Niagara Falls Waiting on $25,000 Bill From Nik Wallenda [POLL]
Nik Wallenda made a promise that his wire walk across Niagara Falls would bring millions of dollars of publicity to the City of Niagara Falls. However, Mayor Paul Dyster says that Wallenda left a $25,000 bill unpaid.
What is the Bill For?
According to The NY Times, when Wallenda was lobbying to get special legislation that would allow him to make his walk across the falls, they included a provision that would provide “reasonable costs associated with security or law enforcement”.
The mayor's administration estimates that Wallenda's walk cost the city about $42,700. First Niagara Bank covered $17,500 of that bill and they're waiting on Wallenda to pay off the rest.
Why Won't Nik Cover the Bill?
According to Wallenda's lawyer, John P. Bartolomei, The Wallenda group paid $200,000 to the state for costs associated with the event. Bartolomei told the NY Times, "Don’t put it on Nik Wallenda’s shoulders. All he did was good things. He got the city tens of millions of free worldwide advertising.”
Why Can't Niagara Falls Just Consider the $25,000 the Cost For the Advertising?
Dyster tells The Buffalo News that he can't just forget that money because it's not his money. It's taxpayer money and it's his job to make sure that bill is paid.
"I'm not a private businessman cutting a deal here. My first responsibility is to try to collect the debt on behalf of the taxpayers. This was a private business enterprise that was [helped with] significant public support."
It looks as though the two sides are far from coming to an agreement about how the $25,000 tab is going to be paid.