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Common Council Items of Interest

MEETING SUMMARY for OCTOBER 4, 2011
Meeting highlights include: Brightening main entrance of City Hall, appointment of Joanna Angie to the Buffalo Arts Commission, partial demolition/abatement and reconstruction/stabilization of a City-owned building at 918 Main Street, contract between the City of Buffalo and Bosche, LLC. for the sale and redevelopment of 918 Main Street, permit for North Park Market, modification of the existing contract between the City of Buffalo and Camiros Ltd. to include an additional $13,000 for the creation of a Preservation Plan – the plan will be funded by a grant from the New York State Historic Preservation Office (“SHPO”).
The Council adopted a resolution sponsored by Ellicott District Council Member Darius G. Pridgen requesting of the appropriate City of Buffalo Departments, that they begin to study possible solutions to brightening the main entrance of Buffalo City Hall in a manner that would enhance the historic works of art, while providing a bright space that is safe, welcoming and appropriate for the guests who enter it daily. Buffalo City Hall is one of the most beautiful and visited architectural gems within the City. Upon entering the building visitors are greeted by the many murals of artist William de Leftwhich. Currently, the main lobby, including the area around the reception desk, is dimly lit in order to protect and preserve the historic murals and other precious detailed works of art. However, the Council maintains that proper lighting is important both for the physical safety and security of those who enter City Hall. By utilizing modern lighting equipment that does not damage the historic art of City Hall, safety hazards can be eradicated while still protecting the building’s integrity and history.
The Council adopted a resolution sponsored by Lovejoy District Council Member Richard A. Fontana requesting the City of Buffalo Division of Real Estate to draft paperwork authorizing the transfer of the vacant lots located at 217 and 231 Brinkman Avenue to Mrs. Patricia Gauthier under the provisions of the Homestead Act. Neglected vacant properties and lots create a significant slum and blight problem throughout the City of Buffalo. Usually, the burden of upkeep on such nuisance vacancies falls to the City or volunteer residents in the surrounding areas. Brinkman Avenue is one such location at which vacant lots and homes are causing a nuisance for the homeowners in the area. Mrs. Patricia Gauthier has been an active member of the Bailey-Brinkman Avenue Block Club, a homeowner, and a proactive benefactor for her community for over 20 years. During this time, Mrs. Gauthier has maintained the City owned vacant lots at 217 and 231 Brinkman Avenue at her own expense in order to prevent the spread of blight in her community. However, Mrs. Gauthier is unable to make any substantial improvements to these properties beyond regular maintenance due to the fact that she does not legally own these properties. The Council maintains that it is in the best interest of the Brinkman Avenue community that Patricia Gauthier be given the right to improve upon these properties and thus add to the overall improvement of Brinkman Avenue.
The Council adopted a resolution sponsored by Fillmore District Council Member David A. Franczyk requesting the United States Legislature during its current 2012 budget deliberations, to increase the funding provided by the McKinney Vento Act for homeless programs. Annually, the City of Buffalo receives $700,000 in Emergency Shelter Grants for the homeless through the McKinney Vento Act and is scheduled to receive an additional $300,000 in homeless prevention. Even with these funds there were still 8,500 people that were homeless in Erie County last year and an average of 1,500 homeless on any given night. The Homeless Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program (“HPRP”) prevented 6,500 from becoming homeless in Erie County during the last two years; however, these funds will be depleted within the next six months. The Council maintains that it is essential to increase funding for homeless programs because the loss of HPRP funds will cause a dramatic increase in homelessness in both Erie County and the City of Buffalo.
The Council adopted a resolution sponsored by Masten District Council Member Demone A. Smith calling for a public hearing to discuss an alternative solution for the numerous street memorials which have become common place throughout the City of Buffalo. Street memorials have sprung up at various locations within the City at which there is a display or remembrance for an individual who has lost their life, and in many cases, as a result of an act of violence. A ceremony is usually held following the death of the individual during which friends and loved ones share a moment and place a remembrance at the site of the incident or death which is often on the street pole or tree closest to where the victim lost his or her life. Many constituents have complained about memorial sites that have been in existence for a considerable length of time. After several seasons of snow, rain, and general wear and tear, many of these street memorials have become eyesores, a hazard to passerby’s and have given rise to a potential for health risks from the garbage that often accumulates. The Council maintains that it is important to remember those who have suffered because of acts of violence and is examining ways to balance victim remembrance and safe passage for passers by.
The Council adopted a resolution sponsored by Fillmore District Council Member David A. Franczyk stating its opposition to the closing of the distribution center or any other portion of the Main Buffalo Post Office located on William Street. The closure of the Main Buffalo Post Office would deal a devastating blow to the City. As the second largest city in New York State, the removal of this vital Post Office would be a serious setback to the City’s revitalization. This closure would entail the loss of 700 jobs and could increase the processing time needed for sending and receiving first-class mail. The Council is requesting that the state and congressional delegates enact measures to keep the Main Buffalo Post Office on William Street open and fully functional.
The Council approved a resolution sponsored by Lovejoy District Council Member Richard A. Fontana requesting of the City of Buffalo Departments of Public Works, that they waive all fees associated with the organization of the Annual Fran Bakos Lovejoy Halloween Parade to be held on Saturday, October 29, 2011 by the Head East Civic Club. Each year the Head East Civic Club organizes an annual Halloween Parade, in memory of the late Fran Bakos, that proceeds down Lovejoy Street. Like the actions of Fran Bakos, the annual Halloween Parade is meant for the enjoyment and benefit of the children and families of the Lovejoy District. Head East Civic Club will be using Lovejoy Street and the Hennepin Community Center for the event.
Upon the recommendation of the Department Permit & Inspection Services, the Council approved the following license and permit applications:
Citywide
Collector License
Empire Building Diagnostics Inc. located at 2 Main Street in Depew, New York 
Delaware District
Permit for a Restaurant
M. Green, agent of the property located at 1416 Hertel Avenue (He
rtel News and Tobacco)
Ellicott District
Permit for an Outdoor Café 
K. Kubiak, owner of the property located at 234 Delaware Avenue
Restaurant Dance License
Town Ballroom located at 681 Main Street
Niagara District
Food Store License
City Candy Grocery located at 544 Fargo Avenue 
Lodging House License
Kenneth Mazur, owner of the property located at 340 Elmwood Avenue 
North District
Second Hand Dealer License
Amar Second Hand Store located at 431 Tonawanda Street 
South District
Used Car Dealer License
Root’s Collision Service located at 426 Abbott Road 
Upon the request of the City of Buffalo Office of Strategic Planning (“OSP”), the Council:
Authorized the modification of the existing contract between the City of Buffalo and Camiros Ltd. to include an additional $13,000 for the creation of a Preservation Plan. The plan will be funded by a grant from the New York State Historic Preservation Office (“SHPO”).
Authorized a contract between the City of Buffalo and Bosche, LLC. for the sale and redevelopment of 918 Main Street.
Upon the request of the City of Buffalo Department of Police (“BPD”), the Council:
Authorized BPD to purchase a new flat bed tow truck. This style of tow truck is necessary due to the security features in many newer vehicles and it prevents the possibility of damaging any components that might occur from utilizing a typical tow truck. Currently, BPD has a flat bed tow truck that does not meet all of the Department’s towing purposes and needs. However, the vehicle to be purchased does meet the towing requirements of the Dart Street Impound facility; the BPD’s existing flat bed tow truck will be transferred to the City of Buffalo Department of Parking upon delivery of the new flat bed tow truck to the BPD. 
Authorized BPD to transfer three vehicles from the Dart Street Impound facility to the BPD fleet. After the vehicles have been transferred, BPD will remove three older, high mileage and high maintenance vehicles from existing fleet. The three older vehicles will be added to the next BPD auction and the three transferred vehicles will not be take home vehicles. 
Upon the request of the City of Buffalo Department of Human Resources (“HR”) the Council:
Authorized the Department of HR to enter into a contract with EB Jacobs, LLC for the administration of the Civil Service examinations for the titles of Fire Lieutenant, Fire Captain, Battalion Chief, and Division Chief. The contract will begin immediately and will terminate with the expiration of the resulting eligibles list. 
Authorized the Department of HR to enter into a contract with I/O Solutions for the administration of the Civil Service examinations for the titles of Police Lieutenant, Police Captain, Inspector, and Detective. The contract will begin immediately and will terminate with the expiration of the resulting eligibles list. 
Upon the request of the City of Buffalo Department of Permit & Inspection Services, the Council:
Authorized the Department of Permit and Inspection Services to contract with Empire Building Diagnostics, Inc. for the partial demolition, abatement and reconstruction/stabilization of a City-owned building at 918 Main Street. 
Upon the request of the City of Buffalo Department of Public Works (“DPW”), the Council:
Authorized DPW in conjunction with the City of Buffalo Department of Law and Office of Strategic Planning, to enter into an agreement with National Fuel Gas Distribution Corporation granting access to the Fourth Street public right of way. National Fuel will install up to two new groundwater monitoring wells, perform up to four soil test borings for ground water sampling and monitoring, and perform soil testing and analysis in locations along the Fourth Street public right of way.
Authorized DPW to hire a consultant for the collection of data and the mapping of critical infrastructure to enhance the City of Buffalo Department of Fire Quick Action Plans. These plans will aid first respondents in fighting fires and saving lives. 
Authorized DPW to enter into a contract with Henderson-Johnson Co. Inc. to purchase a High Density Filing System and related services for $62,090. The new filing system is necessary to update the existing court filing system and will include relocating the files to a new location. The vacated spaces will facilitate the construction of a new booking and short-term detention facility in the basement of City Court for use by the Buffalo Police Department. 
Authorized DPW to purchase a bed knife grinder at an estimated cost of $15,000. 
Authorized DPW to purchase a wheel loader at an estimated cost of $141,466. 
Upon the request of the City of Buffalo Department of Public Works, the Council approved the following reports of bids:
The City Court Basement Detention Area – Plumbing Project. Of the bids that were received, Jim Ando Plumbing, Inc. was the lowest with a bid of $341,780. 
APPOINTMENTS
The Council adopted the appointment of the following individual to the Buffalo Arts Commission:
Joanna Angie
The Council appointed the following individuals to positions within various District Common Council Offices:
Ellicott District
Senior Legislative Assistant
Vernee Shaw
Masten District
Assistant Legislative Aide II
Nikita Fortune
North District
Intern II
Nicholas Cornman
The Council approved the appointment of the following individuals to positions within various City of Buffalo Departments at a step above the base salary:
Department of Management Information Systems
Senior Operations Communications Coordinator
Jason Amos
Department of Public Works
Associate Engineer
John Bidell
Chief Water Pollution Inspector
Brian Lackie
Street Worker
William Betancourt
Truck Driver
Larry Judd
James Wozniak
The Council accepted the appointment of the following individuals to positions within various City of Buffalo Departments at the base salary:
Department of Public Works
Deputy Director of Building Operations
Uzochukwu Ihenko
Account Clerk Typist
Rachel Keller
Lifeguard – Seasonal 
Marcia Maracle
Michael Milovich
 
Office of the Mayor
Director of Communications and Intergovernmental Relations
Michael DeGeorge
Department of Law
Assistant Corporation Counsel II
Jacob Osher 
Image: Buffalo News reporter Brian Meyer receiving a proclamation from Masten District Council Member Demone Smith re
cognizing his years of service covering city government.

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

James N. Jackson
Legislative Assistant
City of Buffalo Common Council
1413 City Hall
Buffalo, NY 14202

Written by Buffalo Rising

Buffalo Rising

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