US Town Wants Daredevil to Pay Up
Tightrope-walker Nik Wallenda calls it 'disgusting and sad'
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 20, 2012 4:40 PM CDT
Nik Wallenda walking across Niagara Falls in June, 2012.   (AP Photo/Gary Wiepert)
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(Newser) – When daredevil Nik Wallenda walked across a wire spanning Niagara Falls, history was made. But the stunt cost tens of thousands of dollars in overtime for policeman and firemen for two towns, one in the US and one in Canada. Wallenda paid for half the bill in both towns, and Niagara Falls, Ontario, forgave its portion of the debt. But cash-strapped Niagara Falls, New York, wants its payment—all $25,000.

"It's just disgusting and sad," Wallenda told the Buffalo News. "This was a great thing for the area, all the money that it brought into the area. [They] gave me a key to the city, and now they want to ask for more money?" The US mayor sees it differently. Not collecting the fee "would be a gift of public funds," he said. "I'm not a private businessman cutting a deal here. My first responsibility is to try to collect the debt on behalf of the taxpayers."