State offers solutions to Niagara Falls money concerns

Posted at 9:31 PM, Jun 19, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-19 21:31:40-04

A state report on Niagara Falls, and its current money situation, has some lawmakers sounding the alarm.

The state is now offering a number of solutions to begin saving cash before the dire situation gets worse.

The state's financial restructuring board says the city should reduce police staff, charge city employees more for health care and merge some of the city's departments.

Mayor Paul Dyster says ahead of the report coming out, Niagara Falls has already been looking at implementing a number of recommendations to save money, which could include sharing services with Niagara County by consolidating departments.

Another factor that could pose a threat to the Niagara Falls financial situation is the lost casino revenue with the Seneca’s.

"Obviously casino revenues are very significant for the City of Niagara Falls. Going forward, we have a strategy for how to deal with the situation through the rest of this year. Is that going to make a difference in terms of the city’s ability to move the project forward in the future? Of course it is, it's the position of the city, the state that these funds are in fact owed to the state and then the state owes funds to the city of Niagara Falls," said Dyster.

The state recommends Niagara Falls reduce police staff via attrition to save up to $300,000 per year. Dyster says there will be no layoffs in the police department.

Dyster says these are just recommendations by the state. He says the next step is to digest all of the information and asked the state for some clarifications on specific points before moving forward.

The city can also ask for funding from the state to help its financial situation.