MEETING SUMMARY for SEPTEMBER 20, 2011:
Meeting highlights include: request for info on covering Route 33, resolution adopted allowing police to remove and impound offensive car stereo systems, permits granted for outdoor patios for Essex Pub and Black Rock Kitchen and Bar, feasibility study to restore the aquatic habitat to the Scajaquada Creek Watershed, Delaware Park Lake Pump Rehabilitation and Shoreline Improvement Project, permit for to expand an existing restaurant (M. Concialdi, agent of the property located at 561 Delaware Avenue), permit to erect 2-storey addition to the rear of a 2-storey bar/restaurant (J. Marciniak, agent of the property located at 256 Allen Street), agreement for adaptive reuse of 428 Jersey Street (White's Livery), Buffalo River Historic District Park ($874,360 in funding for the Advancing Redevelopment of Buffalo's Waterfront Project), $323,550 in funding for the Riverwalk Revitalization Phase 1 Project (Niagara River Riverwalk).
The Council adopted a resolution sponsored by Ellicott District Council Member Darius G. Pridgen requesting that the New York State Department of Transportation ("NYSDOT") notify the Common Council of the current progress made towards studying and/or planning related to the potential covering of Route 33 and the current status of the funds allocated and spent thus far for the project. On September 1, 2009, the Council adopted a resolution sponsored by Masten District Council Member Demone A. Smith supporting collaborative efforts between the Greater Buffalo Niagara Regional Transportation Council ("GBNRTC"), NYSDOT and other community stakeholder groups to advance the proposed project of covering Route 33 in the City of Buffalo. Covering the "bathtub" section of Route 33 would allow for the reunification of a once thriving area of the City that was artificially divided by a highway, and would likely spur new investment and positive transformation to the East Side of the City. The Ellicott District Common Council Office has received numerous inquiries from constituents and stakeholders regarding the likelihood of Route 33 being covered as well as the status of funding for this project. Many of the inquiries have specifically focused on the status of millions of dollars that were supposedly allocated by NYSDOT to conduct a study of the feasibility of covering a portion of Route 33. Constituents are frustrated by the lack of transparency exhibited by NYSDOT and have expressed concern that funds which were set aside for this project are not being used to provide the fullest benefit to their community. There is also concern within the community that local people will be left out of the decision making process and economic opportunities involved with the project. The Council maintains that greater communication between New York State, the City and the community in regards to this proposed project would greatly benefit the project and those affected by it.
The Council adopted a resolution requesting that the New York State ("NYS") Legislature amend NYS Labor Law Section 904 to exempt the contractors of the City of Buffalo from payment of asbestos project notification fees for demolitions. Although Buffalo is in the midst of a vacant property crisis and spends millions of dollars each year to fund demolition work, the City continues to struggle to keep pace with this problem due to the large number of buildings that need to be taken down and the high cost of demolition work. Pursuant to Section 904(2) of the NYS Labor Law, any contractor engaged in an asbestos project involving more than 260 linear feet or 160 square feet of asbestos or asbestos materials is required to notify both the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the Commissioner of the NYS Department of Labor in writing 10 days prior to the beginning of the project or, in case of an emergency, as soon as practical after identification of the project. When submitting this asbestos project notification, asbestos contractors are required to pay a fee to New York State. The fee is based upon the size of the project and ranges from a $200 fee up to a $2,000 fee. Although the asbestos project notification fee is paid by the contractor directly these costs are passed along to the City of Buffalo and its taxpayers. The City or its asbestos contractors are responsible for performing and testing all removal work, making it unclear what costs NYS is incurring which necessitates a collection of the asbestos project notification fees. The Council maintains that if the NYS Legislature were to waive asbestos project notification fees for those contractors who are hired by the City of Buffalo to perform demolition work, the City could much more effectively use the scarce funding at its disposal to combat its vacant property crisis and greatly increase the number of properties that it is able to demolish each year.
The Council adopted a resolution sponsored by Fillmore District Council Member David A. Franczyk directing the City of Buffalo Department of Law to draft an ordinance amendment that enables the Buffalo Police Department to seize, remove and impound stereo systems in vehicles which are used in violation of the noise ordinance of the City Charter. Large "boom-car" stereo systems blaring extremely loud music have plagued City of Buffalo neighborhoods for years. The exceedingly loud noise radiating from these stereo systems greatly disturbs people at all hours of the day and night. The bass-heavy noise produced is a threat to public health and has been connected to adverse medical consequences on those exposed to this audio pollution, including hearing loss, lack of sleep, high blood pressure, anxiety, depression and other consequences. The Council maintains that even though the use of boom stereos is illegal and the Council has increased fines for noise violations; more must be done to control the issue and preserve the quality of life in City neighborhoods.
The Council adopted a resolution sponsored by South District Council Member Michael P. Kearns approving the request of the registrar of the Veterans Administration of Western New York Health Care System ("VA WNY") and the registrar of Vital Statistics of the City of Buffalo, to consolidate the vital statistic records maintained by both parties. In accordance with New York State Public Health Law Section 4120, the City of Buffalo is a primary registration district for maintaining vital statistic records and certificates and is designated as Reporting District #1401. Currently, the VA WNY is maintaining vital statistic records and certificates for deceased individuals as Reporting District #1498. The Council maintains that the consolidation of Reporting Districts #1401 and #1498 will facilitate the safe keeping of records in one centrally located and easily accessible location, thereby avoiding the current need to determine which of multiple locations can provide a needed vital statistic record or certificate.
The Council approved a resolution sponsored by Delaware District Council Member Michael J. LoCurto naming the first new primary street that will be located in the Colvin Estates Subdivision, Rachel Vincent Way. The Colvin Estates subdivision project is currently under construction and will be located off of Colvin Avenue between Taunton Place and St. Lawrence Avenue in the Delaware District. Rachel Gordon passed away in March of 2006. She was a registered nurse for 57 years and became one of the first Hospice volunteer nurses in the City of Buffalo when Hospice was founded in the mid 1970's. She received many awards and accolades for her selfless and tireless work caring for the sick and dying, including Hospice's Longtime Volunteer Award in 1993. Vincent LaDuca passed away in October 2007. He was born in Buffalo but left to join the Navy at the age of 18 and bravely served in the South Pacific until the end of the war. Vincent proceeded to become a teacher in the Buffalo Public School System and taught at Seneca Vocational for over 40 years. He was beloved and respected by his colleagues and students, and received the Teacher of the Year Award several times. When he passed he was honored with a full military funeral. Rachel and Vincent are two citizens that have given so much of themselves to help others and to better their communities. The Council maintains that both individuals are deserving of the honor of having a street in Buffalo named after them.
The Council adopted a resolution sponsored by South District Council Member Michael P. Kearns proposing to name the new athletic field at Mulroy Park, "Pierce Field at Mulroy Park." The Buffalo Legacy Corporation ("BLC"), a community-based organization established in 2008, has been working on designing a modern, multi-purpose athletic field in South Buffalo. BLC recently received a $200,000 grant, from the Buffalo Bills as part of the National Football League Grassroots Program, to install a new synthetic turf field at Mulroy Park. BLC has developed plans for the facility which will be an integral part of the rebirth of the South Park Tifft Street area of South Buffalo. Aaron Pierce and the Pierce family have been instrumental in raising the matching funds necessary to make the new field a reality. The Council maintains that to recognize the extraordinary commitment and leadership of Aaron Pierce and the Pierce family in making the project a reality, the new athletic field at Mulroy Park should be named in their honor as the "Pierce Field at Mulroy Park."
The Council approved Local Law Introductory Number 4 sponsored by South District Council Member Michael P. Kearns amending Section 18-2 of the Charter of the City of Buffalo in relation to all City of Buffalo appointed boards, commissions, committees, councils, and other like bodies. The law mandates that each board serving under the City Charter must hold its meetings in Common Council Chambers or in Room 1417 of City Hall. The law also mandates that all meetings must be recorded by the City of Buffalo Office of Telecommunications, streamed via live online video, and broadcast on the Cable Access Television ("CATV") channel and on the City's website as soon as practical.
The Council approved a resolution sponsored by South District Council Member Michael P. Kearns requesting of the City of Buffalo Departments of Public Works, Permit and Inspection Services, Law and all other involved City Departments, that they waive all fees associated with the Cazenovia Resource Center's use of a Band Shell for a remembrance ceremony for the tenth anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The Cazenovia Resource Center used the Band Shell at Cazenovia Park near the Casino on Sunday, September 11, 2011. The event was sponsored by the Cazenovia Resource Center, members of local block clubs, and the South District Common Council Office and featured a candlelight vigil and a brass band playing patriotic music. The Council maintains that waiving the $400 fee for use of the band shell will enable the Cazenovia Resource Center to use their limited funding towards additional community projects.
The Council adopted a resolution sponsored by Fillmore District Council Member David A. Franczyk granting permission to Visit Buffalo Niagara to hang 28 banners on the light poles in and around Niagara Square. The banners will advertise the upcoming National Trust for Historic Preservation Conference that is being held October 19, 2011 through October 22, 2011 in Buffalo and will be displayed from October 1, 2011 through October 31, 2011.
The Council adopted a resolution sponsored by Ellicott District Council Member Darius G. Pridgen granting permission to The Erie County Coalition Against Family Violence to hang banners on light poles along Delaware Avenue from Bryant Street to Niagara Square. The banners will celebrate the "Shine the Light on Domestic Violence" Campaign and will be displayed from October 19, 2011 through October 23, 2011.
License and Permit Approvals--Upon the recommendation of the Department Permit & Inspection Services, the Council approved the following license and permit applications:
Restaurant Dance License:
Adam's Mark located at 120 Church Street
Ohm Ultra Lounge located at 946 Main Street
Permit for to Expand an Existing Restaurant
M. Concialdi, agent of the property located at 561 Delaware Avenue - Corner of Allen
Permit to Erect 2 Story Addition to the Rear of a 2 Story Bar/Restaurant
J. Marciniak, agent of the property located at 256 Allen Street - Corner of Allen and Wadsworth
Food Store License
Dollar General located at 1055 Genesee Street
Permit for an Outdoor Patio on Sidewalk in Front of Bar
J. Moberly, owner of the property located at 530 Rhode Island Street
Permit for an Outdoor Patio
M. Goldman, agent of the property located at 491 Amherst Street
Permit for a Gas Station
J. Marciniak, agent of the property located at 333 Amherst Street
Food Store License
South Buffalo Food Corporation located at 516 Abbott Road
Used Car Dealer License
Root's Collision Service located at 426 Abbott Road
Permit to Erect Double Sided Sign
W. Thygesen, agent of the property located at 396 Kenmore Avenue
Permit to Erect Double Sided Billboard Sign
R. Harper, agent of the property located at 396 Kenmore Avenue
The Council approved the following contract change orders submitted by the City of Buffalo Department of Public Works ("DPW"):
The contract with Union Concrete & Construction Corp. for the Seneca Street Bridge Emergency Repair Project was increased by $7,499 for additional costs related to removing and replacing the existing concrete. The contract was initially awarded in the amount of $39,800 and with this change the contract will increase to $47,299.
Upon the request of the City of Buffalo Office of Strategic Planning ("OSP"), the Council:
Authorized a contract between the City of Buffalo and Urban Strategies, Inc. to undertake the Step 2 Brownfield Opportunity Area ("BOA") Project. The New York State Department of State awarded the City three BOA grants. After publically advertising for, receiving, and reviewing proposals to undertake the project, Urban Strategies, Inc. was recommended as the best firm. The contract will be for the amount of $567,341.
Authorized a PILOT agreement between the City of Buffalo, County of Erie, White's Livery Housing Development Fund Company, Inc. ("HDFC") and West Side Neighborhood Housing Services, Inc. ("WSNHS") for an adaptive reuse of 428 Jersey Street. The purpose of this project is to create 14 units of much needed affordable housing for very low and low income households. The PILOT agreement will be for a term of 15 years and is subject to various terms and conditions.
Authorized a contract between the City of Buffalo and the New York State Department of State ("NYSDOS") Environmental Protection Fund ("EPF") Local Waterfront Revitalization Program to accept and administer $874,360 in funding for the Advancing Redevelopment of Buffalo's Waterfront Project. The City, in collaboration with the Valley Community Association and the Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper, will advance construction of the Buffalo River Historic District Park, prepare a feasibility report for a community boating facility, and finalize the City of Buffalo Local Waterfront Revitalization Program. The contract will expire on April 30, 2012 and is subject to various terms and conditions.
Authorized a contract between the City of Buffalo and the New York State Department of State ("NYSDOS") Environmental Protection Fund ("EPF") Local Waterfront Revitalization Program to accept and administer $323,550 in funding for the Riverwalk Revitalization Phase 1 Project. The City, in partnership with the Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper, will administer a multi-component project directed at revitalizing the Niagara River Riverwalk. The contract is subject to various terms and conditions.
Upon the request of the City of Buffalo Department of Fire, the Council:
Authorized the Department of Fire to purchase one aerial ladder/truck for the amount of $987,655.
Upon the request of the City of Buffalo Department of Management Information Systems ("MIS"), the Council:
Authorized MIS to sell a computer to Ms. Jeanette Ruperti for the sum of $35. The computer is outdated and is no longer of use to the City of Buffalo.
Upon the request of the City of Buffalo Department of Public Works ("DPW"), the Council:
Authorized a lease agreement between the City of Buffalo and JP Morgan Chase Bank for recycling carts at a cost of $2.8 million, with an estimated cost of $60,000 for a four year lease term. At the end of the lease term, the City of Buffalo will inherit full ownership of the recycling carts. The program will increase recycling rates and create a more effective bi-weekly collection method for recyclable goods. The lease is subject to various terms and conditions.
Authorized DPW to enter into an agreement with the Army Corps of Engineers for the technical, planning, and engineering assistance needed to develop a feasibility study to restore the aquatic habitat to the Scajaquada Creek Watershed, including Delaware Park Lake. The agreement enables DPW to administer the project and receive all designated Federal funding as authorized in the agreement.
Authorized DPW to accept a 1998 GMC Suburban Van from the Police Athletic League of Buffalo, Inc. ("PAL") for use in the City of Buffalo Division of Parks and Recreation. The van is being donated to DPW in an "as is" condition and no money, goods, or services were rendered by PAL or the City in exchange for this donation.
Authorized DPW to purchase swings and playground equipment, currently located in front of 370 Massachusetts Avenue, from the Boys & Girls Clubs of Buffalo for the amount of $1. The equipment is being sold to the City of Buffalo in an "as in" condition with the condition that the City will remove and then fill, grade, and seed the Boys & Girls Club property to its original state. The equipment will be refurbished and reinstalled as part of the Massachusetts Avenue Park Project - Phase 1.
Authorized the Mayor to enter into a contract with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation ("NYSDEC") for the Delaware Park Lake Pump Rehabilitation and Shoreline Improvement Project. The Ocean and Great Lakes Conservation Council, which was established by the NYS Environmental Conservation Law, has determined that Hoyt Lake presents the most critical water quality impairment needing to be addressed with the funds allocated for the Niagara River Watershed Demonstration Project. The contract will expire on December 31, 2012 and is subject to various terms and conditions.
Upon the request of the City of Buffalo Department of Public Works, the Council approved the following reports of bids:
The City Court Basement Detention Area - Plumbing Project. Of the bids that were received, Jim Ando Plumbing, Inc. was the lowest with a bid of $341,780.
Sale of City Owned Property--The Council approved the sale of the following City owned properties:
247 Orange Street was sold to FCA Development LLC for $1,600
The northerly portion of 260 Herman Street was sold to Mrs. Lavern Horton for $550
104 Baynes Street was sold to Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Cassaro for $3,700
65 Oakmont Street was sold to Mr. Henry Schweickert for $8,500
The Council confirmed the appointment of the following individual to the position of Commissioner of the Department of Human
Patricia P. Folts
The Council approved the appointment of the following individuals to positions within various City of Buffalo Departments at a step above the base salary:
Department of Public Works
Account Clerk Typist
Department of Permit and Inspection Services
Assistant Director of Housing & Property Inspections
Department of Administration, Finance, Policy & Urban Affairs
The Council accepted the appointment of the following individuals to positions within various City of Buffalo Departments at the base salary:
Department of Public Works
Senior First Class Stationary Engineer
Community Recreation Aide
Department of Law
Assistant Corporation Counsel
Department of Assessment and Taxation
Account Clerk Typist
Laborer II - Seasonal
Photo: Common Council President David A. Franczyk (left) administers oath of an office to the Patrica P. Folts after the Council unanimously approved her appointment as City of Buffalo Human Resources Commissioner.
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BUFFALO COMMON COUNCIL
David A. Franczyk
1315 City Hall
David A. Rivera
President Pro Tempore
1504 City Hall
Richard A. Fontana
1414 City Hall
Michael J. LoCurto
1405 City Hall
Darius G. Pridgen
1408 City Hall
Demone A. Smith
1316-A City Hall
Joseph Golombek, Jr.
1502 City Hall
Michael P. Kearns
1401 City Hall
Bonnie E. Russell
1508 City Hall
Common Council Legislative Staff Office
1413 City Hall
Senior Legislative Assistant
City of Buffalo
Common Council Staff
1413 City Hall
Buffalo, NY 14202