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Budget for Canalside manager runs dry

Chris Caya/WBFO news

Drawing nearly a million visitors to Buffalo's waterfront this past summer cost more than expected. As a result, the current contract for Canalside has been increased 50 percent.

Site manager Global Spectrum used up Canalside's budget in less than nine months. So to finish the year, the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation approved spending an extra $866,020.

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said Global Spectrum spent more than the county's personnel line for all its parks.   

"Something went wrong, and it needs to be looked at. And I've asked for a full accounting," Poloncarz said.

Harbor Corporation Chairman Robert Gioia says several programs were added mid-season. Gioia says there was a number of unforeseen expenses.

"One day you have a concert and it turns into a mud bowl and you have to re-sod almost a third of the acreage. And then you have to move the stage. And then Wednesday night you have a soccer game. And Thursday night you have a concert," Gioia explained.
Gioia says Canalside is a victim of its own success. And next year's budget he says will have controls in place to prevent overspending.