Nik Wallenda’s tightrope walk across Niagra Falls was a history making feat but it cost two cities ten’s of thousands of dollars in public safety expenses.
After daring the brave feat of walking a tightrope that spanned Niagra Falls, Nik Wallenda is now being asked to pay back public safety costs for two cities that had police and firemen working overtime. According to Newser, Wallenda has paid for half of the bill in both towns and Niagra Falls, Ontario has chosen to forgive their portion of the debt. However, Niagra, New York still wants all $25,000 owed to them by the brave daredevil.
“It’s just disgusting and sad,” Wallenda stated as he was talking to Buffalo News about how he felt about paying back the money,”This was a great thing for the area, all the money it brought into the area. [They] gave me a key to the city, and now they want to ask for money?”
It’s stated by Buffalo News that city officials noted that Wallenda promised to pay the safety costs when he was lobbying to get permission for the walk. The safety costs include over 600 hours of police and fire overtime hours. These overtime hours totaled a whopping $42,000 in the US and $50,000 in Canada, $20,000 of which include city police overtime hours. Wallenda’s Niagra Fall’s lawyer John P. Bartolomei believes that since the event happened in Niagra Falls State Park, Wallenda is not responsible for costs outside the park, where the city held a festival before the walk. Bartolomei not only wants city officials to forget about the rest of the money owed but he feels that the city should pay Wallenda back the more than $17,000 that was paid on his behalf by First Niagra Bank.
Mayor Paul A. Dyster, on the American side, hopes that the city will have a continued relationship with Wallenda. However, as Mayor he states that his first obligation is to collect the funds.