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Bustling Buffalo harbor could be privatized

via Flickr
One of the public's main access points to Lake Erie could soon be in the hands of a private company.

Good morning loyal readers. Today, your Trail Mix is a tasty one:

Governor Andrew Cuomo hawks his budget during a visit today in Rochester.

Not Kodak’s moment.

A public authority considers selling a popular boat harbor in Buffalo to a private company.

Now more expensive: riding the bus in Buffalo.

And: Where’s the snow?

Mo’ Cuomo

Andrew Cuomo certainly racks up the frequent flyer miles.

Today he’s trekking to Rochester to talk about his month-old budget proposal. At stops across the state, the first-term Democrat has essentially delivered the same address he tested in Albany 31 days ago.

With local media coverage, Cuomo hopes to arouse public support for his priorities, which are about to be debated in the legislature. The budget deadline is April 1. (Jill Terreri, Vote Up!)

Another problem for Kodak

Kodak’s recent bankruptcy filing has some of its retirees fretting. Naturally some have filed lawsuits, claiming the company is failing to meet its end of the retirement bargain. (Matthew Daneman, Democrat & Chronicle)

Boatin’ in Buffalo

Just south of downtown Buffalo sits the Small Boat Harbor. While Buffalo has a reputation as a snowy outpost, boating rules the waters on any given day where the temperature is above 50 Fahrenheit.

But this epicenter of aquatic recreation has become a financial liability to its owner, the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA). So it’s for sale.

Actually, it’s already sold.

The $3.5 million paid by local private developer Bear Development Group (BDG) comes with a promise to tend to the deferred maintenance the NFTA has neglected, as well as spruce the place up a bit. According to the Buffalo News, the West Seneca-based BDG has committed $15.3 million to the task of “expand[ing] the harbor breakwater, construct[ing] interior parks, dredg[ing] the harbor, expand[ing] marine facilities and Dug's Dive restaurant, all while retaining public access.”

Pricey public transit

Speaking of the NFTA, the organization’s board voted Thursday to increase bus fares by 25 cents a trip. The fare hike goes into effect May 1.

An extra “silver George” may sound like a small price to pay to keep the struggling bus system afloat, but it’s the second rate increase in less than a year. With routes shrinking and transit police receiving pink slips, the rate hike is just the latest NFTA move that has community advocates howling with displeasure. (Robert J. McCarthy, Buffalo News)

Gimme snow!

Old Man Winter has pretty much snubbed all of upstate. That’s struck at the heart of the Oswego County economy and its tax base. According to a local quoted in this Syracuse Post-Standard article: “I’ve never seen it this bad [in 42 years].”

Making stuff

Manufacturing is on the rise in New York. The question remains: Is it a significant trend or just a momentary bounce? (Jeffrey Blackwell, Democrat & Chronicle)

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