Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Local News

February 10, 2013

Heritage District and tax, mulled

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — The blue-ribbon committee overseeing Flight of Five canal locks restoration has proposed creation of a business improvement taxing district to support locks operations and maintenance.

The Lockport Locks Heritage District Committee gave a proposal to the Common Council last week for creating an entity to manage publicly owned attractions and amenities along or near the Erie Canal in the city.

According to the proposal, the Locks Heritage District Corporation could be established to manage the district and improvements including the restored locks, the proposed Lockport Harbor Marine Center and signs and interpretive exhibits throughout, such as the planned gateway entrances and exhibits on Canal Street.

The corporation could apply for grants, seek donations and, if the Council approved creation of a special district, levy a tax on properties within the Locks Heritage District, to support non-income-generating items such as the locks and signage.

The corporation could also raise money for LHD maintenance if it’s given rights to license attractions and concessions throughout the district, and collect vendor fees from special events and the Labatt Canal Concert Series, the proposal shows.

The Locks Heritage District would consist roughly of one to three city blocks northwest and southeast of the canal throughout the city. It would include all of the downtown business district, and commercial, industrial and residential properties in closest proximity to the canal.

Lockport has never had a business improvement district, City Attorney John Ottaviano said. The idea was batted around briefly with reconstruction of Main Street in 2005, as leaders contemplated how to pay for maintenance of new landscaping and streetscaping. In the end, the costs have been absorbed in the city’s general fund, into which all city property owners pay.

The LHD proposal comes about as the city is entering into an agreement with the state Canal Corporation to have old Locks 69 and 70 restored to working condition. The city will be responsible for operation and maintenance costs, which the Heritage District Committee estimated will be $100,000 a year. 

Text Only
Local News
Featured Ads
Front page
Community Events
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP Video
Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case