NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WIVB) - City lawmakers are making some tough decisions about the budget in Niagara Falls. But Governor Andrew Cuomo may have a few cards up his sleeve to bring more money into the Cataract City.
It was standing room only Monday night inside Niagara Falls City Council Chambers as the city funding for the Niagara Arts & Cultural Center was on the chopping block.
Mayor Paul Dyster said, "This is the largest crowd I've seen in City Hall in years."
The community-based group usually receives $30,000 in city funds to operate out of the former Niagara Falls High School.
Megan Van Wormer, a mother of five, said, "My children have learned how to play chess, they've learned pottery, how to make jewelry, they've learned how to communicate with other children in this city. I am offended that there's even a vote for something like this...this should not [happen]."
Mayor Dyster put the funding in the budget, but it's the Council Majority that is taking it out. Niagara Falls has had to make some tough choices because it hasn't received about $60 million in casino revenue from the Seneca Nation, and now the Buffalo News is reporting that Governor Cuomo is considering whether to put a new non-Indian casino in the Falls.
If the governor really is considering opening a second casino, one of the first places he could look for property is Niagara falls Redevelopment (NFR), which owns 150 acres not far from Seneca Niagara.
The primary owner of NFR happens to be Howard Millstein, a generous contributor to the governor's campaign.
"On the one hand, I think it shows that the administration is serious about trying to resolve this and it hopefully gives some leverage that might lead to a resolution prior to the conclusion of the arbitration," Mayor Dyster said.
No one is publicly confirming whether the governor is actually considering another Niagara Falls casino. Our calls to the governor's press office and to the Seneca Nation were not returned.
Despite the huge turnout at City Hall and the tremendous amount of support for the programs it offers, the funding for the Niagara Arts & Cultural Center was still cut.
Buffalo Police have arrested 26-year-old Nicholas Finnegan of South Buffalo and charged him with pushing Russ Ross to his death.
The Niagara County Sheriff's responded to Saunders Settlement Road near Comstock in Cambria Friday night after receiving a tip about a suspected meth lab.
Police say there were 32 burglaries, 20 in Albion, five in Medina, four in Oakfield and three in the City of Lockport.
Firefighters had to withdraw from a smoky fire in Blasdell at a multi-dwelling home on South Park Avenue Friday night because the flames were so intense.
Call 4 Action looked into claims this week that members of BJ's Wholesale Club were paying too much on sales tax on some deeply discounted items.
State Police in Pennsylvania are investigating an alleged pedophile pastor already facing charges in Western New York.