council that it would be in the city's best interests to settle the case.

Two other landlords arrested on the same day, former Councilman Mervin J. Cook and Neil W. Brown of the Town of Niagara, previously settled out of court for $7,500 each, according to Perlman.

Several public works items are on today's agenda, including:

A $744,590 contract with Armand Cerrone Inc. for the first phase of City Market improvements, including the demolition of one-third of the existing farmers' market stalls and construction of a new farmers' market tied into the former supermarket at the Pine Avenue site. Repaving and new lighting for the parking lot, a reflecting pool and a common area for staging events are also part of the project.

Three contracts for construction of a new LaSalle Park comfort station. MMR Construction would be paid $72,000 for general construction; CIR Electrical Construction of Buffalo would be paid $10,570 for the electrical work; and Cayuga Piping would be paid $35,180 for plumbing. Also, there is a contract with J. Martin Contracting of Kenmore for $9,499 to demolish the old comfort station and $7,089 to remove its asbestos.

The appropriation of $802,000 to pay the city's share of the $3.7 reconstruction of all of Quay Street and parts of Niagara and Eighth streets.

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