Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

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October 4, 2013

Council approves deal to pay NTCC

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — The Common Council approved a temporary extension of the city’s expired agreement with the Niagara Tourism & Convention Corporation this week.

The agreement authorizes the city’s surrender of 75 percent of local bed tax collections to NTCC in support of Niagara County tourism promotion. It’s in effect through June 18, 2014.

The extension term mirrors one offered by Niagara County earlier this year. NTCC’s 10-year agreements with the county, Lockport and Niagara Falls, all bed tax collectors, all expired this year. Bed tax and Seneca Niagara casino profit shares are the agency’s main sources of income.

This past June, the Republican-led county legislature rejected a new 10-year agreement proposed by NTCC, citing questions from leaders of both cities about the agency’s performance record. In lieu, the legislature OK’d a one-year extension, so that NTCC could keep receiving county-collected bed tax while a new long-term agreement is worked out.

Since its agreement with NTCC expired this past February, Lockport has held the agency’s bed-tax payments in escrow. With extension, the money will now be turned over, city officials said.

In other business Wednesday, the Council:

• Authorized Lockport Police Department’s purchase of a new patrol vehicle, for $27,574. The money will come from the drug asset forfeiture fund, a pot that’s fed when a local U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency task force seizes and sells property tied to drug trafficking. LPD contributes an officer to the task force and gets a cut of forfeiture proceeds in exchange.

• Named Lawley Insurance as the city’s healthcare broker of record, effective Jan. 1. The city is cutting ties with its longtime healthcare broker Crown Benefits Group Inc., formerly known as Flexcare Inc., due to dissatisfaction with its performance over the past few years, Mayor Michael Tucker said.

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