Tonawanda News

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May 8, 2014

Grant lends to Webster downtown appeal

Tonawanda News — The Downtown Merchants Association of North Tonawanda will use a recent grant passed on through the Niagara County Legislature for seasonal banners that will highlight the area’s offerings. 

Legislator Rich Andres, R-North Tonawanda, said the William G. Mayne Jr. Business and Community Enhancement Program has allotted $1,738 for the purchase of banners in the downtown corridor, which was funded through the Niagara Falls Bridge Commission. 

Similar grants were also given to 18 other business organizations, totaling $36,000, though each group that receives the funding must match it. 

Andres said the exact language and design of the banner was not immediately known, but would “identify the downtown area as something special so you know where you are.” 

“They’re actually going to be more of a permanent fixture in summertime,” he said. “It’s going to be one the street poles as more of a decoration. Last I heard it was supposed to be Manhattan and Main and Webster (streets).”

Members of the merchants association could not be reached for comment Wednesday for more specific details, though Andres noted that the funding overall went only to business organizations. 

“They’re the only ones who could have applied,” he said. “They’re trying to make an impact over a wide area and they lean toward the purchase of physical items. 

Andres, who represented the Second Ward and the downtown area on the Common Council prior to winning a seat in the Legislature, added that with the recent activity along Webster, including last week’s raising of a refurbished Riviera Theatre marquee and a trove of new business along the street, the banners will lend an appealing touch. 

“It’s really to promote business in Niagara County,” he said, of the funding. “We just added the rain gardens last year on Webster, the trees and now you’ll have this as well. It shows we’re moving forward and right before prime time as we get into the busy season.”

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