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AGENCY TO CONSIDER SUING BARTOLOMEI

The Urban Renewal Agency on Monday will discuss potential legal action against lawyer John P. Bartolomei who was attorney for or a principal in some of the downtown development companies collectively known as Niagara Venture.

The discussion will center on claims Bartolomei is making on behalf of companies he represents that were involved in developments such as the Niagara Splash, Falls Street Faire and Falls Street Station.

The claims, laid out in a series of letters between Bartolomei and lawyers for the city last November and December and again in August, focus on parcels of urban renewal land downtown as well as items of property, such as gazebos at the splash park and concrete bollards used to define traffic patterns.

Niagara Falls Redevelopment has options on some of the parcels of land under its 1997 master redevelopment agreement with the city.

Richard I. Zucco, counsel to the agency, said Bartolomei's claims have no merit. Bartolomei could not be reached to comment.

"To have him out there making these assertions disturbs potential development," Zucco said.

The agency also is expected to discuss a downtown parking survey conducted over the summer. John C. Drake, executive director of the agency, said the study revealed that parking was not adequate on holiday weekends. But, he said, that has been rectified by the installation of lights on the top floor of Ramp II at the Rainbow Centre so it can be used next year.

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