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Lake Ontario Preparedness Group to meet in Porter

Sat, Dec 21st 2019 07:00 am

Staff Reports

The Town of Porter will be the location for the next get-together of the Lake Ontario Preparedness Group. A detailed planning conference for 2020 will take place at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 9, at Porter Town Hall.

The group was formed over past months following Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s announcement of $49 million in state funding to the area under the $300 million Lake Ontario Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative (REDI). Its membership includes Town of Porter Supervisor Duffy Johnston, Village of Youngstown Mayor Raleigh Reynolds, Town of Lewiston Supervisor Steve Broderick, Village of Lewiston Mayor Anne Welch, Town of Newfane Supervisor Timothy Horanburg and Village of Wilson Mayor Arthur Lawson. The multifaceted organization consists of government, business and community leaders formed as a single entity to promote the ideas that support businesses that have been dealing with the detrimental effects of Lake Ontario’s high water levels.

Its purpose is to maintain a high profile, advising the public that, despite the high water levels that have plagued the Ontario lakeshore communities, area harbors, marinas and businesses remain open for business.

Beyond that, the group also aims to facilitate the building of infrastructure resiliency in the Lake Ontario shore communities while also creating economic development initiatives that benefit all residents.

 “Tourism is alive and well in the Niagara community, as is recreation tourism,” the group said in a press release issued this week.

The group noted the ongoing collaboration between elected officials, business owners and regional stakeholders is already showing positive impacts to serve the residents of the Niagara County area.

“We look forward to welcoming visitors back to the Niagara River Region and the south shore of Lake Ontario,” the press release added.

The evening conference will feature presentations and remarks from a number of interests, including:

•The Greater Niagara Fishing Expo with spokesperson Paula Gill, and Jennifer Pauly of the Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce.

•Destination Niagara, which will discuss promoting lakeshore communities and connecting the region’s gateway and hub communities.

In addition, Lawson will discuss multi-municipal grant initiatives. Johnston will share details on the group’s pending resolution aimed at reversing the International Joint Commission’s Plan 2014, which many argue has been responsible for the record high water levels throughout the Great Lakes in recent years.

“We are committed to rescinding the IJC Plan 2014,” Johnston said.

The program is open to the public. For more information on the upcoming Lake Ontario Preparedness Group session, contact Johnston at 716-745-3730.

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