Higgins wants Auth. to give Falls funds

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WIVB) — Congressman Brian Higgins wants the New York Power Authority to pay for the removal and redesign of the Robert Moses Parkway running through the Cataract City.

Calling it a barrier to economic development, he's asking the Power Authority to pay $120 million.

"The New York Power Authority has the obligation to demolish and to rebuild this roadway. It's nothing compared to what it will do for a community that has a right to realize its full potential," Higgins said.

According to the Congressman, in 2008 the Power Authority had a surplus of $309 million. He says nearly 80-percent of that money came from the Niagara Power Project in western New York.

In a letter to the authority, Higgins writes the Power Authority bears the responsibility for fixing it and for financing the implementation of this plan.

"We believe that that will unleash the extraordinary potential of Niagara Falls, NY as a great waterfront city drawing those millions of people that visit Niagara Falls, Canada every single year," Higgins said.

In 2005, Higgins championed a $279 million settlement from the Power Authority for the redevelopment of Buffalo's waterfront. Now he's hoping to do the same for Niagara Falls.

"This needs a major start. I think this is a big piece that will help us get there," Higgins said.

The Power Authority issued a statement, saying, "We just received the Congressman's letter and will review it. We will respond in a timely manner and continue to have an open dialog with the Congressman as we've done in the past."

And there are several options being explored by the state in terms of what to do with the Robert Moses Parkway. Higgins says we should know more about alternatives for the north section by the end of the month. He says he's not advocating for any one specific design alternative.

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Democrat Andrew Cuomo is Governor of New York.  Two Democrats represent NYS in the U.S. Senate, and NY has 29 representatives in the U.S. House: 21 Democrats and 8 Republicans.
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