In January, Congressman Brian Higgins, NY-26, first kicked off an effort to help the City of Niagara Falls reclaim its waterfront by laying out an argument for the New York Power Authority to fully fund removal of the Robert Moses Parkway. In a statement released yesterday, Higgins reiterated his position, detailing how NYPA has the responsibility and capacity to fund the project.
Today, Higgins took to the House Floor to continue the fight. The Congressman's remarks are below:
"Mr. Speaker, this week's announcement that ... New York state is committing to take action on removing the Robert Moses Parkway in Niagara Falls is welcome news for Western New York.
"Niagara Falls is a national treasure, drawing millions of visitors each year, yet the parkway has created a physical, and an economic, barrier between Niagara Falls and its extraordinary waterfront.
"With federal infrastructure dollars already stretched thin, we must take every opportunity to look at alternative funding sources. In this case, the New York Power Authority, the body responsible for the creation of the parkway and the current owner of its infrastructure, has the responsibility and capacity to fund its removal.
"Mr. Speaker, we cannot let NYPA off the hook on this historic wrong. By holding them to this obligation, we free up state or federal resources for additional projects in Niagara Falls, maximizing the impact of our investment. It's time for Niagara Falls to have the waterfront it deserves."
Higgins was instrumental in securing a $279 million settlement from the New York Power Authority in 2005 that is currently transforming Buffalo's waterfront. Higgins assumed representation of the City of Niagara Falls in 2013.