Casino Compact with Tuscaroras could help fund a new water treatment plant in Niagara Falls

The City of Niagara Falls may get a new water treatment plant as part of a broader gaming compact between the Tuscarora Nation and Governor Andrew Cuomo that would authorize a second Las Vegas-style casino in downtown Niagara Falls.

Sources close to Tuscarora businessman Joe Anderson tell The Chronicle that, if the Tuscarora Nation approves a Casino Compact with Governor Andrew Cuomo, the Nation is likely to insist on a waterfront site for any Las Vegas-style casino.  Anderson has been advocating for a Compact, but the terms of the eventual agreement will require the assent of Sagwaritha, the sovereign of the Tuscarora Nation.

It’s been suggested by those close to Mayor-elect Robert Restaino that, if the Tuscarora Nation were to purchase the site that currently accommodates the City’s functionally obsolete water treatment plant on Buffalo Avenue near John Daley Boulevard, that sale could help fund the construction of a new and badly needed treatment plant.

Mayor-elect Bob Restaino is a fiscally conservative Democrat who wants to partner with a slew of local Indian Tribes to attract investment to the City.  A sale of the City’s functionally obsolete water treatment plant could raise $10 to $12 million in investment capital for a project that could cost $30 million.

That waterfront parcel could sell for $10 to $12 million, which could give the city much-needed investment capital, which could constitute the local contribution of a much larger reconstruction of the City’s most key pieces of water infrastructure, in partnership with New York State.

In recent years, following embarrassing international news coverage of the City’s release of sludge water near the docking station of the Maid of the Mist, urban planners have begun calling on the City to reconstruct the facility.  It only makes sense to move the facility off of the waterfront, to a site elsewhere on Buffalo Avenue, they argue.

Anderson is reportedly in talks with senior figures in the Cuomo administration to land a compact with the Tuscarora Nation, which would then independently accept or reject the agreement.

Jerry Monture and Ken Hill with Mike Tyson.

Several Native American businessmen — rumored to include Anderson, Jerry Monture, Ken Hill, and Curt Styres — would lend the Tuscarora Nation more than $200 million to fund the first phase of the venue’s construction.   Those executives own Grand River Enterprises, a prolifically successful Native American tobacco manufacturer. The Tuscarora Nation would wholly own and operate the gaming venue, through a subsidiary gaming corporation.

The 45-acre waterfront parcel boasts sweeping views of the Niagara River from just above the Rapids.  The old Adams Transformer House sits on the property.  That building was part of Westinghouse’s operations — where Nikola Tesla made history inventing the alternating current.

Architects openly imagine uncovering the hydro intake canal and restoring the structure as a high-end restaurant.  There is ample space on the site for gaming, hotel accommodations, public gardens, parking, and historic preservation projects.

Architects imagine constructing an irregular arrangement of pedestrian-oriented retail structures designed as a modern indigenous village and boasting a series of public spaces.  They suggest using earthy regional materials like slate, stone, and a variety of woods to manifest a ‘contemporary indigenous architecture’.

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