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Partnership Reports on Buffalo Niagara NOW Progress

By Eileen Buckley

Buffalo, NY – An update was provided Tuesday on initiatives established to create job growth and new investment in the region. The Buffalo Niagara Partnership released a second quarterly report on Buffalo Niagara NOW.

Buffalo Niagara NOW was rolled out a little more than six months ago. The plan offers remedies in moving the region forward. The University at Buffalo's Center for Excellence in Bioinformatics is part of the effort. UB Provost Betty Capaldi says the more than $200 million in state, federal and private sector dollars will allow for construction of the building.

"The building is going downtown, on the Roswell Park campus. We've been planning with Roswell to locate it next to their planned research building," Capaldi said. "We will share an auditorium, cafeteria and the buildings will connect. It will also help Roswell and the whole Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus."

Capaldi says the building could be on line by 2004.

Another accomplishment deals with low-cost hydropower. The Buffalo Niagara Enterprise will now be allowed to market 17-megawatts of low cost hydropower through the New York Power Authority and Niagara Mohawk. This will assist the BNE as it tries to lure business to the region.

Kevin Clarke, leader of Quebecor World Buffalo, says they're also working on the relicensing process of the Niagara Power Project "to make that a quick, concise cooperative effort within the community."

The effort to reduce local property taxes by implementing various regionalism reforms continues. Initiative leader David Campbell, president of Integrity Enterprises, says they continue work toward shared services, such as the city and county jails and video arraignments. Campbell says there must be a cooperative effort.

"We need to bring the business community and elected officials together to say what can we do," he said. "We also need to determine some things."

The city's fiscal crisis has slowed efforts on reforming Buffalo's permit process and downtown housing.