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Tough choices ahead for Niagara Falls planning committee

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MIke Desmond/WBFO
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There is positive economic news developing in Niagara Falls as the city has $10 million available from the state in Downtown Revitalization grants. However, the Local Planning Committee needs to sift through $20 million in proposals and decide which projects become reality.

"It's a very fair process. There's more people at every meeting but we have to all of us in this group get the word out that you should come, that you should be involved," said Niagara University Executive Vice President Debra Colley.

In January, Niagara will be holding student focus groups to talk about the proposals.

While there are some housing proposals, many possibilities include better streetscapes and better connections between Main Street and the new park going on the site of the former Robert Moses Parkway.

"I have questions with some," incoming Mayor Robert Restaino said while reserving judgment. "I don't think there are any I dislike. I just have some questions."

The planning committee wants to make some final decisions during its Jan. 14 meeting.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.