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Elia Promises Fiscal Stability for Niagara Falls

By Eileen Buckley

Niagara Falls, NY – The Mayor of Niagara Falls, New York delivered her "State of the City" address Tuesday night.

Elia says one of the goals of her administration is to restore "fiscal stability." She says she has managed to bring together local, state and federal governments to create a better economic future for the city. That includes a future casino and maybe even the creation major tourist attraction.

"We're well on our way," Elia said. "We have Niagara USA Development downtown, and we have the Community Renewal group helping us on Main Street. So, we're going to have development in two major areas of the city with promise."

Niagara Falls also learned it would not receive needed state aid, much like other cities in the state. But Elia says her administration is working to ease its dependent on state funding.

"When we found out that we were not going to get the aid that we had thought we would get, we regrouped and redid our budget," she said. "We are not addicted to state aid. Niagara Falls is not in the predicament Buffalo is in."

But Mayor Elia says her administration is making tough cost control decisions daily, like reducing overtime spending and sharing services with Niagara County. She also says she wants to work toward regionalism.

"We want a consolidated tourism bureau for the entire county," Elia continued. "We also believe we can save money by exploring consolidations involving our water and sewer departments."

Mayor Elia says it will some patience, but that Niagara Falls will recover. She even offered a "Forest Gump" philosophy about her city.

"I always use the example of a box of chocolates," she explained. "If you want to look at the chocolates, you go to Canada. If you want to taste the chocolates, you come to the United States side. You can experience the Falls on this side. You can touch the Falls."