BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz wants the county to be ready if a new stadium needs to be built to keep the Buffalo Bills in Western New York.
Poloncarz is pushing for the county comptroller to begin issuing bonds rather than the control board. He believes it would save money if the county borrows on its own instead of going through the control board, but the comptroller may not be on board with that plan.
“We want to ensure that if a new stadium is the thing that’s eventually decided, the county is ready to fulfill its part,” said Poloncarz.
He says one way to do that is for the county to take over issuing bonds, instead of the county control board.
“If the county is going to be required to put in a substantial amount of money for either a retro fit or a new stadium, it would require the county to bond for a significant period of time,” he explained.
Poloncarz says the control board only exists for the next 13-14 years and the bond for a new stadium would like span over 30 years.
“I don’t think anyone in this community thinks it’s appropriate for the control board to exist for another 30 years. I’m calling on the comptroller to immediately begin the process to issue bonds on behalf of Erie County, instead of going through the control board.”
Poloncarz may be calling on the comptroller, but Erie County Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw says that’s not for the Erie County Executive to decide.
“It’s bizarre because the county executive’s office has nothing to do with that process. By the law, borrowing goes through the chief financial officer, which is me as county comptroller,” said Mychajliw.
He says historically the control board has had the lowest interest when borrowing.
“If an issue will come up pertaining to the Buffalo Bills we will see who is going to give us the best rate whether that is control board or the private sector.”
But the county executive says the county doing its own borrowing would send a clear message, “that Erie County is capable of doing the borrowing on its own and this will in the long run ensure that Erie County has the capability of doing what it needs to do in the event a new stadium needs to be built,” said Poloncarz.
The Erie County Control Board has been around since July 2005.