by Pat Freeman
Recently we the citizens of Western New York have witnessed one of the most comprehensive advertising campaigns in recent history. This campaign was designed to convince the ordinary citizen that the NFTA was getting out of the land business by selling, or deeding waterfront property. The only thing that they did not mention was the Memorandum of Understanding of 2004, and the legal Sunset Provision which was put into this agreement to ultimately protect the rights of Buffalo ’s citizens. This provision states that if the NFTA fails to live up to the provisions of this agreement that all NFTA controlled property in Buffalo would revert back to the city’s control January 1, 2014. The NFTA has continued to show that they are correct, and should get out of the land business. The question is do they have the right to decide on how public land is being used without the Buffalo Common Council, and Mayor Brown playing an active roll in this critical decision.
Since February of 2013 the Common Council has passed two unanimous resolutions supporting the due diligence of the Greater Buffalo Sports and Entertainment Complex’s efforts to build a new downtown stadium complex which would include a 72,000 seat retractable roof stadium, 250,000 square foot Convention Center, 1,000 room hotel, retail space, and a one of a kind history of Sports Interactive Museum by Strong Museum of Rochester. This land mark development project would be done in an environmental conscious setting in the vision of Frederick Olmsted (a city in a park like setting). The other unanimous resolution in April was passed in support of the council supporting the extension of a land option being given to the Greater Buffalo Sports and Entertainment Complex put forth the necessary build, traffic and financial terms to build this landmark project.
Though public opinion continues to overwhelmingly support the Greater Buffalo Sports and Entertainment Complex’s proposal there are still some nay-sayers in appointed and elected positions who have continued to stall, and even attempt to sabotage the efforts to see this project come into fruition. Well truth crushed to earth shall rise again, and the perseverance of intellectual peaceful protest is beginning to wear down those that are trying to hurt this economic game changer. The citizens want projects that will produce jobs and opportunities not more tax payer based projects that look good but do not change the economic condition of the unemployed, and poverty stricken. This project will produce 10,000-15,000 jobs during it’s build out, with thousands more being created after it’s completed because this project changes the landscape and opens the flood gates of economic opportunity.
In closing projects like this should be cultivated, and supported not fought against by private interests.
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