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City announces creation of 'Neighborhood Blight Task Force'

Here's the news release issued late this afternoon:

Today, Mayor Paul Dyster and City Council Chairman Glenn Choolokian announced the formation of the Neighborhood Blight Task Force.  This task force is being formed to initiate new ways to fight the blight in our neighborhoods. 

“Our residents live in our neighborhoods everyday, and they know what the City’s needs are,” said Mayor Paul Dyster. “This task force will create an open and productive dialogue with our citizens, giving them a chance to be part of the solution.” The mission of this task force is to stream line and improve existing ordinances as well as create new ordinances that could help fight the blight in our City neighborhoods.  "Grass root input is always valuable to a municipality as it seeks solutions to problems. This task force is a wonderful example of how community and government can work cooperatively for mutual benefit," said Glenn Choolokian, City Council Chairman. 

The Neighborhood Blight Task Force is a direct response to the current difficult economic climate. “The City of Niagara Falls is working with fewer funds and less employees. The Department of Code Enforcement alone went from ten inspectors in 1992 to three inspectors in 2013,” said Dennis Virtuoso, Director of Code Enforcement. “This task force will help us find creative and cost effective ways to improve our neighborhoods and discuss new ordinance options with the public.”

The task force will be comprised of the following individuals, groups, and city departments: 

·        Mayor Paul Dyster

·        Chairman Glenn Choolokian 
·        Members of Niagara Falls Block Clubs 
·        The Landlord Association of Greater Niagara 
·        Craig Johnson, Corporation Counsel 
·        Dennis Virtuoso, Director of Code Enforcement 
·        Seth Piccirillo, Director of Community Development 
·        Niagara Falls Fire Department 
·        Niagara Falls Police Department 
·        Department of Public Works

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