State boosts polar bear investment in Buffalo

New York is investing in a new Arctic Edge habitat for the Buffalo Zoo’s polar bears.  The state is providing the final $750,000 needed to finance the $14 million project.

Governor Cuomo announced that, with New York State’s assistance, the Buffalo Zoo will close its current funding gap and move forward with an $18 million new entry complex and state-of-the-art habitat for polar bears and other Arctic species.

The Western New York Regional Economic Development Council named the Arctic Edge exhibit a regional priority in 2011, as it aligns with the council’s tourism and smart growth strategies. Funding commitments from public sources include $3 million from Erie County, $1.085 million from the City of Buffalo, $776,000 from the New York State Environmental Protection Fund (EPF), $400,000 from Senator Mark Grisanti and the western New York Senate delegation, $400,000 from Assemblyman Sean Ryan and the western New York Assembly delegation, $150,000 from the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (DASNY) and $15,500 from the Buffalo City Council.

The Buffalo Zoo’s Arctic Edge, which will create 228 construction jobs, will be more than 60,000 square feet (1.5 acres) in size and replicate the snowy, frozen climate of the Arctic Circle.

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