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Niagara County, New York
Map of New York highlighting Niagara County
Location in the state of New York
Map of the U.S. highlighting New York
New York's location in the U.S.
Seat Lockport
Area
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

1,140 sq mi (2,953 km²)
523 sq mi (1,355 km²)
617 sq mi (1,598 km²), 54.12%
Population
 - (2000)
 - Density

219,846
420/sq mi (162/km²)
Founded 1808
Website www.niagaracounty.com

Niagara County is a county located in the U.S. state of New York. As of the 2000 census, the population was 219,846. The county seat is Lockport. The county name is from the Indian word Onguiaahra;meaning the straight or thunder of waters.[1] It is the location of Niagara Falls and Fort Niagara, and has many parks and lake shore recreation communities. In the Summer of 2008 Niagara County celebrated its 200th Birthday with the first town of the county, the Town of Cambria.

Niagara County is part of the Buffalo–Niagara Falls Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Contents

History

When counties were established in the New York colony in 1683, the present Niagara County was part of Albany County. This was an enormous county, including the northern part of New York State as well as all of the present State of Vermont and, in theory, extending westward to the Pacific Ocean. This county was reduced in size on July 3, 1766 by the creation of Cumberland County, and further on March 16, 1770 by the creation of Gloucester County, both containing territory now in Vermont.

On March 12, 1772, what was left of Albany County was split into three parts, one remaining under the name Albany County. One of the other pieces, Tryon County, contained the western portion (and thus, since no western boundary was specified, theoretically still extended west to the Pacific). The eastern boundary of Tryon County was approximately five miles west of the present city of Schenectady, and the county included the western part of the Adirondack Mountains and the area west of the West Branch of the Delaware River. The area then designated as Tryon County now includes 37 counties of New York State. The county was named for William Tryon, colonial governor of New York.

In the years prior to 1776, most of the Loyalists in Tryon County fled to Canada. In 1784, following the peace treaty that ended the American Revolutionary War, the name of Tryon County was changed to honor the general, Richard Montgomery, who had captured several places in Canada and died attempting to capture the city of Quebec, replacing the name of the hated British governor.

In 1789, Ontario County was split off from Montgomery. In turn, Genesee County was created from Ontario County in 1802.

Niagara County was created from Genesee County in 1808. It was, however, larger than the present Niagara County even though it consisted of only the Town of Cambria.

From 1814 to 1817, records of Cattaraugus County were divided between Belmont (the seat of Allegany County) and Buffalo (then in Niagara County).

In 1821, Erie County was created from Niagara County.

The county has a number of properties on the National Register of Historic Places.[2]

Geography

Niagara County is in the extreme western part of New York State, just north of Buffalo and adjacent to Lake Ontario on its northern border and the Niagara River and Canada on its western border. The border results in a number of ongoing Illegal Immigration cases, though these crimes are more common to the east where the border is across land rather than a surface water body.

The primary geographic feature of the county is Niagara Falls, the riverbed of which has eroded seven miles south over the past 12,000 years since the last Ice Age. The Niagara River and Niagara Falls, are in effect, the drainage ditch for four of the Great Lakes which constitute the largest supply of fresh water in the world. The water flows north from Lake Erie, then through the Niagara River, goes over Niagara Falls, and then on to Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River, eventually emptying into the North Atlantic Ocean. Today, tourists and visitors to the Falls only see half of the natural water flow over the Falls, since the other half has been taken for hydroelectric power purposes. Both the American and Canadian side of the Niagara River have massive electrical power plants.

The spectacular Niagara Gorge is the path Niagara Falls has taken over thousands of years as it continues to erode. Niagara Falls started at the Niagara Escarpment which cuts Niagara County in half in an East-West direction. North of the Escarpment lies the Lake Ontario plain, which is a fertile flatland that is used to grow grapes, apples, peaches and other fruits and vegetables.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,140 square miles (2,952 km²), of which, 523 square miles (1,354 km²) of it is land and 617 square miles (1,598 km²) of it (54.12%) is water.

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Adjacent counties and areas

Major highways

Niagara County Routes

Niagara County Routes

County Government and Politics

Structure of County Government

Niagara County is governed by a 19-member Legislature, with the Chairman of the Legislature as the de facto head of county government. A subordinate county manager reports to the County Legislature; county legislators have initiated a search to replace current County Manager Greg Lewis.

Leadership of the Niagara County Legislature

  • Chairman William L. Ross
  • Vice Chairman Clyde L. Burmaster
  • Majority Leader Richard E. Updegrove
  • Minority Leader Dennis Virtuoso

Full membership of the Niagara County Legislature

(Majority Caucus in bold; Minority Caucus in ital.)

Legislator Richard A. Marasco (1st District—City of Niagara Falls)
Legislator Renae Kimble (2nd District—City of Niagara Falls)
Legislator Jason J. Cafarella (3rd District—City of Niagara Falls)
Legislator Dennis F. Virtuoso (4th District—City of Niagara Falls)
Legislator Vincent M. Sandonato (5th District—LaSalle/City of Niagara Falls)
Legislator Danny W. Sklarski (6th District—Town of Niagara)
Legislator Gerald K. Farnham (7th District—Towns of Lockport and Pendleton)
Legislator William L. Ross (8th District—Town of Wheatfield)
Legislator Phillip R. "Russ" Rizzo (9th District—City of North Tonawanda)
Legislator Peter E. Smolinski (10th District—City of North Tonawanda)
Legislator Paul B. Wojtaszek (11th District—City of North Tonawanda)
Legislator John D. Ceretto (12th District—Town of Lewiston)
Legislator Clyde L. Burmaster (13th District—Towns of Lewiston and Porter)
Vacant (14th District—Towns of Cambria and Wilson)
Legislator Anthony J. Nemi (15th District—City of Lockport)
Legislator Wm. Keith McNall (16th District—City of Lockport)
Legislator Richard E. Updegrove (17th District—Town of Lockport)
Legislator John Syracuse (18th District—Towns of Newfane and Somerset)
Legislator Michael A. Hill (19th District—Towns of Royalton and Hartland)

Governing functions of the Legislature rely on a committee system; currently, there are five standing committees and one long-term ad hoc committee. The five standing committees are Administration, chaired by McNall; Community Services, chaired by Smolinski; Community Safety and Security, chaired by Wojtaszek; Economic Development, chaired by Updegrove; and Public Works, chaired by Burmaster. An ad hoc Refuse Disposal District Committee, subordinate to the Public Works Committee, is chaired by Ceretto.

The Administration Committee has oversight of the following government departments: County Manager, County Attorney, Management & Budget, Treasurer, Audit, Real Property, Data Processing, Legislature Office, Printing/Mailing, Human Resources, Civil Service, Risk Management, and Board of Elections.

The Community Services Committee has oversight of the following government departments: Social Services, Employment & Training, Youth Bureau, Office of Aging, Public Health, Mental Health, NCCC, County Clerk/DMV, Historian, and Veterans Services.

The Community Safety and Security Committee has oversight of the following government departments: Sheriff, District Attorney, Public Defender, Probation, Fire Coordinator/Emergency Services, and Coroners.

The Economic Development Committee has oversight of the Niagara County Center for Economic Development and the Niagara County Industrial Development Agency.

The Public Works Committee has oversight of the following government departments: Public Works, Parks/Golf Course, Refuse Disposal District, Sewer District, Water District, and Weights & Measures.

Additionally, the ad hoc Refuse Disposal District Committee has oversight of that District.

Political Composition of County Government

The dominant political party in the Niagara County Legislature is currently the Republican Party, which is ancestrally the dominant party in Niagara County. However, the Majority Caucus which controls 14 seats in the Legislature includes one conservative Democrat, one member of the New York State Conservative Party, and two members of the New York State Independence Party. The Minority Caucus, meanwhile, is composed entirely of members of the Democratic Party.

Other County Government Entities

In addition to the areas mentioned above, much of Niagara County is serviced by a Water District and a Sewer District. Both bodies are subordinate to the County Legislature; the former has a direct relationship, while the latter is currently under limited oversight of the town supervisors within the district.

Other Elected Officers of County Government

County Clerk Wayne F. Jagow (R)
Treasurer Kyle R. Andrews (D)
Sheriff James R. Voutour (D)
District Attorney Michael J. Violante (R)
Coroner, 1st District Cindy Lou Joyce (D)
Coroner, 2nd District Joseph V. Mantione (R)
Coroner, 3rd District Kenneth V. Lederhouse (R) Lederhouse is also the senior coroner, having served longest of the four county coroners.
Coroner, 4th District Robert W. DuBois (D)

Demographics

As of the census[3] of 2000, there were 219,846 people, 87,846 households, and 58,593 families residing in the county. The population density was 420 people per square mile (162/km²). There were 95,715 housing units at an average density of 183 per square mile (71/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 90.70% White, 6.15% Black or African American, 0.94% Native American, 0.58% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.40% from other races, and 1.21% from two or more races. 1.33% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 23.6% were of German, 18.1% Italian, 11.3% Irish, 11.2% Polish and 8.3% English ancestry according to Census 2000. 94.5% spoke English, 1.6% Spanish and 1.0% Italian as their first language.

There were 87,846 households out of which 30.90% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.30% were married couples living together, 12.30% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.30% were non-families. 28.60% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.00% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.45 and the average family size was 3.03.

In the county the population was spread out with 24.70% under the age of 18, 8.50% from 18 to 24, 28.40% from 25 to 44, 23.10% from 45 to 64, and 15.40% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 93.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.50 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $38,136, and the median income for a family was $47,817. Males had a median income of $37,468 versus $24,668 for females. The per capita income for the county was $19,219. About 8.20% of families and 10.60% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.00% of those under age 18 and 7.30% of those age 65 or over.

Cities, towns, villages, and other locations

Map of Niagara County's municipalities
=> designation in parentheses shows official political level.

Indian reservations

State parks and state lands

Educational institutions

Niagara University is located in Lewiston, New York. Niagara County Community College is located in Sanborn, New York. Many Niagara County residents also attend Erie and other Western New York County Schools. In the Buffalo Metro area there more than 20 public and private colleges and universities in Buffalo and its environs offer programs in technical and vocational training, graduate, and professional studies.

See also

References

  1. ^ http://www.ongiaracollege.ca/webpages/ongiara_region.shtml Retrieved 9 October 2008
  2. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2008-04-15. http://www.nr.nps.gov/. 
  3. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. http://factfinder.census.gov. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 

External links

Coordinates: 43°19′N 78°47′W / 43.32°N 78.79°W / 43.32; -78.79


Genealogy

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Niagara County, New York
Map
File:Map of New York highlighting Niagara County.png
Location in the state of New York
Map of the USA highlighting New York
New York's location in the USA
Statistics
Founded 1808
Seat Lockport
Area
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

 sq mikm²)
 sq mi ( km²)
 sq mi ( km²), 54.12%
wikipedia:Population
 - (2000)
 - Density

219846
Website: www.niagaracounty.com
See also: Niagara (electoral district)

Niagara County is a county located in the U.S. state of New York. As of the 2000 census, the population was 219,846. The county seat is Lockport. The county name is from the Indian word Ongiara, meaning "thunder of waters," referring to the sound of the famous waterfalls. It is the location of Niagara Falls and Fort Niagara, as has many parks and lake shore recreation communities.

Contents

History

When counties were established in the New York colony in 1683, the present Niagara County was part of Albany County. This was an enormous county, including the northern part of New York State as well as all of the present State of Vermont and, in theory, extending westward to the Pacific Ocean. This county was reduced in size on July 3, 1766 by the creation of Cumberland County, and further on March 16, 1770 by the creation of Gloucester County, both containing territory now in Vermont.

On March 12, 1772, what was left of Albany County was split into three parts, one remaining under the name Albany County. One of the other pieces, Tryon County, contained the western portion (and thus, since no western boundary was specified, theoretically still extended west to the Pacific). The eastern boundary of Tryon County was approximately five miles west of the present city of Schenectady, and the county included the western part of the Adirondack Mountains and the area west of the West Branch of the Delaware River. The area then designated as Tryon County now includes 37 counties of New York State. The county was named for William Tryon, colonial governor of New York.

In the years prior to 1776, most of the Loyalists in Tryon County fled to Canada. In 1784, following the peace treaty that ended the American Revolutionary War, the name of Tryon County was changed to honor the general, Richard Montgomery, who had captured several places in Canada and died attempting to capture the city of Quebec, replacing the name of the hated British governor.

In 1789, Ontario County was split off from Montgomery. In turn, Genesee County was created from Ontario County in 1802.

Niagara County was created from Genesee County in 1808. It was, however, larger than the present Niagara County even though it consisted of only the Town of Cambria.

From 1814 to 1817, records of Cattaraugus County were divided between Belmont (the seat of Allegany County) and Buffalo (then in Niagara County).

In 1821, Erie County was created from Niagara County.

Geography

Niagara County is in the extreme western part of New York State, just north of Buffalo and adjacent to Lake Ontario on its northern border and the Niagara River and Canada on its western border. The border also results in a fair number of Illegal Immigration cases, though these are more common to the east where the border is across land rather than a lake or river.

The primary geographic feature of the county is Niagara Falls, which has eroded seven miles south over the past 12,000 years since the last Ice Age. The Niagara River and Niagara Falls, are in effect, the drainage ditch for four of the Great Lakes which constitute the largest supply of fresh water in the world. The water flows north from Lake Erie, then through the Niagara River, goes over Niagara Falls, and then on to Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River, eventually emptying into the North Atlantic Ocean. Today, tourists and visitors to the Falls only see half of the natural water flow over the Falls, since the other half has been taken for hydroelectric power purposes. Both the American and Canadian side of the Niagara River have massive electrical power plants.

The spectacular Niagara Gorge is the path Niagara Falls has taken over thousands of years as it continues to erode. Niagara Falls started at the Niagara Escarpment which cuts Niagara County in half in an East-West direction. North of the Escarpment lies the Lake Ontario plain, which is a fertile flatland that is used to grow grapes, apples, peaches and other fruits and vegetables.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 2,952 km² (1,140 sq mi). 1,354 km² (523 sq mi) of it is land and 1,598 km² (617 sq mi) of it (54.12%) is water.

Adjacent counties and areas

North: Toronto, Lake Ontario
West: Niagara Falls, ON, Niagara River Niagara County East: Orleans County
Southwest: Eire County South: Erie County, Erie Canal Southeast: Genesee County

Major Highways



County government

  • Legislature Chairman Clyde Burmaster
  • Legislature Vice Chairman William Ross
  • Legislature Majority Leader Richard Updegrove
  • Legislature Minority Leader Dennis Virtuoso
  • Legislator Jason Murgia
  • Legislator Renae Kimble
  • Legislator Rebecca Cuddahee
  • Legislator Sean O'Connor
  • Legislator Danny Sklarski
  • Legislator Gerald Farnham
  • Legislator Andrea McNulty
  • Legislator Peter Smolinski
  • Legislator John Ceretto
  • Legislator Kyle Andrews
  • Legislator Harry Apolito
  • Legislator Glenn Aronow
  • Legislator Malcom Needler
  • Legislator John Syracuse
  • Legislator Michael Hill

Demographics

As of the census² of 2000, there were 219,846 people, 87,846 households, and 58,593 families residing in the county. The population density was 162/km² (420/sq mi). There were 95,715 housing units at an average density of 71/km² (183/sq mi). The racial makeup of the county was 90.70% White, 6.15% Black or African American, 0.94% Native American, 0.58% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.40% from other races, and 1.21% from two or more races. 1.33% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 23.6% were of German, 18.1% Italian, 11.3% Irish, 11.2% Polish and 8.3% English ancestry according to Census 2000.

There were 87,846 households out of which 30.90% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.30% were married couples living together, 12.30% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.30% were non-families. 28.60% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.00% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.45 and the average family size was 3.03.

In the county the population was spread out with 24.70% under the age of 18, 8.50% from 18 to 24, 28.40% from 25 to 44, 23.10% from 45 to 64, and 15.40% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 93.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.50 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $38,136, and the median income for a family was $47,817. Males had a median income of $37,468 versus $24,668 for females. The per capita income for the county was $19,219. About 8.20% of families and 10.60% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.00% of those under age 18 and 7.30% of those age 65 or over.

Cities, towns, villages, and other locations

Map of Niagara County's municipalities.
=> designation in parentheses shows official political level.

Indian reservations

State parks and state lands

Educational institutions

Niagara University is located in Lewiston, New York. Niagara County Community College is located in Sanborn. Many Niagara County residents also attend Erie and other Western New York County Schools. In the Buffalo Metro area there more than 20 public and private colleges and universities in Buffalo and its environs offer programs in technical and vocational training, graduate, and professional studies.

The Buffalo Metro is home to two State University of New York (SUNY) institutions. Buffalo State College, a comprehensive college, and the University at Buffalo, the flagship university center of SUNY, are each the largest institution of its type in the system. Combined, they account for roughly 40,000 students in the area.

Other academic institutions in the Western New York area include: Alfred University, Alfred State College, Bryant & Stratton College, Canisius College, D'Youville College, Daemen College, Empire State College, Erie Community College, Genesee Community College, Hilbert College, Houghton College, Jamestown Business College, Jamestown Community College, Medaille College, Niagara County Community College also known as NCCC, Niagara University, Northtown Technical, St. Bonaventure University, SUNY College at Brockport, SUNY Fredonia, The Center for Industrial Effectiveness (TCIE) - University at Buffalo, Trocaire College, UB Continuing Dental Education, Villa Maria College.

External links

Coordinates: 43°19′N 78°47′W / 43.32, -78.79


This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Niagara County, New York. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.
Facts about Niagara County, New YorkRDF feed
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County of country United States  +
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