Schumer says Bills must stay in Buffalo

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 15 August 2014 at 12:00 am

Photo by Tom Rivers – U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, while speaking in Holley on Thursday, said the Buffalo Bills must stay in Western New York, even if it means building a new stadium. Holley Mayor John Kenney is in back.

HOLLEY – The Buffalo Bills must stay in Western New York, U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer said Thursday while in Holley.

“I’m going to do everything it takes to keep the Bills in Buffalo even if it means a new stadium,” Schumer said.

Prospective new owners are bidding on the team and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell wants a new stadium for the team. The Bills will debut a renovated Ralph Wilson Stadium this season in Orchard Park. That site has received $130 million in upgrades.

But a new stadium is needed for the team’s long-term future in WNY, Goodell has said.

Schumer was in Holley to bring attention to stalled cleanup at the former Diaz Chemical site in Holley. He is pushing a “polluter’s tax” that would provide money for the Superfund to address contaminated sites.

He was asked about a controversial plan for regulating Lake Ontario water levels. Orleans County officials worry the plan will cause more extremes in lake levels, with higher waters eroding the lake shore and lower levels leaving marinas to shallow.

Schumer said the plan is only “preliminary.” The final plan will preserve the Great Lakes and also property along the lakeshore, Schumer said.

He also is pushing for immigration reform so farmers have enough legal workers to plant and harvest crops. The agriculture community has been pressing the issue for more than a decade.

Overhauled immigration would have prevented the current humanitarian crisis, Schumer said, where waves of children are crossing the border without their parents.

“It could pass in the new Congress or the lame duck one,” he said about immigration reform.