The Seneca Nation is in the process of allocating $1,000,000 to improve amenities and infrastructure around the site of the Buffalo Creek Casino. "We are extremely pleased with this whole process, but especially with the quality and vision of the projects we funded," said Robert Odawi Porter, president of the Seneca Nation. "We set out to enhance the neighborhood around our Buffalo Creek Territory and casino, which we are doing. But at the same time, we've developed lasting friendships and collaborations with a great many people working to achieve the same goals."
The monies have being designated via a grant application process, while The Seneca Buffalo Creek Development Advisory Committee has selected fifteen of the recipients (out of the 31 that applied). The awarded monies will be varied, and range from helping out the neighboring Cotter fireboat to neighborhood facade improvements to Buffalo Bike Sharing. All in all, this money will be a big boost towards helping to activate an area that could really use some financial resources. As we have seen in the past, it is initial investments such as this that can ultimately lead to more public and private investments. The Seneca Nation is dedicating $235,121 of the $1,000,00 to neighborhood lighting and signage. Following is the breakdown of the remaining $764,879:
Edward M. Cotter Fireboat Project. $100,000. Grant is for dockside enhancements to improve public access and informational signage to create awareness and attraction to the Historic Landmark firefighting vessel Edward M. Cotter.
Old 1st Ward Community Association. $100,000. Grant will go to an improvement fund for the Buffalo Creek Community. The plan mirrors the Larkin District Community Improvement Fund and will provide assistance for four property classifications: commercial, owner-occupied, landlords and vacant lots. Established guidelines for eligibility will be strictly adhered to and used for publicly visible improvements to qualified property.
Buffalo River Rowing Center. $100,000. Grant is to complete street-side and waterfront site improvements surrounding the yet-to-be-built rowing facility. The designs will improve the safety, access and attraction value for residents and visitors.
Valley Community Association. $100,000. The grant funds a decorative railing on the perimeter of Buffalo Riverfest Park and a gateway entrance. This continues the development completed last year and enhances safety and attraction value.
Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority. $79,500. The award consists of two grants, one for $29,500 that includes landscaping, park benches, trash cans and sign banners at specific locations in the site area. The second part, for $50,000, is for development of a commercial revitalization plan for South Park Avenue and surrounding neighborhoods.
Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society. $52,000. Grant is for a Buffalo Creek Interpretative Trail along the waterfront that will tell the story of the Buffalo Creek Territory and its significance to the history of the region. Wayside signage will be located at Canalside, Riverfront Pavilion, Riverfest Park, at the Department of Environmental Conservation fishing access on Ohio and at Mutual Riverfront Park. A trail map and audio tour will augment the signage to enhance the visitors' experience and keep the content fresh.
Buffalo BicycleShare, Wellness Institute of Greater Buffalo. $24,000. Grant is for a 15-bicycle network that provides a bicycle-sharing program available to residents and tourists. It enhances mobility and provides visitors with another attraction when visiting the waterfront. The company is currently running a successful car-share program in Allentown, Hamlin Park, Elmwood Village and the West Side. The program could launch in August.
Re-Tree WNY. $20,720. Grant to fund planting of 150 trees along public thoroughfares and in the perimeter of parks and rail corridors. The goal is to create a network of tree-lined passages that form a green link radiating from the river.
Other recipients include Chef's, 291 Seneca St., $43,125 for exterior enhancements; J.H. Dodman Co., 116 Michigan Ave., $60,627, exterior upgrades in lighting and landscaping; 311 S. Park Ave., $26,500, exterior improvements in landscaping; Kellner Bros. Inc., 222 Chicago St., $15,000, create park-like exterior; Monroe Fordham Regional Waterfront Memories & More Museum, funding for equipment needed to display art works and a Seneca Nation exhibit, $23,407; Watts Architecture & Engineering, Perry Street Streetscape enhancements, $20,000, preliminary designs and scoping for streetscape improvements in Perry Street Corridor.