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STRAINED STATE CAN LEND A HAND TO FALLS WITHOUT SPENDING A CENT

The citizens of Niagara Falls join with all our people in New York State and the world in mourning the tragic events that occurred in New York City and Washington. We understand that the political attention and economic resources of our state must be diverted to the New York City area for the immediate economic relief and care that is so acutely needed.

We can even understand that the resources of the state must primarily be diverted to rebuilding New York City and preserving the supereconomy that continues to be located there. We recognize that the economic prosperity of New York State in recent years was generated by the commercial center in New York City and that its reinvigoration and regeneration are essential to the health of New York State as well as the entire nation.

We also recognize that we are in a war of increasingly apparent deprivations and unanticipated consequences that continue to spread and impact all of us in New York State and the nation, though we may be geographically separated.

Having said all of that, Niagara Falls is still in need of the state's immediate help and attention. There are two things that can be done to help us without any unusual expense to the State of New York or significant effort.

The first is to pass the casino enabling legislation for Niagara Falls. This will not cost the state anything in dollars and will bring in private investment with two significant offshoots: This private investment will generate more private investment, which is desperately needed in Niagara Falls and can be accomplished without taking anything away from the genuine needs of New York City. Nor does it require administrative attention by the state, once the casino is approved by the Assembly, since most of the details have been worked out in advance.

This is a win-win situation for the state and for Niagara Falls, because the second advantage is the state will realize cash proceeds from the casino revenues on a continuing basis. There is not one good reason for delaying the approval of the casino. Further delay would cause irreparable harm to Niagara Falls.

The second way the state can help is to refer one of the many industries that seek to relocate in New York State to Niagara Falls. Programs and funding are already in place for the attraction of new business, and our location is unique for a new industry because of our location and contiguity to more than 50 percent of the consumers in Canada and the United States. It could generate construction, jobs, new housing, and sales tax, which would have a tremendous impact on our economy. Even an industry of 1,000 workers would bring a significant surge of economic vitality, which might be diffused in a larger metropolitan area.

We do not compare ourselves to the terrible tragedy in New York City, but Niagara Falls has been slowly suffering and wounded for decades, and we would appreciate any attention that New York State can give us.

We hope that these humble ideas can be accomplished. They would cost the state nothing, interfere in no way with the humanitarian and economic efforts for New York City and yet have tremendous relative benefits for our community.

ALBERT T. JOSEPH
City Administrator

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