On Tuesday, Assemblyman John D. Ceretto announced that senior Cuomo administration officials reached out to him to personally respond to his request for a bridge loan for the City of Niagara Falls. Ceretto had previously written New York State Director of Operations Howard Glaser to officially request the loan in the midst of the Seneca Nation/casino dispute.
"I am encouraged by today's conversation," Ceretto said. "The governor's office is actively engaged in seeking creative ways to help the City of Niagara Falls financially in the wake of the casino dispute. They are responding to my request for a loan."
Ceretto helped organize a meeting with Gov. Andrew Cuomo's administration officials and members of the Niagara Falls City Council in late April. Ceretto asked for financial assistance for the city in that meeting. Ceretto's subsequent letter to Glaser in early July specifically asked for the bridge loan. Ceretto said the governor's office is becoming more involved due to the worsening of the City of Niagara Falls financial outlook.
"The governor's legal team is actively looking into solutions for Niagara Falls in the face of the city's fiscal problems. This isn't a promise to consider or a promise to get involved; they are actively engaged," Ceretto said. "The governor's special assistant counsel indicated to me that there will be a local meeting with state and city officials once a financial plan is conceived. I am elated that the governor's office is taking such a proactive role, and I will continue to work with the governor to find a solution."
In addition to the official request for a bridge loan, Ceretto has been a leading proponent in seeking a resolution between the state of New York and the Seneca Nation of Indians. Ceretto has proposed A.8575, a bill that would increase the local share of casino revenue paid to host municipalities, and A.9284, a bill that would allow direct payment to host municipalities from the Seneca Nation of Indians. Both bills have been introduced in the New York State Assembly.