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Lawmakers propose end to Public Bridge Authority

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State Assemblyman Sean Ryan was joined by State Senator Mark Grisanti on Saturday, as the pair announced legislation that would dissolve the bi-national entity that manages the Peace Bridge. The Buffalo and Fort Erie Public Bridge Authorityand its predecessor have governed the international crossing since 1923, but the lawmakers feel as though the entity is not serving the interests of Western New York. Ryan spoke of the inequity that exists between the US and Canada with the Authority.

"All the federal authorities on the United States' side, that's the Homeland Security, the Border Patrol, the agricultural inspectors, they all pay rent to the Peace Bridge Authority. The Canadian federal ministers on that side, they pay zero rent into the Peace Bridge Authority. So, the United States federal government pays $2 million a year rent. The Canadian federal government pays zero rent, but that money is then split between the Canadians and Americans, and it's just not a fair relationship and it hasn't served us well."

Ryan and Grisanti contend that developments on the US side would be better overseen and progress expedited if Buffalo's half of the bridge was managed by the NFTA. Ryan feels that if and when this legislation reaches the voting floor in Albany, New York lawmakers will support Western New York in the effort.

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