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NACC doesn't plan on closing its doors

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Buffalo: NACC doesn't plan on closing its doors
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The Niagara Falls City Council has voted to cut tens of thousands dollars in funding to the Niagara Arts and Cultural Center. YNN's Antoinette DelBel has more on how the organization plans to make up for the cut and what the city council is planning to do with the saved money.

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. — The Niagara Falls City Council's decision to cut $30,000 to the Niagara Arts and Cultural Center (NACC) during Monday night's meeting was a decision the council chairman said it had to make.

The city is currently waiting for the Seneca Nation of Indians to release millions of dollars in casino revenue.

"I don't see that money coming,” said Glenn Choolokian, the council chairman. “I think between the state and Seneca Nation to put us in the middle while we're being handcuffed of keeping the daily services up."

The multi-arts center, located in the former Niagara Falls High School, is funded by city bed taxes.

The NACC Operations & Marketing Director Bob Drozdowski said because of that, the lack of casino money shouldn't be a factor.

"The hotel bed tax is specifically supposed to be used for tourism and development in the city,” he said. “We are a tourist destination. We host events throughout the year."

The NACC is home to more than 70 artists who rent out the classrooms that combined brings in about $10,000 a month for the organization. But Drozdowski said that alone isn't enough to cover the costs for day to day operations.

"Our heating bills are traditionally anywhere from $15,000 to $25,000 a month. Our electric bills are not far behind that," he said.

Drozdowski said the $30,000 makes up about five percent of the operating budget. Although the organization functions on a shoestring budget, he said he doesn't foresee closing the doors anytime soon.

"We're making adjustments in our budget,” said Drozdowski. “We going to start a new fundraising campaign. We've been working on that already, but we're going to look to really step that up."

The money saved, according to Choolokian, can be used for city services, including putting more police officers on the streets.

"We just have to be conservative,” he said. “We have to be creative, and we have to go in a new direction...we can't just keep on blowing money, blowing money, then don't have anything saved for a rainy day."

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