Canalside Polarizing WNY

July 13, 2010 Updated Jul 13, 2010 at 11:29 PM EDT

By WKBW News

...
July 13, 2010 Updated Jul 13, 2010 at 11:29 PM EDT

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) As the Canalside project moves forward, two sides seem to have emerged. On one side, those pushing for the project to continue, including developers and the Erie County Harbor Development Corporation. The other, including some concerned community members, want to make sure that there is significant public good, and that public dollars aren't being wasted.

Community members and members of the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation met with City Council members Tuesday to discuss potential issues with Canalside.

Community members are pushing for a community benefit agreement, so that the public is satisfied moving forward. Developers and the ECHDC are looking for progress and for the project to move forward.

Andy Reynolds of the Coalition for Economic Justice attended the meeting. "We need to look at how we can make this a better project, and make sure it benefits the community. We need a way of ensuring that those visions are in fact outcomes," he said after the meeting.

Michael Weekes is the co-founder of the "Fandemoneum Museum," a potential Canalside business. "We tend to look at this as a glass is half full. It might not be a perfect plan but it is action taken towards bringing in dollars and jobs to the waterfront, Buffalo, and Erie County."

Both sides spoke of some compromise, and the importance of both satisfying the community while moving in the right direction towards development progress. Larry Quinn, representing the ECHDC, agreed to work out and present an agreement to the City Council by the end of the week.