Niagara Falls, NY (WBEN) -- Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster tells WBEN News before he'll lay off any city firefighters, he'll tell them to stop responding to any fire calls at the Seneca Nation's casino.
Dyster says his city is caught in a budget squeeze, and it feels as though the city city government is being held hostage -- to the political staredown between Albany and the Seneca Nation.
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Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster
"We may be forced to make cuts in our fire department," says Dyster, "and all because the operators of the Seneca casino -- which, of course you know, the hotel is the tallest building in Niagara Falls, one of the more challenging contingencies our department has to prepare to respond to -- all because the casino is not paying their fair share."
Dyster says the city's concerns are being ignored. "The situation here is getting more and more dire."
"If we're in a situation where we had to lay off firefighters and then I have to ask their brother firefighters to go respond to a fire at the casino," Dyster said. "They know that the layoffs occurred because the casino wasn't paying its bills."
Dyster says while the Seneca Nation and Albany squabble over the casino compact, his city needs that slot revenue, an estimated $60 million at this point. The Senecas say the state is welcome to pay the city anytime.