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NFTA not on board with Higgins' $2 harbor proposal

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Congressman Brian Higgins is calling on the NFTA to give up its waterfront property for a couple of dollars, but the Transit Authority is not keen on the idea.   Rep. Higgins presented reporters with copies of documents showing the City of Buffalo transferred hundreds of acres on the Outer Harbor to the NFTA for $2 back in 1957. He is calling on the NFTA to turn the land over to the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation for the same amount.

But the true cost of acquisition was closer to $2 million, according to NFTA Executive Director Kimberley Minkel.

Minkel says over the years, the Authority also invested another $10 million in the property. She says any proceeds from a future land deal would help fund the NFTA's core mission.

"We would use the money for transit," Minkel says.

Congressman Higgins points out the NFTA's own study shows the property needs $30 million in repairs and improvements.   

"Any money that we would have to pay for that property would result in not being able to do the public access improvements that are necessary out there," said Higgins.

A request for proposals for the property was issued, with a deadline of Monday. Minkel says the proposals will be reviewed by the Board at the end of January.

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