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LaFalce Pushing for New Main Street Vision

By Eileen Buckley

Buffalo, NY – Congressman John LaFalce continues his push for urban renewal. During a recent Buffalo appearance the Tonawanda Democrat talked about efforts that could help area businesses and the city.

While speaking at the grand opening of the new Greater Buffalo Savings Bank headquarters on Main Street, LaFalce made a bold challenge to help revitalize another stretch of Main Street. LaFalce says the House recently passed legislation he sponsored that would double the size of renewal community areas. He says this would include all of Main Street in Buffalo.

Despite the fact that LaFalce is retiring in two-months, he's keeping up the fight to help Buffalo's economy.

"What I would like to do is call upon the city, the county, Blue Cross-Blue Shield and National Fuel Gas to level a block of Main Street and relocate both Blue Cross and National Fuel in an urban park setting on Main Street," LaFalce said.

National Fuel is searching for a new site for its headquarters. But so far, it appears to be leaning toward suburban Buffalo locations as well as sites in Erie, Pennsylvania. Blue Cross Blue Shield has agreed to sell its Main Street complex to Canisius College and will be seraching for a new site.

LaFalce says the legislation would allow for large tax incentives for area businesses.

"If they do this, the federal goverment, within the first year will pay for half the cost, because you get a 50-percent write off in the first year. Unbelievable," he said. "And there would be a lot of other benefits too."

LaFalce says he expects the Senate to approve the legislation to expand Renewal Communities. He says it would allow Buffalo as well as areas like Lackawanna and Niagara Falls to receive tax incentives to grow jobs and the local economy.