NIAGARA FALLS - There is a clash over cultural and arts funding in the city of Niagara Falls following a surprising budget cut by the City Council.
Thirty-thousand dollars in the city budget for the Niagara Arts and Cultural Center was slashed by a council majority on Monday.
They said the money was needed for resources in other areas like putting more police on the streets and other neighborhood safety initiatives.
But Mayor Dyster says it's a serious mistake to undercut the city's arts community. The Mayor says "Speaker after speaker that came up to the microphone on Monday night explained not just some esoteric value of the arts. They explained the practical value of the arts to job creation here in the city of Niagara Falls. This is the livelihood of the people who are artists working in here in the studios in the NACC. And council seems to have forgotten that aspect of it."
Dyster says the Arts and Cultural Center budget line was actually funded by the city's hotel bed tax.
Council Chairman Glenn Choolokian says he understands the importance of the arts but feels the city and its taxpayers cannot afford to continue funding such programs.