Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Local News

February 12, 2014

Successes, challenges define year

(Continued)

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Twenty-thirteen “was a year of unprecedented development, unlike anything that we have ever seen before, and we are riding that momentum into 2014,” he said.

Also last year, creation of a law enforcement “Impact Zone” in the central city led to 772 properties receiving building inspection, and 398 arrests.

In his address, Tucker acknowledged the city’s fiscal stress labeling. City officials will work to improve the situation and auditors are coming back to City Hall this month.

“I can assure you that this label was not and is not taken lightly. Work began immediately to get our city back on track,” he said.

Tucker praised the Hickory Club police union for agreeing to a new, cost-cutting labor agreement with the city. The city is committed to negotiating new contracts with its four other unions “that help the employees and help to get the city back on track,” he said.

The June 28 flash flood caused an estimated $7.2 million in damage to homes and businesses in the city. Tucker noted that local advocacy on property owners’ behalf inspired Albany to cut 313 checks, totaling $2.2 million, for affected residents.

One casualty of the 2014 city budget was the Canal Concert Series. Tucker said he’s confident Lockport will again have some kind of outdoor music series this summer, as long as it comes without any cost to the city. While declining to name the promoters who’d run the new series, he told the Rotarians that he’s been in contact with them and one promoter in particular has experience running a “large festival event in Niagara County.”

”I just spoke with them this morning,” Tucker said. “The have the experience... they’re just looking to find a large sponsor.”

The promoters have talked with some bands, so putting together a lineup “is probably the least of their worries,” he added.

Contact reporter Joe Olenick at 439-9222, ext. 6241 or follow him on Twitter @joeolenick.

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