A Dec. 17 Buffalo News article, stated that $500,000 was being provided to the city through a New York State grant obtained by Assemblyman Sean Ryan to get the city-owned fireboat Edward M. Cotter back in “tip-top shape.” In addition, the article describes that the vessel is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and receives all the benefits offered of the program towards eligibility for federal grants and preservation tax credits through programs like Save America’s Treasures and Preserve America.
So why is (it) that the city has now decided to send the much needed and long-overdue drydocking and repair work to a foreign country?
This question is especially provoking because Great Lakes Towing, a 120-year-old company with its roots in Buffalo and Buffalo-based employees, that pays taxes to the City of Buffalo and the State of New York (not to mention the federal government) is perfectly capable of performing the work here in the United States, just a few hours away on Lake Erie, in a state-of-the-art facility?
It doesn’t make any sense to send the work and the jobs that the work could support, to Canada!
The Buffalo fireboat has been subsidized by the hardworking citizens of the city, state and USA for years … One can only wonder if Ryan is aware of the city’s plan to give his grant money away without gaining any of the related benefits for the citizens that elected him or contributed to the coffers that funded the grant!
It’s outrageous, and the city shouldn’t be permitted to use the state funds to award a contract to a Canadian firm.
Don’t let them do it!
Joseph P. Starck Jr.