Niagara Falls, NY - Now that the state and Seneca Nation of Indians have a deal on casino revenue, here is how the money going to the three municipalities breaks down: Niagara Falls will get $89 million, Salamanca gets $34.5 million, and Buffalo gets $15.5 million.
"This is one of the great, happiest days of my life, and, I am sure, all of the people of the City of Niagara Falls," says Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster.
Dyster was all smiles Thursday afternoon as the announcement came that his city would get the entire $89 million it is owed from the Seneca Nation as a result of the long-running gambling dispute.
"Having this dispute resolved means that the City of Niagara Falls now moves to the forefront and is going to be among your most eager and effective partners in the revitalization of WNY," he said.
Governor Cuomo said the threat was that if the dispute got tied up in court for years, attorneys would get rich while our local governments and taxpayers wouldn't see a dime. So how soon will the cities see the millions?
"We have to finish the paperwork, but we're talking days or just a few weeks," said Cuomo.
And, the payments will come in one lump sum. In addition to Niagara Falls, Salamanca, which is represented by State Senator Cathy Young, will also get millions.
"Now, moving forward, this is so positive because we don't have to worry anymore whether the City of Salamanca is going to go bankrupt or the school is going to suffer," said Young.
Buffalo is also getting its money. While Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown could not attend Thursday's press conference, he released a statement saying, "The deal reached by Governor Andrew Cuomo and Seneca Nation president Barry Snyder is great news for the City of Buffalo. The casino revenue that will now come to Buffalo will put the city in an even stronger fiscal position and benefit our residents."
The cities are getting the full amount owed by the Seneca Nation, and the Governor says the new funding will also start coming in.
Mayor Dyster applauded taxpayers for their patience.
"Thank you for not going crazy and creating some weird scene that could have put these negotiations off the tracks, right? So every one of the, I think we might still have barely 50,000, I'm not sure, people left here in the City of Niagara Falls, thank you to you," said Dyster.
As far as the rest of the money, it will be divided between the State of New York and the Seneca Tribe. We do not know the exact breakdown of that money yet, but the Governor said the state will get hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue from this agreement.