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Common Council Items of Interest:

MEETING SUMMARY for SEPTEMBER 6, 2011 – 

-Look for news on revitalizing 500 Block of Main Street, sublease agreement for Naval Museum Bistro and Mark Goldman Appointed to City of Buffalo Citizens Planning Council.

Revitalization of the 500 Block of Main Street – The Council adopted a resolution sponsored by Ellicott District Council Member Darius G. Pridgen supporting the revitalization of the 500 block of Main Street. Due to years of neglect, the 500 block of Main Street has had an adverse effect on the commercial development of downtown Buffalo. Businesses located within the 500 block of Main Street desire to grow but because of vacant buildings and structures in disrepair, the area is not considered a business-friendly environment. Many responsible and active building owners have complained of absentee owners who fail to take care and maintain their properties. The Council is committed to growing Main Street and having it become a showplace of thriving businesses and entertainment venues. The Council, in an effort to revitalize this significant area of downtown Buffalo, intends to hold all building owners that have property in the 500 block of Main Street accountable.
 
Changing the Name of the Friends of the Elderly Youth and Family Center – The Council adopted a resolution sponsored by Council Members Demone A. Smith and Darius G. Pridgen changing the name of the Friends of the Elderly Youth and Family Center to the Dorothy J. Collier Community Center. The Friends of the Elderly Youth and Family Center first operated on Jefferson Avenue and then moved to 118 East Utica Street in the 1990’s and was led for many years by Executive Director Dorothy J. Collier. Ms. Collier moved to Buffalo in the late 1960’s and worked for several community groups as a staffer and volunteer before founding her own organization, first known as Friends of the Elderly. The Friends of the Elderly is an institution in the City of Buffalo, a site of numerous community related events and home to a number of community based organizations. A number of community groups and residents have expressed their support to change the name of Friends of the Elderly Youth and Family Center to the Dorothy J. Collier Community Center in honor of Ms. Collier’s many years of service and dedication to youth, seniors, and her community.
 
Waiver of Fees
The Council approved a resolution sponsored by North District Council Member Joseph Golombek, Jr. requesting of the City of Buffalo Department of Public Works, that they waive any street closing fees required of the USA National Masters Championship Fleet Feet 15K Run Into Buffalo that was held on September 5, 2011. The annual Fleet Feet 15K Run, which attracted more than 600 runners, started and finished at the Erie Canal Harbor, taking runners through Downtown Buffalo, Delaware Avenue and the Olmsted Parkways. Proceeds from the race will support Shoes on Students (“SOS”), an organization which provides running shoes for local high school athletes. The Council maintains that waiving any street closing fees associated with the Fleet Feet 15K Run supports and encourages the commitment Fleet Feet has shown to the community and the local student runners of the City of Buffalo.
The Council adopted a resolution sponsored by Lovejoy District Council Member Richard A. Fontana requesting of the City of Buffalo Department of Permit and Inspection Services, that they waive all construction permit and contractor license fees required of the Habitat for Humanity for the years 2011 and 2012. Habitat for Humanity has an excellent reputation as an organization that provides decent and affordable housing in the City of Buffalo. The Habitat for Humanity volunteer work force rehabilitates older homes and builds new ones to strengthen the City of Buffalo by increasing home ownership and creating additional tax revenue. So far in 2011, Habitat for Humanity has completed four rehabilitation projects with many more in progress and scheduled to be completed in 2012. The Council maintains that waiving the fees for Habitat for Humanity will reduce the organization’s building costs and free up construction dollars that can be used to complete additional projects.
The Council approved a resolution sponsored by South District Council Member Michael P. Kearns requesting of the City of Buffalo Department of Public Works and any other relevant City department, that they waive any and all fees associated with use of the Onondaga Park required by the Seneca Street Car Show Association for its live music events. The Seneca Street Car Show Association is a valued member of the South Buffalo community that frequently assists with maintenance and beautification of the Seneca Street neighborhood, including the Onondaga Park. The association also requested and received permission to use Onondaga Park on Fridays during the month of September 2011 between the hours of 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. in order to provide small-scale, free and live music and theatrical performances for local residents. These free events will bring positive attention to Onondaga Park as a community asset, help area residents reclaim the park from criminal elements, and promote a sense of neighborhood pride.  The Council maintains that because the Seneca Street Car Show Association is a volunteer-based community group with limited financial resources, the City of Buffalo should support this initiative by waiving any and all fees associated with the use of Onondaga Park.
 
Banners to be Hung in the City of Buffalo
The Council adopted a resolution sponsored by Fillmore District Council Member David A. Franczyk granting permission to The New Phoenix Theatre to hang six banners banner on lamp posts located within Johnson Park. The banners will celebrate the theatre’s 15th anniversary and will be displayed from the beginning of September 2011 through the beginning of November 2011.
 
Trailblazing Signs
The Council approved the following Trailblazing Sign to be placed in the City of Buffalo:
Masten District – The intersection of Woodlawn and Waverly Streets in honor of Reverend Dr. Reginald L. Daymon
 
Sale of City Owned Property
The Council approved the sale of the following City owned properties:
Niagara District
234 Albany Street sold to Catholic Charities of Buffalo, New York for $5,500
330 Connecticut Street was sold to Ms. Nancy Gabriel for $2,700
363 Fourteenth Street was sold to Westside Ministries, Inc. for $3,800
Fillmore District
102 and 104 Miller Street were sold to Mr. Jermell Motley for $3,200
20, 35, 37, and 41 Vandalia Street were sold to Mr. Gerhardt Yaskow for $4,700
Masten District
The sale of 74 Richlawn Avenue to Ms. Avionne Akanbi was rescinded and the deposit returned
License and Permit Approvals
Upon the recommendation of the Department Permit & Inspection Services, the Council approved the following license and permit applications:
Delaware District
Used Car Dealer License
Hertel Auto Sales located at 2431 Delaware Avenue
Ellicott District
Permit for a Beauty Salon
L. Reid, Jr. owner of the property located at 413 Jefferson Avenue
Second Hand Dealer License
Beir Nabala Watch Company located at 450 Niagara Street
Fillmore District
Permit for a Free Standing Pole S
ign
R. Johnson, agent of property located at 1580 Genesee Street
P. Rowell, agent of property located at 765 Fillmore Avenue
Lovejoy District
Food Store License
MK Mini Mart II located at 140 Abbott Road
 
Claims, Contracts, Change orders & Agreements
The Council approved the following contract change orders submitted by the City of Buffalo Department of Public Works (“DPW”):
The contract with Greater Niagara Mechanical for the Fire Headquarters A/C Phase 2 Project was increased by $4,800 for the increased cost of construction equipment and pipe material caused by a delay in the project. The contract was initially awarded in the amount of $143,700 and with this change the contract will increase to $148,500.
The contract with Trautman Associates for the Marcy Casino Reconstruction Project was increased by $12,767 for additional services required due to time extension and additional design services. The contract was initially awarded in the amount of $46,030 and with this and prior changes the contract will increase to $68,047.
The contract with South Buffalo Electric, Inc. for the Repair of Route 5 (“Skyway”) Lighting Project was increased by $73,425 due to major changes made in the conduit clamping system used and the replacement of light poles. The contract was initially awarded in the amount of $200,329 and with this change the contract will increase to $273,754.
The contract with LiRo Engineering, Inc. for the Citywide Sidewalk and Utility Inspection Project was increased by $90,000 for additional inspection services and in order to provide uninterrupted services into the new construction season. The contract was initially awarded in the amount of $180,000 and with this and prior changes the contract will increase to $360,000.
Upon the request of the City of Buffalo Office of Strategic Planning (“OSP”), the Council:
Authorized a restaurant sublease agreement between the City of Buffalo, the Buffalo Naval Park Committee, Inc. and Jason Davidson and Michael Schatzel, operating (Naval Museum Bistro) on behalf of a limited liability company to be formed, for use of a portion of the museum building and adjoining outdoor area at the Buffalo Naval and Military Park. The sublease is for a period of three years and is subject to various terms and conditions.
Authorized the designation of the HEART Foundation as the developer for the vacant lots located at 401 and 407 Adams Street and 16 Grey Street. The HEART Foundation is planning to use the property to construct single room occupancy apartments for veterans experiencing or at risk of homelessness in Erie County. The designation is for a period of six months and is subject to various terms and conditions.
Upon the request of the City of Buffalo Department of Police (“BPD”), the Council:
Authorized the BPD to sell/dispose of 400 radios held in inventory that are no longer needed by BPD or any other City department. BPD upgraded all of its portable radios to a newer model and some of the older radios were distributed to other City departments that needed and could use them. The surplus radios will be offered to local fire volunteer groups, other municipalities, or any other established official emergency services organization that may generate interest in purchasing these radios. The radios will be re-programmed prior to distribution to ensure that they will not interfere with current City of Buffalo Police and Fire communications. The BPD will request $50 for each radio.
Upon the request of the City of Buffalo Department of Public Works (“DPW”), the Council:
Authorized DPW to purchase one hydraulic tail equipment trailer for the sum of $75,000. 
Authorized DPW to purchase three trucks for the combined sum of $324,962.
Authorized DPW to accept $17,000 in funds from the federal and state governments for the 700 Block of Main Street Traffic Project which will restore two-way vehicular traffic from Tupper Street to Goodell Street. The funding will be used to complete the project.
Upon the request of the City of Buffalo Department of Public Works, the Council approved the following reports of bids for the following projects:
The City-wide Sidewalk Replacement – 2011 Project. Of the bids that were received, P & J Construction Co., Inc. was the lowest with a bid of $857,241.
The Repair of City Pavements – Spring 2011 Project. Of the bids that were received, Thomann Asphalt Co., Inc. was the lowest with a bid of $97,750.
The Resurfacing of City Pavements – 2011 Project. Of the bids that were received, Destro & Brothers Concrete Co., Inc. was the lowest with a bid of $2,697,333.
The Resurfacing of South Park Lake Ring Road – 2011 Project. Of the bids that were received, Destro & Brothers Concrete Co., Inc. was the lowest with a bid of $484,637.
The Shea’s Performing Arts Center 125kW Standby Generator Installation Project. Of the bids that were received, Frey Electric was the lowest with a bid of $164,000.
Appointments
The Council appointed the following individual as its representative on the City of Buffalo Citizens Planning Council (“CPC”):
Mark Goldman
The Council appointed the following individuals to the position of Intern within various District Common Council Offices and the Office of the City Clerk:
Masten District
Chelsea Allen
Nikita Fortune
University District
Damara Jackson
Gregory McCormick
Office of the City Clerk
Riyath Mallahi
The Council accepted the appointment of the following individuals to positions within various City of Buffalo Departments at the base salary:
Department of Police
Detective
·         Mark Locicero
·         William Gambino
·         Vatasha Tibbs-Watkins
·         Kimberly Tomassi
Police Lieutenant
·         Sean Phillips
·         Melinda Jones
·         Aaron Young
·         Thomas Whelan
·         Christopher Mendola
·         Joseph Fahey
·         Robert Joyce
·         Barbara Lark
Department of Administration & Finance
Intergovernmental Coordinator
·         Mike Marcy
Department of Community Services and Recreational Programming
Senior Citizen Specialist
·         Louise Fronczak
Department of Public Works
Senior First Class Stationary Engineer
·         Edward Anken
Laborer II – Seasonal
Maurice Garner III
James Wojcik
Laborer – Seasonal
Brian Smith
Lifeguard – Seasonal
Warren Adams
Chelsea Benedict
Teonkah Lobley
Deyon Harvey
Supervising Lifeguard – Seasonal
Samantha Murphy

Photo: Council Majority Leader Richard Fontana taken at the September 6th, 2011 Meeting of the Buffalo Common Council
 
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
Council President
Fillmore District
1315 City Hall
851-4138

David A. Rivera
President Pro Tempore
Niagara District
1504 City Hall
851-5125

Richard A. Fontana
Majority Leader
Lovejoy District
1414 City Hall
851-5151

Michael J. LoCurto
Delaware District
1405 City Hall
851-5155

Darius G. Pridgen
Ellicott District
1408 City Hall
851-4980

Demone A. Smith
Masten District
1316-A City Hall
851-5145

Joseph Golombek, Jr.
North District
1502 City Hall
851-5116

Michael P. Kearns
South District
1401 City Hall
851-5169

Bonnie E. Russell
University District
1508 City Hall
851-5165

Common Council Legislative Staff Office
1413 City Hall
851-5105
 
Rich Wall
Senior Legislative Assistant
City of Buffalo
Common Council Staff
1413 City Hall
Buffalo, NY 14202
716-851-5158