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Niagara Falls looks to improve city parks

As the state continues to upgrade its parks around Niagara Falls, officials are also looking to improve city parks.
Albany is already working on major improvements and renovations in Niagara Falls State Park, following up on projects completed last year as the state budget strings loosen a little. The City of Niagara Falls has been presented with a $15 million plan from a consultant who spent two years and $265,000 putting it together.

Mayor Paul Dyster says there will be improvements with each neighborhood getting the parks needed in the demographics of the community, from kids to seniors.
"If you have a large number of younger kids in the neighborhood, that steers you in the direction of installation of playground equipment," Dyster said.

"If you got  large numbers of middle school kids maybe  you're looking at more active recreation facilities, basketball courts and so on. When you have neighborhoods where you have larger numbers of seniors, you think more of passive recreation."

Dyster says the city's budget plan for next year is already in place but that doesn't mean nothing will be done in 2014.

He says the new budget reinstates a grant writer who can look for outside money and there is also the possibility of cash from casino revenues and from the Niagara River Greenway Commission. The mayor says a new computer system will allow better management and maintenance of the parks.

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.