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SPECTACOR GETS 10-YEAR PACT TO RUN CONVENTION CENTER

The City Council Monday unanimously ratified a new 10-year agreement with Spectacor Management Group to operate the Niagara Falls Convention and Civic Center.

The pact replaces an agreement with the Philadelphia-based company which was to expire Dec. 31. Under its provisions, the company will continue to handle all promotion, marketing and event scheduling for the center.

Convention Center general manager Harry E. Cann said the fee structure in the new agreement is changed. The city will pay Spectacor a flat fee of $220,000 this year, but that will drop back to $200,000 in 1998. That amount will rise annually based on the inflation rate.

Spectacor will also receive an incentive fee based on adjusted gross revenues. The company will receive 20 percent of the first $500,000 of the adjusted gross, and 25 percent of the gross over $500,000.

The agreement also gives the city an option to dump Spectacor at any time, if the Niagara Falls Redevelopment Corp., with which the city signed a multimillion agreement last week, decides it wants to take over the Convention Center.

However, Cann said, "From my discussions with them, they have no interest in managing the day-to-day operations of the center."

As another facet of the new contract, Spectacor will contribute $400,000 toward capital improvements at the building. Half of that will be paid toward the 1998 budget; the rest will be paid in the sixth year of the deal.

A similar split will be arranged for a $100,000 contribution to local promotions. The first $50,000 will go to the Festival of Lights.

In other action Monday, the Council passed an unsafe buildings ordinance which in some emergency cases calls for a sign listing the problems to be posted in front of the premises.

If the Department of Inspections decides a building is so ramshackle that it is in imminent danger of falling down and endangering the public, the owner may be served by registered mail. That's when the sign would also be posted.

In non-emergency cases, the measure calls for the department to give owners of dilapidated structures 30 days to begin either repairs or demolition. Whichever path is chosen, the work must be done within 90 days after it begins.

If the landlord asks for an appeal hearing but doesn't show up for it, the city will have the power to demolish or repair the building immediately. The same is true if a landlord does not meet a deadline for repairing or demolishing the structure.

Also Monday, Councilman John G. Accardo's measure to revive the city's taxicab commission was put off until the next meeting Aug. 14. Accardo said the Law Department wanted to review some fine points in the City Charter which might affect the measure.

Also withdrawn was Councilman Guy T. Sottile's resolution asking the city's legal staff to research a law making parents responsible for their minor children's crimes. Councilman Vincent R. Morello said no resolution is needed for a Council member to ask city attorneys to research something.

Also Monday, the Council:

Granted Mount Sinai Baptist Church an option until Oct. 31 to purchase vacant land on Centre Avenue between 17th and 21st streets to construct a 40-unit senior-apartment complex. The project is dependent on funding being sought from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Rev. Willie Spencer, the pastor, said if there is no money from Washington, there will be no project.

Sold three run-down dwellings to Center City Neighborhood Development Corp. for rehabilitation. The not-for-profit group will pay a total of $2,100 for 1518 15th St. and 1371 and 1375 Linwood Ave. It will also receive a 50 percent property tax break on the buildings.

Appropriated $320,000 to pay the 20 percent of the reconstruction of 56th Street between Niagara Falls Boulevard and Frontier Avenue that will not be covered by federal funds.

Approved five change orders, totaling $140,568.29, for the new water treatment plant.

Passed a resolution by Sottile calling on the administration to supply the Council with updated information on efforts to redevelop the former Century Club property on Buffalo Avenue.

Scheduled a public hearing at 3 p.m. Aug. 14 on offering a state early retirement incentive to city employees.

Changed the name of 66th Street north of Niagara Falls Boulevard to Factory Outlet Boulevard, saluting the Niagara International Factory Outlet, which borders that street.

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