NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. -- Residents in one Niagara Falls neighborhood were upset about a plan to build a fire training tower near their homes, so the city changes its plans.
The training tower was originally planned for the area near 31st Street and Walnut Ave. It was the first choice location because it's adjacent to the fire administration building. But it's also in a residential neighborhood.
"The reason they were interested to put it there was because it's renovated with state-of-the-art teaching facilities," said Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster.
"It was probably less obtrusive than the neighbors were thinking it was going to be, but when we heard concerns raised by neighbors, we wanted to be responsive," Dyster added.
The new plan calls for the Niagara Falls Fire Training Center to be built on James Ave. It's a former firefighter training site that was condemned nearly a decade ago.
Mayor Dyster says the training center and tower are definitely needed.
"It's different than most fire departments for a city of 50,000 people," he said. "We have the falls and Niagara River gorge which means we have to do rescues from time to time if somebody falls or jumps or threatens to jump."
The city is expected to get the parcel of land on James Ave. for one dollar after getting the green light from the planning board and city council. A $500,000 dollar state grant will pay for the fire simulation tower.
Mayor Dyster hopes the project will move forward next year.