Gabryszak: Legislation Will Provide a Much Needed Spark to Western New York Businesses
June 30, 2010

Assemblyman Dennis Gabryszak (D, I, C-Cheektowaga) announced legislation he authored that would establish a Western New York Economic Development Fund (A.8712A/S5783A) has passed the Assembly and the Senate. He is urging the governor to sign this vital bill into law.

In Western New York, 695 megawatts of hydropower, commonly known as Replacement and Expansion Power, has been designated for use within 30 miles of the Niagara Power Project. When this power isn’t being utilized for various reasons it can be sold by the New York Power Authority in the open market.

The new legislation would direct the New York Power Authority to designate the proceeds from the sale to the Western New York Economic Development Fund to benefit businesses within that 30-mile boundary.

This legislation would also establish eligibility criteria for projects that seek to use the Western New York economic development fund benefits. The applications would be evaluated based upon criteria that have been designed to promote economic development and would address specific areas, such as maintaining and developing jobs and encouraging capital investment throughout the state. Applications would be overseen by the Western New York Advisory Board.

“Creating jobs, maintaining jobs and making Western New York an appealing place for businesses – that is what this fund has the potential to do,” Gabryszak said. “With help from the Buffalo Niagara partnership, we were able to create a bill that would go a long way in making Western New York a leader of industry.”

“Assemblyman Gabryszak has been a strong leader on this issue, and his creation of the Western New York Economic Development Fund was done with a vision that went far beyond the borders of his district, and with the best economic interests of our entire region in mind. Passage of this bill in the Assembly and now Senate may be the best economic development ‘news’ the Buffalo Niagara region will see out of Albany this year,” Andrew J. Rudnick, president & CEO of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership said.

“The Partnership has long advocated for keeping hydropower proceeds within a 30 mile radius of Niagara Falls. The significant fund created by this legislation would create a real, tangible difference in our community – whether to bring new employers and their jobs to our region, or to clean up abandoned sites, build infrastructure needed to make sites more attractive for investment, or to adapt existing structures for new uses – all of which can spur more job creation and investment in our region,” Rudnick said.

“The governor has a golden opportunity here to improve economic development in Western New York and I urge him to sign this bill into law,” Gabryszak said. “Let’s make Western New York an irreplaceable part of our economy.”

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