by Autumn Evans
Niagara County Legislator Jason Zona addressed the Town of Niagara Town Board Tuesday to announce an update on the distribution of money received from Seneca Nation casinos.
He said the town will receive about $80,000 for unrestricted use annually, to be delivered quarterly in the amount of $20,000. He added that the exact amount to be given has not been determined and the numbers he provided were estimates based on population. The payments will begin in April.
Zona said the legislature encouraged the board to use the money for property tax relief, but, "essentially, it's in your guys' hands."
"I think that's fantastic news not only for the Town of Niagara but for all the towns; it will certainly help," said Supervisor Lee Wallace. He joked, "Now I don't feel so bad when I go and lose (at the casino). I'm making my donation now when I go!"
The funds come from the approximately $1 million the county will receive from the Seneca Nation annually. Seventy-five percent of those funds will be divided between eight municipalities. The other 25 percent will go into a community economic development fund. Zona said Town Clerk Sylvia Virtuoso had already submitted a request for $2,500 from the fund for the Town of Niagara's Beautification Committee.
In other Town Board news:
•The board approved a resolution to increase starting hourly wages for staff of the Youth and Senior Recreation Departments to $10.50 per hour.
•The board tabled two resolutions. One was for a request to operate a vehicle repair garage at 5000 Sweet Home Road. The other was a resolution to call for a public hearing regarding the rezoning of Young Street Park from a multiple-family district to a general business district.