The Council adopted a resolution, sponsored by North District Council Member Joseph Golombek, Jr., calling for the merger of the Buffalo and Fort Erie Public Bridge Authority and the Niagara Falls Bridge Commission. Currently, these groups are essentially in competition with one another because each has its own management which operates the bridge(s) under their authority independent of the other. A merger of these groups would enable strategic coordination of commuter, tourism, business, and freight traffic between the various international bridges in the Buffalo area to support regional economic development while safe-guarding the health and quality of life of those who live near these crossings.
The Council approved a resolution requesting that the City of Buffalo Division of Real Estate conduct a "landlocked vacant lot" auction for City-owned vacant lots with less than 50 feet of frontage to facilitate the sale of such land to neighboring property owners for use as yard space or to otherwise enhance their property. Under existing laws, a lot must exceed 50 feet of frontage in order for it to be built upon. While the City of Buffalo already holds public auctions for larger properties deemed "saleable," such auctions are typically held only once per year and are focused upon larger, "usable" properties. Many City-owned vacant lots are landlocked and cannot be built upon because they lack the requisite 50 feet of frontage. The Council maintains that although such lots cannot be built upon, they are usable and can add to the quality of life of neighboring residents who wish to add to add yard space to an adjacent property. Instituting this new type of auction could assist the City in returning abandoned and/or blighted properties to productive use, spur neighborhood reinvestment, return properties back to the City's tax rolls and eliminate the cost to the City of maintaining such properties.
The Council adopted a resolution, sponsored by Majority Leader and Masten District Council Member Demone A. Smith and co-sponsored by Council President and Lovejoy District Council Member Richard A. Fontana and Ellicott District Council Member Darius G. Pridgen, expressing support for the implementation of a pilot program that will allow the City of Buffalo 311 Call and Resolution Center to accept Buffalo Public School ("BPS") complaints for a trial period of eight months during the upcoming school year. The 311 Call and Resolution Center is equipped to accept BPS complaints and could quickly connect callers with appropriate BPS personnel to provide information and assistance. The Council maintains that implementation of this pilot program would serve as a major step to increasing citizens' satisfaction, as well as efficiency and transparency in the way BPS complaints are reported and addressed. At the conclusion of the pilot period, data collected will be reviewed to determine whether the volume of new calls received by 311 necessitates the hiring of an additional complaint clerk for the 2013-2014 Fiscal Year.
The Council adopted a resolution sponsored by Delaware District Council Member Michael J. LoCurto granting the North Buffalo Community Development Corp., the Hertel-North Buffalo Business Association and the West Side Business and Taxpayers Association permission to conduct the Annual Greater Buffalo Italian Heritage and Food Festival. This year's festival is being held from July 12 through July 15, 2012 between the hours of 11:00 am and 11:00 pm on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and 11:00 am to 10:00 pm on Sunday. The festival will be located on Hertel Avenue between Crestwood and Tennyson Avenues and during festival hours this area, as well as the cross streets to Hertel bounded by Colvin, Linden, Delaware, and Tacoma Avenues, will be closed to general traffic.
The Council approved a resolution, sponsored by Ellicott District Council Member Darius G. Pridgen, declaring its support for and endorsement of an application by the Urban Christian Ministries and the Greater Jefferson Avenue Business Commons to the New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal for funding through their Main Street Program. The Main Street Program funds community grants for the purpose of revitalizing urban areas and stabilizing neighborhoods to attract residents and businesses.
The Council approved two resolutions, sponsored by Niagara District Council Member David A. Rivera, declaring its support for and endorsement of applications by the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo ("CFGB") and Buffalo Neighborhood Stabilization Corporation ("BNSC") to New York State's Division of Housing and Community Renewal for grant funding under their Urban Initiative Program. The Urban Initiative Program is a community grant program created to provide financial and technical resources to urban communities for the restoration and improvement of housing, commercial areas and public/community facilities.
The Council approved a resolution, sponsored by South District Council Member Christopher P. Scanlon, giving permission to the United Irish American Association to hang an informational banner across Abbott Road to promote the Celtic Challenge, a 4-mile road race being held on August 28, 2012 to raise funds for Buffalo's annual St. Patrick's Day Parade. The banner will be installed on July 16, 2012 and will be displayed until August 31, 2012.
• The Council approved a resolution, sponsored by Delaware District Council Member Michael J. LoCurto, waiving the permit fees associated with the Parkside Community Association ("PCA") "Movies in the Meadow" series in Delaware Park. PCA will be hosting free, family-friendly screenings of popular movies outdoors in the park every Friday night in August 2012. The first screening will be held on August 3, 2012 and the last on August 31, 2012.
• The Council approved a resolution, sponsored by Delaware District Council Member Michael J. LoCurto, waiving the permit fees associated with the Parkside Community Association ("PCA") Summer Arts Program in Delaware Park. The Summer Arts Program will be held weekdays outside the Parkside Lodge from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The program will begin on July 19, 2012 and end August 17, 2012.
• The Council approved a resolution sponsored by Ellicott District Council Member Darius G. Pridgen waiving the park fees associated with the use of 524 Busti Avenue for the 22nd Annual Hispanic Health & Information Fair that was held on Saturday, June 30, 2012.
The Council approved transactions relating to the following City owned properties:
• Ellicott District
o 576 Seventh Street was sold to Mrs. Monserrate Guzman and Ms. Gladys Guzman for $3,200.
LICENSE AND PERMIT APPROVALS--Upon the recommendation of the Department of Permit & Inspection Services, the Council approved the following license and permit applications:
• Delaware District
o Used Car Dealer License
• Chase Asset Recovery Corp., located at 1261 Hertel Avenue.
• Ellicott District
o Food Store License
• Roc City Market Inc., located at 137 Maple Street.
• United Family Market, located at 568 Niagara Street aka 570 Niagara Street.
• Fillmore District
o Food Store License
• Walden Food Market, located at 352 Walden Avenue.
o Scrap Processor License
• 602 Babcock Inc., located at 602 Babcock Street
• 620 Babcock Inc., located at 620 Babcock Street
o Wholesale Junk Dealer License
• 620 Babcock Inc., located at 620 Babcock Street.
• Niagara District
o Second Hand Dealer License
• Pyramid Express, located at 365 Auburn Avenue aka 102 Hoyt Street.
o Food Store License
• Katsu Mart LLC, located at 448 Amherst Street.
• University District
o Permit to Erect a Ground Sign
• B. Bernatovicz, agent of the property located at 2915 Main Street.
• Upon the request of the City of Buffalo Office of Strategic Planning ("OSP"), the Council:
o Authorized OSP to request an amendment to a New York State Assistance Contract to add $45,000 to the original grant amount and a change order of $242,279 for additional environmental contractual services, for the 1318 Niagara Street Investigation and Cleanup Project.
o Authorized St. John Community Development Corporation Inc. to purchase 48 parcels of vacant land as part of a proposed project to construct 49 new townhomes.
o Authorized OSP to enter into an agreement with Wendel in the amount of up to $34,500 to revise and update the City's draft Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan in order to ensure its consistency with the City's new Green Code zoning scheme and various Brownfield Opportunity Area Initiatives.
o Authorized the designation of St. Luke's Mission of Mercy (Madonna of the Streets, Inc.) as developer of 18 parcels of land on Oberlin Ave., Ruhland Ave. and Sycamore St. for its Gospa Village Project. St. Luke's is proposing to construct 14 single family homes and a shared educational gathering space on the properties to house at-risk single mothers and their children.
o As Lead Agency under New York State Environmental Quality Review ("SEQR") for the Buffalo Consolidated Development Framework ("BCDF"), approved a Full Environmental Assessment Form ("EAF") and a Positive Declaration of Notice of Intent to Prepare a Draft Environmental Impact Statement ("Draft EIS") Determination of Significance. In addition, the Council Received and Filed a Draft Scoping Document for the Draft Generic EIS that will be prepared for the BCDF. The BCDF is made up of the following City planning initiatives: a Unified Development Ordinance; a Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan; revisions to Urban Renewal Areas; and planning for the South Buffalo, Buffalo River Corridor, Buffalo Harbor, and Tonawanda Street Corridor Brownfield Opportunity Areas.
• Upon the recommendation of the City of Buffalo Preservation Board, the Council:
o Authorized the designation of the Buffalo Terminal House, located at 2280 Niagara St., as a Local Landmark.
• Upon the request of the City of Buffalo Department of Public Works ("DPW"), the Council approved the following contract change orders:
o The contract with Miller Enterprises, for the J.B. Wiley Sports Complex Renovations Project, was increased by $15,600 to cover costs associated with unanticipated project delays. The contract was initially awarded in the amount of $312,000 and with this change the contract will increase to $327,600.
o The contract with Ajay Glass, for Emergency Window Replacement at Police Headquarters, was increased by $176,272 for removal and disposal of asbestos caulk at all the window openings. The contract was initially awarded in the amount of $477,800 and with this change the contract will increase to $654,072.
• Upon the request of the City of Buffalo Department of Public Works ("DPW"), the Council:
o Authorized Animal Outfitters to build a railing within the City right-of-way located at 986 Elmwood Ave that will provide an area for customers and their dogs to sit while shopping at the store.
o Authorized DPW to hire URS Corporation, based upon a previously issued Request for Quotation, to provide architectural and engineering services for modifications to the Tosh Collins Ice Rink.
• Upon the request of the City of Buffalo Department of Public Works, the Council approved the following reports of bids:
o Of the bids that were received for the LaSalle Park Project Base Data for Skate Plaza Project, Nussbaumer & Clarke was the lowest, with a bid of $7,550.
o Of the bids that were received for the Replacement of Site Specific Sidewalk Project, Valeri Concrete Construction Co., Inc. was the lowest, with a bid of $229,691.
o Of the emergency bids that were received for the Fire Engine #3 Emergency Turn-Key A/C Unit Replacement Project, Colgate Heating Corp. was the lowest, with a bid of $19,880.
o Of the emergency bids that were received for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Park Emergency Underground Electrical Service Project, Industrial Power & Lighting was the lowest, with a bid of $12,300.
o Of the emergency bids that were received for the Buffalo Zoo Rhino Barn Emergency Roof Reconstruction Project, Jameson Roofing was the lowest, with a bid of $33,112.
o Of the bids that were received for Guard Security of the City of Buffalo Pools, Executive Investigation & Security, Inc. was the lowest, with a bid of $100,396.
• The Council appointed the following individuals to positions within Common Council District Offices:
o Masten District
• Nikita Fortune was appointed to the position of Senior Legislative Assistant
• Frank Garland, III was appointed to the position of Legislative Aide
o South District
• Matthew Fisher was appointed to the position of Senior Legislative Assistant
• The Council appointed the following individual to serve as a Marriage Officer within the City of Buffalo on September 1, 2012:
o North District Council Member Joseph Golombek, Jr.
• The Council appointed the following individuals to intern positions within the Office of the City Clerk and the Masten District Council Office:
o Masten District Council Office
• Tashene Eubanks, Jr. (Intern V)
• Malika Lee (Intern V)
• Tianna Marks (Intern IX)
o Office of the City Clerk
• Robert Castro (Intern VI)
• Rachel Mumm (Intern VI)
• Mara Kline (Intern VI)
• John Wagner (Intern VI)
• Michael Hanss (Intern VI)
• Angel Castro (Intern VI)
• Ismahan Farah (Intern IX)
• The Council accepted the appointment of the following individual to the position of Senior First Class Stationary Engineer within the Department of Public Works:
o Timothy M. Keenan
For any questions, concerns, or further information regarding the above, please contact your District Council Member, the Common Council Legislative Staff Office, or the respective City Department.
To view the live streaming of Common Council meetings on a personal computing device with internet access, please insert the following address into the device web-browser:
Instant Live Stream Replays are available at:
To view replays of a Common Council Meeting please visit the City of Buffalo Government Television website at www.city-buffalo.com/Home/Government_TV.
Photos from taken from this meeting can be viewed at:
To view the final Common Council Meeting agenda and/or supporting communications, please visit the City of Buffalo website at
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
1401 City Hall
Bonnie E. Russell
1508 City Hall
Common Council Legislative Staff Office
1413 City Hall
James N. Jackson
City of Buffalo Common Council
1413 City Hall
Buffalo, NY 14202