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Poloncarz and Ryan right to rein in IDAs

The Nov. 22 News carried an Another Voice by Iskalo Development’s David Chiazza, who apparently objects to efforts by County Executive Mark Poloncarz and Assemblyman Sean Ryan to rein in the conduct of our industrial development agencies. Chiazza prattles on about the value of “adaptive reuse,” the slogan recently coined by the IDAs to justify taxpayer contributions for commercial projects that do not provide new jobs. Notable among such foolishness are the Amherst IDA’s $500,000 contribution to move a Premier Liquor store from Kenmore to Amherst, and a huge Erie County IDA contribution to help relocate the Kenney-Shelton law firm from one downtown building to another.

In assessing Chiazza’s sentiments, it should be remembered that after Iskalo Development bought the Niagara Mohawk Building for about $2.5 million, it promptly went to the ECIDA for taxpayer contributions, claiming that otherwise it could not afford needed renovations. Over the objections of several downtown competitors, the ECIDA provided that assistance.

David Sweet

Main Seneca Corp.

Buffalo