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CITY PAVING ITS WAY TOWARD HEIGHTENED BUSINESS PROSPERITY

The city is paving its way to economic development -- one road at a time.

This year, Niagara Falls will launch a $790,000 project to reconstruct Connecticut, New Jersey and Delaware avenues, in hopes of stimulating economic growth in this area north of downtown.

Gov. George E. Pataki announced the project Sunday, one day before his visit to Niagara Falls for the Council of Great Lakes Governors.

"It's a continuation of the efforts to revitalize Niagara Falls, recognizing the importance of local streets and providing access to the many attractions in Niagara Falls," said Michael Fleischer, spokesman for the state Department of Transportation. "It's part of the government's commitment to Niagara Falls.

"We expect more good things to come for the city."

The project, which should be completed by next spring, will include reconstructing each of the streets to be 35 feet wide, with curbing and storm drainage.

Better-quality streets will make businesses in these areas more accessible and hopefully draw new companies to the area, Fleischer said.

The accessibility will encourage these companies to expand and create an estimated 130 jobs in the city.

Farmis Inc. is one of the companies in this area suffering from poor roadways that hinder business. The company, which manufactures and processes chemicals for the biomedical industry, leases 4,000 feet of space at 1955 New Jersey Ave.

"Our business has been in this location for a couple years," said president Fayyaz Hussain. "These roads are really, really in bad shape. It's poor access and a turn-off to our customers and employees."

With the reconstructed roads, the company will expand to create 30 to 40 new production jobs within the next four years.

USA Niagara Development Corporation facilitated the funds from the state after learning of the problem from city officials. The corporation helps direct state funding for local development projects.

"We're going to spearhead our efforts from the state," said President Michael Wilton, "and direct them where they will best help the community."

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