Lockport, N.Y. - The mayor of Lockport wants out.
Mayor Michael Tucker says the city gets little bang for its buck from the Niagara County Tourism and Convention Corporation.
The NTCC is the county's official tourism agency, and Lockport gives it about $90,000 a year which comes from a 4% bed tax that is charged by hotels and motels. Under state law, NTCC receives 75% of that money, which Tucker says amounts to about $90,000 a year.
Tucker says that the agency does a poor job promoting Lockport and from now on "we want to take care of ourselves."
Tucker says the city's 2013 budget, which is due to be voted on next Wednesday, will contain no money for the NTCC. Instead, Tucker wants the city to create a job for a marketing director whose job would be to promote tourism in the city.
"We need a better bang for our buck," said Tucker.
But the president of the NTCC says Tucker's unhappiness is news to him and that the agency has been doing a good job for the city.
"The hotel numbers have been up significantly, they've been up year-to-year. Attraction numbers are up across the board in Lockport. I don't know where this dissatisfaction is coming from."
Tucker disagrees: "He knows that I'm not happy. He knows the city of Lockport hasn't been happy for a long time.
2 On Your Side's Scott Brown asked Percy if he would call Tucker on Tuesday: "Absolutely," said Percy. We need to schedule a meeting and find out where we can meet somewhere in the middle and counter some of these claims he's been making.
It's believed that Tucker could not withhold the money from the bed tax without a change in state legislation.
The NTCC receives its most of its funding from a bed tax from Lockport, Niagara Falls and the Niagara County.