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Canal critics seek new ways of spending money

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By Michael Mroziak

Buffalo, NY – Two of the litigants in Buffalo's failed Bass Pro project are now urging the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation to rethink the commercial element of the existing waterfront plan and come up with a better way to spend an estimated $135 million made available from a New York Power Authority settlement.

UB Professor Steve Halpern says it's a waste to build parking and retail space when there are plenty of businesses in the city already struggling.

"From their own website, 400,000 square feet of retail space. Almost 200,000 square feet of restaurant space. We have restaurateurs downtown who are struggling just blocks from where we're now standing," Halpern said.

Halpern also opposes plans to build what he and other critics call "fake canals" where the real historic canal stands.

The public is invited to a rally at 2:00pm Saturday at the Commercial Slip to express their views.