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Niagara Falls Mayor Vetoes Amendments, City Council Responds

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Buffalo: Niagara Falls Mayor Vetoes Amendments, City Council Responds
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It's been a tough fiscal year for the city of Niagara Falls. The city council cut millions from Mayor Paul Dyster's budget but Dyster vetoed those changes. As YNN's Katie Cummings explains the council likely won't accept them.

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. — Just before his midnight deadline Thursday, Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster vetoed 39 of the 150 amendments put forward by the city council for the 2013 budget.

One of the vetoes restored $3.1 million for USA Niagara. The organization is associated with the conference center, culinary institute and other downtown development, which is why Dyster believes it’s critical.

"For several million dollars worth of investment, USA Niagara usually returns tens of millions of dollars in other government funding and tens of millions of dollars in private sector funding," said Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster.

However, council president Sam Fruscione says the council will likely override that veto.

"We need this money, if not we're going to have raise everybody's taxes 8.3 percent and lay everybody back off again," said Niagara Falls City Council Chairman Sam Fruscione.

Fruscione says the three million dollars in state funding was not originally intended for USA Niagara but was used to balance budgets for municipalities before 2001.

He says the council will vote to enter into a new contract with USA Niagara at the next meeting.

In the end, Fruscione says the council will have reduced Dyster's original budget by $5 million, and taxes won't be increased.

However he says in the future he would like more communication between Dyster and the council.

"Prior to this, every year we've met with the mayor in July and August. We hammered out all the issues. Never came to this. This year, he left us out of the process," said Fruscione.

Dyster say he plans to make some changes next year.

"As soon as this budget is concluded, I’m going to announce some steps to start trying to address what I think is going to be a pretty substantial structural deficit in 2014 and to try and put together some kind of five year austerity plan," said Dyster.

Fruscione says the council will meet Monday at 4 to override the vetoes and ratify the budget.

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