BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz spoke on Wednesday night about a proposal in his 2014 budget that has a lot of people talking.
Poloncarz wants to spend $500,000 on a study to determine if Buffalo needs a new convention center. Since taking office in January 2012, Poloncarz has said the city should have a bigger convention center to attract major conventions. He emphasized the necessity of funding a needs analysis of the 35-year-old center on Franklin Street.
"Before we go ahead and jump ahead and say we need a new convention center, we really need to know, do we need one? Where should it be? And how much will it cost?" he said.
Poloncarz said Joel Giambra, the former Erie County executive, conducted a similar study on the center a few years ago. Giambra set forth a proposal to build a new convention center in the Elm/Oak arterial, which now belongs to the University at Buffalo Medical Campus, and then on the Buffalo River waterfront, which was redeveloped as Canalside. Those proposals never panned out.
If the legislature approves the money, the review would start next year and carry into 2015 until a decision is made.