Buffalo is one of the country's poorest cities. It is under the supervision of a financial control board. It is unable to give raises to its employees. It is now being asked to pay $6 million for infrastructure work to benefit a casino it never sought. The mayor and the Common Council should say, "No, thanks."
The city cannot afford to take on this kind of work. What is more, other interested parties can, including the state, which brokered the casino deal without the consent of Buffalo residents, and the Seneca Nation of Indians, which will reap untold millions from this casino.
The timing of the request from the Senecas, who are preparing to build the casino east of HSBC Arena, is at least curious. It came in a letter dated the day Nation President Barry E. Snyder criticized a Council push for an agreement limiting the amount of tax-exempt land the tribe could acquire downtown.
We don't much like the idea of a casino in downtown Buffalo, for that and other reasons. It's not a tourist destination, though that could change to some degree. Many knowledgeable observers believe most players will come from the city. Nevertheless, a casino appears to be in the cards, whatever the reservations. If it is, then infrastructure work, including new traffic lights, signage and sewer work, is necessary. Just bill someone other than city taxpayers.