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Winery to open downtown with help of bed tax money

BY: Rikki Cason | February 11, 2013

A stop on the Niagara Wine Trail will soon be located in the heart of downtown Lockport.

Wednesday, the City of Lockport Common Council passed a resolution to give $50,000 in capital improvement funding from unspent Bed Tax money to the Flight of Five Winery and Local Food Market.

The winery will be leasing space in Old City Hall, 2 Pine St. and offer a variety of lock themed wines, hard cider and local food.

“This ties in perfectly with what we are trying to do,” said city Community Development Director Chuck Bell.

The money will be used to help with start up costs.

Mayor Michael Tucker said the winery would bring “new life in Old City Hall.”

“The fact we can bring that winery in our city is a big thing,” said Tucker. “It’s a great addition to the city and business district.”

The winery and food market is set to open Memorial Day weekend.

Bed Tax funds are not public money and must be spent on tourism related projects. The city receives a four percent tax on hotel and motel stays. Five percent of that total goes for administrative fees and 75 percent of the funds that are left go to the Niagara Tourism and Convention Corporation.

Part of the final 25 percent, which must be used for economic development, goes to Lockport Main Street Inc. About $7,500 a year is what is left and can be used to fund project like the Flight of Five Winery and Local Food Market.

A train platform is also a possibility on Gooding Street. This platform would be a downtown drop-off to connect Lockport to the Medina train and give better access for wine train events.

Also part of Wednesday’s resolution was the reformation of the Bed Tax committee, which will consist of Tucker, City Treasurer Michael White, a Common Council member, a representative of the Greater Lockport Development Corporation, a representative of the Tourism Task Force, a representative of the Niagara County Legislature and a representative from the community.

The committee will decide how Bed Tax funds are spent.

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