COMPTROLLER MYCHAJLIW CALLS FOR MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR INVESTMENT IN CANALSIDE, FAMILY FRIENDLY INSTITUTIONS
Proposes $3 million in investments, benefiting Canalside and the Buffalo Museum of Science
(Buffalo, New York) – In what would be an historic investment to solidify family friendly institutions at Canalside and the City of Buffalo, Erie County Comptroller Stefan I. Mychajliw is proposing $3 million in investments to fund a children’s museum at Canalside and a major facelift for the Buffalo Museum of Science. This significant investment in cultural institutions that serve children and their families across Erie County would strengthen the county’s commitment to create more family-friendly destinations for those who live and visit Western New York.
Specifically, the Comptroller is proposing that the County grant $1 million to the Buffalo Museum of Science to improve their front façade, opening a portion of the building that has been closed since 1977. This critically important capital project would allow the museum to dramatically change its front entrance by allowing patrons to enter through the grand staircase that is closed because of major disrepair.
Additionally, Comptroller Mychajliw is proposing a $2 million capital grant to Explore and More, an organization that has been granted rights to build a new Children’s museum at the old site of “The Aud” in Canalside.
“It is a noble mission to make smart investments of taxpayer dollars to benefit children and families across Erie County. As elected leaders, it is our duty to continue to facilitate and support private sector progress at Canalside.
That being said, Erie County taxpayers were the first to come to the table when Canalside needed funding to become site ready to build the attractions that you enjoy there today. We can’t walk away from our initial investment. We should invest into community projects that serve families, create jobs, and enable the economic renaissance that has become Canalside,” said Comptroller Mychajliw.
Explore and More is only a few million dollars short of their $10 million fundraising goal, which will allow them to break ground this summer on a new, state of the art Children’s Museum. They have already raised more than $7 million in private donations toward their goal.
“Erie County’s contribution will get Explore and More across the finish line, ensuring that Canalside continues to grow as a place for families to enjoy our beautiful city and waterfront,” added Comptroller Mychajliw.
The Buffalo Museum of Science has not let a visitor walk through their front doors in almost 40 years. The entrance was closed for safety reasons because the building was crumbling. This closure has limited their ability to utilize premier exhibition space, crippling their ability to display collections that raise revenue.
“Taxpayers already provide the museum nearly $1 million in operating funds every year. This onetime investment into their capital infrastructure needs will put them in a situation to expand their programming, increasing their revenue, which will ultimately alleviate our financial responsibility,” said Mychajliw.
Mychajliw added, “I toured the museum a few months ago. Our daughter even spent the night there with her Girl Scout Troop. The improvements they have made are quite impressive. I can tell you that it is not the museum I visited as a child, growing up right down the street off Fillmore Avenue. Parents and grandparents should see for themselves the positive changes that are taking place there. They would likely agree that it is worth our investment,” continued the Comptroller.
Comptroller Mychajliw announced his support for these capital grants after his office closed the books on the 2014 fiscal year. The Comptroller is reporting that in 2014, the county had a $9,431,445.47 surplus.
“The 2014 surplus is 41 times larger than the 2013 surplus. I think it only makes sense that we take some of that money and reinvest it back into community projects that will benefit families for generations,” said Comptroller Mychajliw.
The Comptroller’s full report of 2014 financials is expected to be released to the Legislature in the coming weeks. The Legislature will then have the opportunity to designate portions of the surplus for these projects, before it is permanently surrendered to the county’s fund balance.