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Common Council Items of Interest

For those of you who can’t make it to the weekly Common Council
meeting, following is the edited briefing. We included the topics that
relate to larger segments of the community. From this week’s meeting as
provided by the council, here is the summary:

The Council adopted a resolution sponsored by Council Members Joseph Golombek, Jr. and Michael Kearns calling for an amendment to the New York State Education Law that would allow the Buffalo School Board elections to coincide with the general elections held in November. Holding separate Buffalo School Board elections costs in excess of $150,000 each year and in the most recent election held on May 4, 2010, only four percent of eligible voters cast a ballot. The Council maintains that having the Buffalo School Board elections coincide with the general elections in November would be more cost effective, facilitate wider public participation, and would make candidates more accountable to a larger voting population.

The Council adopted a resolution sponsored by South District Council Member Michael Kearns asking President Barack Obama to consider the creation of local offices for the White House Office of Urban Affairs, with a pilot office to be established in the City of Buffalo. The White House Office of Urban Affairs is responsible for developing an urban policy agenda, coordinating all aspects of urban policy, ensuring that federal funding for urban areas is effectively spent on the most high-impact programs, and reaching out to state and local officials to solicit input on urban policy. The Council maintains that, during these difficult economic times, it is essential for the  Office of Urban Affairs to establish a federal presence locally and pursue an aggressive approach to solving problems in struggling urban areas like the City of Buffalo.

The Council adopted a resolution sponsored by Masten District Council Member Demone Smith supporting New York State Assembly Bill #A10916 and New York State Senate Bill #S7664 authorizing a change  in the purpose for which certain bonds were issued by the City of Buffalo.  The legislation will be effective immediately upon enactment and will enable the City of Buffalo Comptroller and the Buffalo Board of Education to re-designate the purpose of the bonds for approximately $598,000 in site improvements and a parking facility expansion in the area adjacent to All High Stadium.

The Council adopted a resolution sponsored by Ellicott District Council Member Curtis Haynes, Jr. giving permission to the Martin Group, LLC to hang a banner on the light pole located in front of 160 Delaware Avenue. The permanent banner will announce the presence of the organization in the new location.

Upon the recommendation of its Legislation Committee and the Department of Economic Development, Permit & Inspection Services, the Council approved the following license and permit applications: Ellicott District – Restaurant Dance License Adam’s Mark Buffalo Niagara located at 120 Church Street.

The Council approved the following contract change orders submitted by the City of
Buffalo Department of Public Works (“DPW”): The contract with Erdman-Anthony Associates for the Main Street Reconstruction Project was increased by $498,000 to convert the entire signal system along Main Street, from Bailey Avenue to Humboldt Parkway, to City of Buffalo Standards. The City cost for this project will be $24,900 with the remainder to be funded by the NYSDOT.

Upon the request of the City of Buffalo Office of the Mayor, the Council: Authorized a revised amendatory agreement with the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy in regards to the Conservancy’s living wage exemption.

Authorized the contract with Camiros Ltd. for the development of citywide land use plans and a new zoning code for the City of Buffalo. Camiros is an urban planning firm that provides a full range of services in the areas of planning, zoning, economic development, and landscape architecture. The development of the land use and zoning plans will take approximately 30 to 34 months. The total budget for this work is $2.1 million.

Upon the request of the City of Buffalo Office of Strategic Planning, the Council: Authorized a PILOT Agreement between the City of Buffalo, Erie County, and Holy Family Housing Development Fund Company, Inc., for the Holy Family Senior Housing Development Project. The project will consist of one building that will include 35 units of affordable rental housing for individuals 55 years of age and older with low and moderate incomes. The project, located at 920 Tifft St. in the South District, will consist of 30 one-bedroom apartments and 5 two-bedroom apartments.

Authorized a PILOT Agreement between the City of Buffalo, Erie County, and St. Martin Village Housing Development Fund Company, Inc., and St. Martin Village, LP, for the St. Martin Village Project. The project will consist of 60 units of housing and a small community service facility that will be located at 564 Dodge Street. The project will include 24 two-bedroom units, 24 three-bedroom townhouses, 12 four-bedroom townhouses, and a community building.

Upon the request of the City of Buffalo Department of Public Works, the Council: Authorized the issuance of a mere license for the installation of a removable wind break enclosure and extension of an existing awning within a city right-of-way at 484 Elmwood Avenue. The proposed awning and the wind break enclosure would extend over an existing sidewalk café and, due to their design, would only be utilized during winter months.

Authorized the extension of time on the contract with Mark Cerrone, Inc. for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Park Humboldt Basin Concrete Demolition Project. The general construction work on the project was to be completed by February 20, 2010. However, due to unforseen delays in the start of construction, the contractor was unable to complete certain portions of the project. The contract completion date was extended by 153 days.

Authorized a month-to-month contract extension, effective June 1, 2010, with Allied Waste Services of North America, LLC for the collection of recyclable materials for $147,347 and the processing of recyclable materials for $10 per ton. This action will give the city more time to review responses to Requests for Proposals for long-term collection and processing of recyclables.

Authorized the hiring of a consultant to prepare plans and specifications and provide construction oversight for electrical upgrades at the Buffalo & Erie County Historical Society.

Authorized the hiring of a consultant to prepare plans and specification and provide construction assistance for the third phase of the City Hall Façade Restoration Project.

Photo Caption- Amendatory agreement reached with the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy.
(L-R- Council Members-Bonnie Russell, Richard Fontana and upper right corner from Olmsted Parks Conservancy- Thomas Herrera-Mishler and Anne Harding Joyce.)

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