BUFFFALO, NY – Today, Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-27) announced he has obtained agreements from leaders at the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA) and the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation (ECHDC) to commence negotiations on the transfer of NFTA waterfront property to the Harbor Development Corporation.
“The NFTA does an excellent job in their role providing public transportation, but developing 130 acres of urban waterfront land is not their core mission,” said Congressman Higgins. “This will put the destiny of our Outer Harbor back into the hands of those who are locally invested in this community and will have a singular focus of rebuilding our water’s edge.”
Congressman Higgins is proposing the transfer of 130 acres of land controlled by the state Authority to the local Corporation. The NFTA has been responsible for oversight of this area for the last 50 years. The suggested deadline for the transfer is February 1, 2007.
In a letter to ECHDC Chairman Anthony Gioia and NFTA Chairman Gregory Stamm, Congressman Higgins recommends, once the land is transferred, the ECHDC proceed with a land-use plan which concentrates on public parks and green space, but still provides ample opportunity for private development.
The Congressman also addressed public access concerns, highlighting a call for immediate attention to the conversion of Fuhrmann Boulevard into an urban parkway, the necessity of constructing a ground-level crossing between downtown and the Outer Harbor and the eventual removal of the Skyway Bridge.