City Council members, complaining that they are tired of meetings and talk, said Monday that they want Niagara Falls Redevelopment to provide financial documents regarding its yearlong operation of the Convention & Civic Center or be declared in default.
But one of Niagara Falls Redevelopment's attorneys said he doubted that there is any default at the Convention Center and that a financial statement is in the mail from New York City and should be delivered to the city today. The attorney, Jacek A. Wysocki, said that the financial statement was here on Jan. 25, the day it was due but that a "technical error" was discovered and the report had to be redone in the New York City offices of Howard P. Milstein, Niagara Falls Redevelopment's operating partner.
"I'm not aware of a default in the Convention Center," Wysocki said, adding that he would check on what other documents the Council says are missing.
But Council members insisted that the development group is in default on a number of reports it owes the city, starting with the financial reports due on the 25th of each month that Council members say they have not received in the year since Niagara Falls Redevelopment took over the Convention Center. Councilman Paul A. Dyster said the company also missed a Monday deadline for submitting balance sheets and statements of profit and loss and cash flow. Councilwoman Barbara A. Geracitano and Council Chairman Anthony F. Quaranto said information that had been promised during a meeting between the Council and Niagara Falls Redevelopment representatives Jan. 24 has not yet been received.
Subsequent to that meeting, Council members received requests to meet with the developers again individually.
"I've only been here a month, but I'm tired of meetings. I want the documents," freshman Councilman Joseph R. D'Angelo said.
Quaranto made the request that Niagara Falls Redevelopment be given formal written notice that failure to provide the documents within 30 days would be regarded as a default. But Councilman John G. Accardo asked that the request be submitted as a resolution and formally adopted. Other Council members agreed. The resolution drafted by the Law Department says only that the Council requests the corporation counsel to review the requirements of the Convention Center agreement and "send any notices he deems appropriate."
In other business, the Council:
- Approved Mayor Irene J. Elia's request to restore a junior account clerk's position to work on the Festival of Lights and the city's Community Faire after a discussion on the relative costs and benefits of the events, which ended in a decision to meet with organizers to seek ways of improving the events.
- Approved a resolution by Councilman Charles A. Walker asking Council members to take an active role in a grass-roots campaign to get the word out on the importance of 100 percent participation in the U.S. Census.
- Appointed former acting Corporation Counsel Timothy G. Bax to the Water Commission and confirmed Elia's appointments of: Steven Brown, a certified public accountant and former Niagara County legislator; Deborah Mann, a banker; Marilyn Herowski, who owns a local printing company; and Doreen H. O'Connor, a former agency member and vice president of Sevenson Co., to the Urban Renewal Agency and Nancy J. Joseph, her deputy director of economic development, and Donald LaVerdi, who works in construction and is a former Love Canal resident and activist, to the Love Canal Area Revitalization Agency.
- Approved resolutions by Accardo asking state legislators to approve Gov. George E. Pataki's plan to eliminate the gross-receipts tax on utilities and asking for $5,332,000 for restoration or replacement of deteriorated railroad overpasses in the county.