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Dunkirk: Summer festivals coming at a cost

March 3, 2014

Maybe it is time for Dunkirk to take on the slogan of “the city of good neighbors....

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Mar-07-14 10:33 AM

HADENOUGH - come back in 50 years and I will guarantee you this will be a growing and prosperous city. The city is loaded with natural assets including an inexhaustible supply of fresh water, fantastic location near major rail and highways and proximity to Buffalo and Canadian markets. No matter how many taxaholic loonies we put in city hall, unions will eventually self destruct and their impact will eventually be overcome by the natural assets.

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Mar-06-14 5:30 PM

Things are so bad in the city that the city is holding these event to take the minds of the residents off the terrible condition of the city proper and the poor leadership in city hall. Who actually takes part in the events at the pier? The old Polish and Italian residents? Or the younger generation looking for a reason to get drunk and act the fool. Even the clubs are catering to the young and ignoring the older crowd who built these clubs. Unfortunately there is no business that will set up shop in the city. Those days are gone and will never return. Sorry Phil. I just don't see it.

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Mar-06-14 11:01 AM

By looking at the advertising and event banners, I was under the impression that the sponsors of the events were sporting the tab, not the city. They should of listed it as "Sponsored in Part By....." So, it would be interesting to see just how much these sponsors chip in to get the Good Guy Award and all the advertising associated with it.

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Mar-06-14 9:13 AM

CHRISTOPHER - I am not saying that entertainment has no value. I also realize that the harborfront is an important asset that needs to be developed. What I am suggesting is that there may be better places to spend our money. WE MUST DO EVERYTHING POSSIBLE TO PROMOTE PRIVATE SECTOR INVESTMENT IN INDUSTRY AND COMMERCE FOR JOB CREATION. I have been in this city all my life and I don't mind telling you that what we have now is an embarrasment. There is only one solution to our problems and that solution is private sector investment and job creation. We can do that by putting our money and our efforts in the right places. Excessive taxation and a hostile business environment are destroying what should be a growing and prosperous city.

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Mar-06-14 8:40 AM

next up "charging a "fee" or buying a "permit" to fish off the pier/dock

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Mar-06-14 6:54 AM

so what your saying "music" makes living/moving into in a "slum" infested area more "attractive" we can see the PR now come to the pier enjoy the music, ignore the squallier

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Mar-05-14 9:25 PM

And, last but not least, picture Dunkirk without the Boardwalk and without the music on the pier. This may surprise a few people, but events like the festivals do make a place more attractive. people looking for places to live do consider entertainment. Will they save the city on their own? Of course not.

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Mar-05-14 9:21 PM

So, Mr. Pinecone and Phil, if union wages are the issue, why aren't those plants located in the non-union south instead of China? There must be more to it I'd say. I might add, during the time those jobs were disappearing, CEO wages rose to obscene levels. When unions were strong, CEO's made approximately 40 times what their workers made. Now it's 200. I might add that at one time, the average Japanese business had 5 people between the top guy and the worker. The average American company had 18! The CEO of an American company also made twice what a Japanese CEO made for companies of similar size. Facts, not dogma. Simplistic answers rarely stand under even minor scrutiny.

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Mar-05-14 3:57 PM

Now, with that being said I will be interested to see what happens with the point, so I doubt the current leaders will let little things like the law stand in their way of collecting, and then spending, money.

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Mar-05-14 3:56 PM

The idea of charging people to enter the point crops up about every 10 years or so.

Back in the early 80's when it was being pursued the city said it found that when the city took possession of the land (at one point the city said they owned it and then they also said it was on a 99 year $1 lease agreement so I'm not sure which is the case) they signed an agreement to not charge city residents to use the park and the city attorney went on to state that the city could only charge non-residents double what it charged residents so of course they couldn't make them pay either.

Now I don't know any specifics beyond the above statements made in various conversations, and I don't even know if the information is accurate, but as the city leaders wanted to charge the fee I don't know why they would make up a lie that wouldn't allow them to do so, and for that reason alone I believe the basics of it are correct.

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Mar-05-14 8:32 AM

one with think with the big "win fall" property tax assessment reduction" recently received, this paper would be more than thankful and offer to pay the "freight" to sponsor city festivals, after all as the "voice" of the area we can think no better P.R. move and a true testament to supporting this home time area, by the self proclaimed home town newspaper

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Mar-05-14 7:21 AM

we hear that there is a plan being formulated to charge for admittance and use of the point, similar to Lake Erie State Park, just ask Rivera he thinks people should pay to use park or even drive through

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Mar-05-14 7:12 AM

so much for making the area "attractive" to non residents, from what we hear this whole boondoggle would have not seen the light of day if it wasn't mentioned in the information pack that was put together to "attract" sponsorship" for events, pleading poverty what a concept

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Mar-04-14 6:27 PM

I believe some of the events you mention Doug have some pretty darn hefty entry fees right?

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Mar-04-14 5:44 PM

I am a non city resident and an perplexed. We should come down and support your NRG plant so your taxes don't go up. But... you don't want us or our money when we come down to your concerts. I guess we would only be welcome if we bribed you with a fee. If that were true then Erie county should exclude any non-Erie county residents from all Bills and Sabres games. Better add the zoo, BPO and museums. Better stop that Italian festival and the County Fair. Actually your largest tax payer NRG doesn't pay your taxes, we their customers do. Do I hear a thank you?? Please say it a little louder I didn't hear it.

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Mar-04-14 5:16 PM


The music at the pier is being paid for by the taxpayer of Dunkirk but solely benefits a small select group of business so why shouldn't those business, which stand to profit from it, be asked to pay for it?

Should we also have "music at main and fourth St since those businesses there pay taxes also so why shouldn't they get the same benefit? How about Music at the plaza, Music by the Harbor Inn, etc...?

Heck I pay taxes on property in Dunkirk and don't even live there so maybe we could have music across the St from families house there and then I can sell drinks and make a killing, after all according to you it's only fair since I pay taxes.

And of course this doesn't even touch on any taxpayer subsidy the renters at the boardwalk may be receiving on their businesses, directly or indirectly.

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Mar-04-14 4:32 PM

First the neo-cons whine because govt isn't promoting business and the local economy. Now they whine because govt IS promoting business and the local economy. Make up your minds - oh yea, they don't have one.

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Mar-04-14 10:19 AM

PhilJulian... you are so right. And, it's important to note that the list business you provided, upon closer look, is populated largely by union shops that thought their employers were bluffing when the they said we need concession or were shutting down or moving. And that trend continues with the recent antics of the union leadership for the county home workforce. Once again, you county home workers got jobbed by your own union. Dunkirk and western NY, what a sorry legacy. Taxed straight to*****and sold out by greedy unions.

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Mar-04-14 9:09 AM

It's hard to discuss the economics of the city without mentioning the reason for our decline. When we lost Alco, True Temper, Great Lakes Color Printing, Kraft Foods, Alumax, Roblin Steel, Allegheny Ludlum, Marsh Valve and other employers, we lost the economic heart beat of the city. So, why have there been so few new employers to take their place? Why would any straight thinking person want to invest in a city and county where you get taxed to death? How can we justify a $22 million budget in a city of only 13,000 residents? The key to Dunkirk's future is not music on the pier. The key is to make the city attractive to private sector investors and the jobs that we need to revitalize the city. I can't think of anyone in government who understand that.

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Mar-04-14 8:51 AM

Let me ask this. Why was the pier chosen for the event? This was done remember during the last administration. Could the answer be that the pier lies between Demetri's and the Clarion. Where may I ask is the previous mayor employed? Where did he eat breakfast every day? And who profits during and after the event. Move it off the pier to another location.

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Mar-04-14 8:03 AM

Dunkirk can support how many private clubs? Hmmm...

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Mar-03-14 8:48 PM

Gotta keep 'em. The need is to reduce the loss of the events not cancel them. Dunkirk needs some excitement. It would seem over the years nobody was really keeping score of the money. We must have someone smart enough to keep the events and at least break even.

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Mar-03-14 7:35 PM

Rope it off and charge all non residents a $5 or $10 cover charge to enter the concert on the pier. If that doesn't cover the steady revenue loss than shut it down after a year. Sink or Swim.

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Mar-03-14 6:20 PM

Here's what needs to happen. The primary focus of this administration needs to bringing in people and families to live here. Partner with the private sector for new housing on main street. Wherever new housing can it through a private/public partnership. Then invest in housing rehabilitation. Once the housing stock is stabililized...take the three empty lots on the south side of lakeshore dr and turn them over to either a private developer of JCC and or SUNY Fredonia to develop. Buffalo did this with ECC they took a two block section of run down and dilapidated buildings...turned it over to ECC who then in turned rehabed them and turned them into stores, restaurants and boutiques and incorporated into their hospitality program. The city is dying..because no elected official has a vision.

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Mar-03-14 5:41 PM

As much as i dont care for this current administration, cut them some slack already D'Agostino! (with you, darned if you do, darned if you dont!) The festivals and boardwalk are really the only positive thing Dunkirk has going for it (sad, but honestly, true!) It was stated in the article that this admin has taken the initiative to adjust things and make the festivals self sufficient financially, therefore they will be taking on more expense and income possibilities. This is the first year of them trying that and they still "only" lost $ sure they will make adjustments yearly to their self sufficiency plan until it works out. Hell, the previous admin lost A LOT more than $12k all while trying to do nothing to raise income, just throw more taxpayer dollars out of the general fund at it. Lastly, this place would be more of a ghost town without the festivals, music, boardwalk, at least it brings positive vibes (not here obviously, but on the waterfront).

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