Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — For the City of Lockport, momentum from economic development will carry on in 2014, but it comes with a host of fiscal challenges, Mayor Michael W. Tucker said Tuesday in his annual State of the City address.
In 2013, Lockport was labeled a city in “moderate fiscal stress” by the state Comptroller’s Office. That led to an audit that suggested poor accounting and budgeting practices were two major reasons for the fiscal stress.
That was on top of the city getting hit with flash flooding in June and a damaging ice storm in December. The damage from the flood resulted in a visit from Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Still, the positives of 2013 outweigh the negatives, Tucker told his audience, members of the Lockport Rotary Club.
In his address, Tucker touted the successes of the year, such as Trek Inc. relocating to Harrison Place. Work also began on restoration of two of the five 19th-century Erie Canal locks, known as the Flight of Five, which is scheduled to be completed this summer.
The infamous Main Street parking ramp came down, bringing 48 new parking spaces and a nice view of the canal downtown. Several businesses opened, relocated or expanded, bringing hundreds of thousands of dollars in downtown investment,Tucker said.
Economic development is the key to the city’s future, the mayor said.
”Lockport is open for business and will continue to be,” Tucker said.
Tucker said the city is negotiating to bring in another major tenant for Harrison Place, to occupy 30,000 square feet in the former auto parts plant. He declined to give details but said the tenant would bring 100 to 120 jobs to the complex.
Development of Lockport Ice Arena & Sports Center is coming along, Tucker said. Demolition of the former supermarket at 34 Chestnut St. is complete and the 93,500-square-foot, $13 million arena is slated to open in the fall.