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Taxpayers Sue Bass Pro, ECHDC, Power Authority, Etc.

Today, a lawsuit filed by attorney Arthur J. Giacalone on behalf of Mark Goldman, Scot D. Fisher, Bruce L. Fisher, Susan M. Davis, Stephen C. Halpern, and Elizabeth P Stanton seeks to stop State money from subsidizing the proposed Bass Pro-centered development at the Erie Canal Harbor.

The lawsuit claims the $35 million subsidy offered to the big-box fishing retailer violates the NYS Constitution by giving a gift or loan of state funds to a private enterprise. It also argues that the State Power Authority’s $105 million “industrial incentive award” to a project anchored by Bass Pro is in violation of the Authority’s own guidelines.

One petitioner, former Deputy Erie County Executive, current Director of the Center for Economic and Policy Studies at Buffalo State College, and Artvoice columnist Bruce Fisher asks: “There’s hundreds of millions of dollars worth of clean-water construction work to be done—which could transform Buffalo from one of the dirtiest to one of the greenest cities in North America—so why are these authorities building parking garages, stores and office buildings while the water here still runs brown?”

Click here to read the lawsuit.

  • PickOranges

    I agree with it but James Ostrowski already set the judicial precedent.

    I don’t know what Bruce Fisher is doing there. He helped manage of the most corrupt Erie County administrations under Joel Giambra. They blew 200 million in tobacco money and gave away no bid contacts,,

  • BF:

    Re: Bass Pro, NYS Power Authority, Greenway Commission, ECHDC, NCIDA, ECIDA et al.

    The area between Lackawanna and Youngstown, New York, is the “Brownfield, Brown-water, Colon-cancer capital” of the entire Great Lakes watershed. Maybe Bass Pro has “caught wind” of a few of the more ludicrous of these facts.

    Millions upon millions of dollars are being spent to build pocket-parks and other “imperative to the economy” yet frivolous developments on a waterfront that has leaking, unlined industrial waste landfills along it’s entire length from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario; including the findings of Plutonium, Uranium and other hazardous (read-carcinogenic, mutagenic, teratogenic, etc) materials upon these shores, in the soils and in the very water itself. In North Tonawanda for instance, they’re parking camper trailers on top of the Gratwick Landfill located directly on the Niagara River shoreline and calling it a recreational vehicle (R.V.) park.

    Windmills on top of Uranium and other “slag wastes” at Steel Fields (old Bethlehem Steel – Lake Erie shore) and Plutonium under the recently proposed NYS Power Authority windmills at Youngstown (Lake Ontario), NY, mentions but a couple of the genuine issues not being addressed even superficially with the various waterfront developments. But yet, everyone want’s to go a-“fish-sion.”

    Incentivizing while upstream contaminants flow right past any new developments that happen further downstream makes little sense and will not ever facilitate WNY becoming anything like Green.

    First, fix the “arterial bleeding” before putting another band-aid or lipstick on these ‘oinkers. Only then will we be able to go truly forward in human and or economic health.

    I can see why Buffalo Ruse is having a time with these stories.

  • Bruce Fisher

    Hail Lou Ricciuti! Lou, thanks for your vigilance. In this case, you amplify my point exactly: we who negotiated the settlement with NYPA were quite precise about the funds being used for brownfield remediation and wastewater cleanup, specifically the sewer-overflow problem.

    One query: I saw the map of “hotspots” at Bethlehem property, and know that there are a few benzene pits there, but our folks told us that the slag heaps were inert, which is why we put the wind turbines there. Ecology and Environment did the wind study for us thanks to the late Laird Robertson, after whom that clean project should be named.

    I would prefer not to have to address the anonymous cowardly snipers who get history wrong, but part of the “squandering” of the tobacco money that Mr PickOranges complains of went precisely to brownfield cleanup and to that specific wind-energy project. Most of the rest of the proceeds, tens of millions of it, paid for healthcare for poor elderly people. Some of the money got ECMC, the regional trauma center, a new 24/7 cardiac emergency ward. We used the funds to 600 acres of brownfields remediated, and had some left over to put a few bucks into culturals here and there, but whatever — a lie repeated often enough convinces anonymous snipers.

    The Bass Pro money needs to go to cleanup. The waterfront today is a brown-water area. Health first: clean up the toxins, the sediments, and stop the storm sewers overflowing every time it rains. It’s about a $300 million project; the NYPA settlement can pay for about half of it. Canal Side wants it all for Bass Pro, thus my decision to sue.

  • PickOranges

    Coward? Your whole administration was a fraud.. The taxpayers wanted action but we didn’t realize the scam that being “perpetuated” until we were fleeced.

    So what does the lawsuit have to do with brownfieds and toxins ? Oh, so you want by the grace of the lawsuit to decide where funds should be allocated..

    Why don’t you run for office ? I am not impress..

  • PickOranges

    Oh.. I want the readers to know, there was a lawsuit filed yrs ago. It is at the Appellate Division and is going forward.

    Here’s the link..

    You should bark up a different tree. Try filing a lawsuit for excess furniture and contract charges, nepotism and screwing veterans.