Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

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November 15, 2012

NTCC's value to Lockport debated


Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — While the Main Street program is an enterprise of the National Trust For Historic Preservation, LMS Inc.’s certificate of incorporation says its “primary objective (is) to stimulate and promote downtown business district revitalization” in Lockport, in part through “promoting downtown Lockport as an exciting place to live, shop, dine and invest.”

That language might be enough to make LMS Inc. legitimately a tourism promotion agency and thus eligible to receive city bed tax, Ottaviano said.

While researching that possibility, Ottaviano said he’s also going over the 10-year agreement between the city and NTCC, signed in February 2003, to check the agency’s “compliance” with obligations including annual reporting on its budget, spending, and program performance.

Noting the absence of required reports from 2011 in NTCC’s legal file, Ottaviano said, “I think there are some issues there with respect to the level of performance.”

Percy acknowledged in a Wednesday telephone interview that he never met with the Common Council to deliver NTCC’s 2011 annual report to investors. Then he insisted that’s because Tucker “never responded to our request for a meeting.”

Lockport city officials and business people hold three of 13 seats on the NTCC board of directors. One of those seats is held by Tucker, technically, although he used to send Bill Evert, now-retired director of community development in his place and recently appointed Tom Callahan, co-owner of the Lockport Cave and Underground Boat Ride tour attraction, to the seat. Mike Murphy and Heather Peck, director of the Main Street program, have the other two seats.

None of Lockport’s board members has ever complained to the board about the agency’s efforts on behalf of the city, Percy said.

“I’m troubled by the mayor’s level of dissatisfaction with us. What’s behind it?” he said. “Not once have we heard him voice this level of dissatisfaction, until now.”

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