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Supervisor criticizes plan for Greenway

The Lewiston supervisor called the Niagara River Greenway Commission proposal "a thick and complicated plan that does not account for what the river communities had requested."

The Greenway Commission plan is expected to use New York Power Authority funding to develop the Niagara River corridor from Buffalo to Youngstown.

During Monday night's Town Board meeting, Supervisor Fred Newlin said the members of the Power Coalition -- which includes the City of Niagara Falls, the towns of Niagara and Lewiston and three school districts -- have some serious concerns with the plan.

Newlin told board members that members of the public will have a chance to speak about the plan at 7 p.m. today in the Niagara Falls Conference Center.

Councilman Sean A. Edwards said, "The Greenway plan is wonderful, but it's not great for the Town of Lewiston. . . . What part of our [Power Authority relicensing] contract tells us that the state can tell us what projects we have to do and what projects we can't do?"

Newlin said that those concerns were shared by many but added that projects should be approved by a standing committee of the host communities, which should alleviate a lot of fears.

"My critique of the plan is that it is a one-size-fits-all plan for a very diverse group. This is a 50-year plan and needs to have as much flexibility as possible for future boards," Newlin said.

He told councilmen that there were two very different perspectives: one by environmentalists seeking legitimate redress to support the beauty of the river, another by Power Coalition members seeking to address tax revenues lost to the Niagara Power Project.

"These [groups] don't have to exclude each other," Newlin said.

Newlin said the final Greenway Commission plan will be adopted in March and will have to have unanimous support.

e-mail: nfischer@buffnews.com

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