The Council adopted a resolution, sponsored by South District Council Member Christopher P. Scanlon, requesting that the New York State Department of Transportation ("NYSDOT") immediately conduct a Skyway plausibility review in order to evaluate the economic impact of continuing to maintain the Skyway on Buffalo's waterfront. According to the NYSDOT's "Skyway Management Study," released in 2008, the cost of preserving the Skyway for the next 20 years was projected to exceed $100 million. In addition to being aged and in need of extensive and costly repairs, the Skyway's design provides limited access and forms an aesthetically unpleasing, 1.4 mile long and 110-foot tall barrier between the City of Buffalo and its waterfront. Investments in the Outer Harbor, Canalside and other areas has begun to transform Buffalo's waterfront and the removal of the skyway, which has formed a psychological and physical barrier to waterfront development for many years, could greatly enhance waterfront redevelopment efforts. The experiences of San Francisco, Milwaukee, Seoul and other cities that have removed elevated highways in recent years demonstrate the transformative potential and economic benefits of removing Buffalo's Skyway. The Council maintains that an immediate study is needed to evaluate the economic effect of removing versus maintaining the Skyway and will be forwarding a copy of their resolution to NYSDOT Commissioner Joan McDonald.
The Council adopted a resolution, sponsored by Delaware District Council Member Michael J. LoCurto, Niagara District Council Member David A. Rivera, Ellicott District Council Member Darius G. Pridgen and Fillmore District Council Member David A. Franczyk, condemning an Anti-Homosexuality Bill that has been introduced in the Uganda Parliament and calling upon U.S. Representative Brian Higgins, as a member of the Congressional Foreign Affairs Committee, to hold hearings on the potential for human rights violations in Uganda should this bill be passed. The "Anti-Homosexuality Bill of 2009," which is often referred to as "The Kill the Gays Bill," would strengthen laws that criminalize homosexual activity in Uganda and authorize the use of capital punishment for those deemed to be serial offenders that are suspected of "aggravated homosexuality" and are HIV-positive, or who are found to have engaged in sexual acts with those under 18 years of age. Passage of this draconian bill would pose an exceptional human rights threat to the estimated 500,000 gays and lesbians that currently live in Uganda and create the risk of legally sanctioned genocide. The Common Council is committed to doing everything in its power oppose passage of this legislation, which would essentially legalizes the killing, torture, and unjust incarceration of homosexuals in Uganda, and will be forwarding a copy of their resolution opposing Uganda's "Anti-Homosexuality Bill of 2009" to our local representatives in the U.S. Congress and Senate.
WAIVER OF FEES
• The Council approved a resolution, sponsored by Council President and Lovejoy District Council Member Richard A. Fontana, requesting the waiver of any and all fees associated with the construction of the handicap access ramp at St. Bernard's Church located at 1990 Clinton Street.
• The Council approved a resolution, sponsored by Council President and Lovejoy District Council Member Richard A. Fontana, requesting the waiver of any and all room rental fees for use of the Machnica Community Center by the Weiss Street Block Club for the year 2013.
• The Council approved a resolution, sponsored by Council President and Lovejoy District Council Member Richard A. Fontana, requesting the waiver of any and all application fees associated with the 2012-2013 Lovejoy New Year's Eve Ball Drop, a free special event.
• The Council approved a resolution, sponsored by Delaware District Council Member Michael J. LoCurto, waiving any City permit fees associated with scheduled games and use of outdoor rinks at the Parkside Lodge for Buffalo Pond Hockey from December 20, 2012 until such times as weather conditions are no longer suitable for ice-hockey.
SALE OF CITY OWNED PROPERTY--The Council approved transactions relating to the following City owned properties:
• North District
o 146 Bradley Street was sold to Buffalo West Side Properties, LLC for $2,100.
o 607 Grant Street was sold to Buffalo West Side Properties, LLC for $9,700.
• The Council appointed the following individual to the position of Senior Legislative Assistant within the Niagara District Council Office:
o Sean Mulligan
• The Council approved the appointment of the following individual to a positions within the City of Buffalo Department of Public Works:
o Caulker Supervisor I
• Patrick McManus
LICENSE AND PERMIT APPROVALS--Upon the recommendation of the Department of Permit & Inspection Services, the Council approved the following license and permit applications:
• Ellicott District
o Permit for a Pole Sign
• R. Franks, agent for the property located at 1209 Delaware Avenue.
• Lovejoy District
o Second Hand Dealer License
• Clinton Used Appliances, located at 1946 Clinton Street.
• Niagara District
o Food Store License
• Krishna Market Inc., located at 384 Connecticut Street.
• Zip's Deli, located at 896 Niagara Street.
• North District
o Food Store License
• Dollar Tree Stores Inc., located at 2101 Elmwood Avenue.
• 7-Eleven Inc., located at 584 Ontario Street.
The Council denied the following license application:
• Chicken License
o G. Sanchez, owner of the property located at 330 Vermont Street.
CLAIMS, CONTRACTS, CHANGE ORDERS & AGREEMENTS
• Upon the request of the City of Buffalo Office of Strategic Planning ("OSP"), the Council:
o Approved a sub-recipient agreement between the City of Buffalo and the City of Buffalo Urban Renewal Agency ("BURA") for BURA to administer and manage federal HOME funds that are allocated to the City. Pursuant to the contract, the City will provide up to $722,856 in HOME funds to cover BURA's administrative costs for the period ending April 30, 2013.
o Approved the designation of the Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority ("BMHA") as the developer of 24 City-owned properties and 10 properties owned by Buffalo Neighborhood Revitalization Corporation ("BNRC") for the AD Price Phase III Project.
o Approved the designation of the Buffalo Neighborhood Stabilization Company Inc. ("BNSC") as the developer of City-owned properties located at 269 & 271 Hampshire Street; 264 Massachusetts Avenue; 359, 369, 371 & 384 Normal Avenue; 248 Vermont Street; and 12, 16 & 20 Sherwood Street for construction and management of the Mass Ave Community Homes.
o Authorized the City of Buffalo to apply for and accept $3 million in City-by-City grant funds from Empire State Development Corporation to fund the Buffalo Urban Development Corporation's Buffalo Building Reuse Project Revolving Loan Program, which will provide gap funding to support and encourage adaptive re-use of vacant and underutilized buildings and spaces in downtown Buffalo.
• Upon the request of the City of Buffalo Department of Assessment & Taxation, the Council:
o Approved a Certificate of Adjusted Base Proportions and a Certificate of Base Percentages, Current Percentages and Current Base Proportions for City's 2012 Assessment Roll. Approval of these certificates is required under New York State Real Property Tax Law in order to determine the amount of the tax levy to be collected from each class of property within the City.
• Upon the request of the City of Buffalo Department of Fire, the Council:
o Authorized the purchase of five "24/7" command vehicles for the Fire Department. These vehicles will replace older equipment being used by the Department's four Battalion Chiefs and one Division Chief that has outlived their usefulness and will be sold as scrap or at auction. None of the vehicles being purchased will be assigned for take home use.
o Authorized the purchase of one Technical Search and Rescue Vehicle for the Fire Department. This vehicle will replace the current search and rescue vehicle, which is over 20 years old and will be sold as scrap or at auction.
o Authorized the Fire Department to take a 2004 Chevrolet Pickup Truck into its vehicle inventory fleet. This vehicle was previously being used by the Water Department and will replace an out-of-service Fire Department vehicle that will be sold as scrap.
• Upon the request of the City of Buffalo Department of Parking, the Council:
o Authorized the Department of Parking to contract with AllPro Parking for lease of four surface parking lots known as the Skyway Loop Lot, Skyway Lot #3, Aud Lot #1 and Aud Lot #2. AllPro was the highest bidder for each of the four lots and will pay the City a total of $377,338 in lease payments annually for each year of the three year lease, which will begin on January 1, 2013.
• Upon the request of the City of Buffalo Department of Human Resources ("HR"), the Council:
o Authorized HR to enter into a contract with EB Jacobs, LLC to develop a written exam, physical ability test and structured oral interview for City Firefighter candidates. This contract will remain in existence through the live of the eligible candidate list that is developed.
• Upon the request of the City of Buffalo Department of Public Works ("DPW"), the Council:
o Authorized the Parkside Community Association to install 10 "Little Library" stations within the City right-of-way at various locations in the Parkside area. These stations will hold and protect donated books which will be lent free-of-charge to the public. Adjacent property owners have expressed their support for the project in writing.
The Parkside Community Association is proud to present our Little Library Initiative, coming to a block near you. Based on similar successful examples springing up from Seattle to Savannah these small, free libraries will be located on the public right of way at 10 locations throughout Parkside (see map below). Each Station Will be constructed as it's own small structure, standing on a 4x4 post, resistant to the weather and accessible to all. There will be no registration required, no forms to complete, and no late fees charged. Rather, the program is premised on the simple idea that great books are worth sharing. While these libraries are not reserved for members of the PCA or local residents only, we are locating them with an eye towards pedestrian traffic, off the major throughfares of Parkside Avenue and Main Street.
The PCA has already received a number of generous donations of books, from members, Talking Leaves Bookstore, and from as far away as Orchard Park. Each Station will be maintained by their local block clubs or interested volunteers, who will routinely check to see if more books are needed. The PCA in turn will maintain an inventory available to each block club looking for more material. As such, donations of gently used books will always be welcomed.
Parkside is a special place, full of residents that take great pride in our history and architectural beauty. This initiative is just one more way to create a stronger sense of community and neighborhood identity, to make a public statement that this is an area prized and cared for, and to encourage a love of good literature. -Parkside Community Association
• 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 Jonnie B. Wiley Sports Complex Renovations Project was increased by $1,754 for additional work necessary to complete gas pipe relocation and improvements to concrete floors. The contract was initially awarded in the amount of $312,000 and with this and prior changes the contract will increase to $342,448.
o The contract with Miller Enterprises for the LaSalle Park Concession Building Improvements Project was increased by $5,058 for additional work required to stabilize the roof and brick and install new locks. The contract was initially awarded in the amount of $28,700 and with this change the contract will increase to $36,458.
• 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 Rehabilitation of the Number 4 Pump and Motor at the Massachusetts Pump Station Project, John W. Danforth Company was the lowest, with a bid of $1,007,850.
o Of the bids that were received for Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus - Phase 2, Ellicott Gateway Project, CATCO (aka Concrete Applied Technologies, Corp.) was the lowest, with a bid of $2,964,444.
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.
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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
Christopher P. Scanlon
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