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Common Council Items of Interest March 19, 2013

The Council adopted a resolution, sponsored by Delaware District Council Member Michael J. LoCurto, requesting that the City of Buffalo Office of Strategic Planning, Division of Real Estate and other relevant City departments explore state and federal funding opportunities that can help make developing the former North Park Library cost-effective. The former North Park Library, at Delaware and Hertel Avenues in North Buffalo, was once a heavily utilized library and significant community asset. In April of 2008, the library was shut down, citing asbestos and lead paint as the primary reason for relocating the library to a “temporary” location in a Hertel Avenue shopping center. Since that time, the now vacant former library has been poorly maintained and has become an eyesore. There continues to be an increasing desire among the community to see the building rehabilitated and repurposed like the former Fairfield Library, which is currently being renovated into apartments and office space, funded in part by Restore New York funding. The Council maintains that given the significant investment needed to remediate the former North Park Library site, the City should work to better incentivize the site to private developers.
The Council approved a resolution, sponsored by Ellicott District Council Member Darius G. Pridgen, supporting the University at Buffalo Chess Club in their goal of hosting chess tournaments and events in Niagara Square. Niagara Square is a beautiful and historic landmark that draws many people to downtown Buffalo. The University at Buffalo Chess Club is interested in working with the City of Buffalo in organizing chess tournaments and public chess games in Niagara Square. The Council maintains that better use of Niagara Square will better connect citizens of Buffalo to their government and improve the sense of community in the downtown district.
The Council adopted a resolution, sponsored by Ellicott District Council Member Darius G. Pridgen, establishing a Fruit Belt Advisory Council to provide recommendations to the Council regarding activities within the Fruit Belt. The Fruit Belt is one of the City of Buffalo’s most historic neighborhoods, dating back to the early 1800’s. The community is in the process of experiencing tremendous growth with an influx of construction projects, jobs and stakeholders and the residents of the Fruit Belt desire to contribute to the planning of their community. The Council maintains that community contributions are most effective when they are presented in an organized and detailed manner. Any person interested in helping to form the Fruit Belt Advisory Council is an invited to attend an organizational meeting on Monday, April 22, 2013 at 12 noon in City Hall Room 1417.
The Council adopted a resolution, sponsored by Council Members Christopher P. Scanlon, Michael J. LoCurto, and Demone A. Smith, requesting that the City of Buffalo Treasury Department offer an online resource for residents of the City to pay any outstanding balances owed to the Occupancy Tax and retrieve proof of said payment. The Occupancy Tax, a one -time, $10 tax, was placed on all homes in the City in 1976. It was repealed in 1977 due to general unpopularity; however in the 36 years since the tax was established, all but 1,587 homes have paid the $10 fee. For those who have not paid, $40 of interest has accrued and a lien has been placed on the property. Currently there is no online resource to allow easy access to pay the tax or acquire proof of payment and there is no statute of limitations for the lien. The Council is also requesting the City of Buffalo Law Department to prepare legislation establishing statute of limitations on the lien associated with the Occupancy Tax, with the intention that the statute may eliminate additional steps from the process of closing on a home and save the City labor costs associated with fulfilling requests regarding the tax after 2018.
The Council adopted a resolution sponsored by Majority Leader and Masten District Council Member Demone A. Smith and Delaware District Council Member Michael J. LoCurto, and co-sponsored by Council Members Richard A. Fontana and David A. Rivera,  supporting New York State (“NYS”) Senate Bill #S.870 and NYS Assembly Bill #A.3702, which would amend the Vehicle and Traffic Law to allow the City of Buffalo to adjudicate traffic infractions, which are presently adjudicated by the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles. Passage of the Bills would benefit the City of Buffalo by allowing the City to participate in and receive traffic infraction revenue, providing the City with an opportunity to implement a system that would allow traffic violators to have the option of a plea bargain, and permitting all traffic related violations to be adjudicated in a single and convenient location. 
The Council adopted a resolution, sponsored by Majority Leader and Masten District Council Member Demone A. Smith, and co-sponsored by Council Members Fontana, Golombek, Pridgen, Russell and Scanlon, showing its full support for the efforts of the Buffalo Employment & Training Center (“BETC”) as it pertains to assisting City residents in finding employment or re-employment.  Furthermore, it supports the development of a Career Path Program that will assist City of Buffalo High School students  in finding a profession  of interest which will assist them in becoming successful citizens in their chosen career of interest. The BETC brings together a variety of workforce development organizations and partner agencies with a primary goal of assisting residents in Buffalo and Erie County to gain employment and assist employers in finding qualified workers.
The Council adopted a resolution, sponsored by Majority Leader and Masten District Council Member Demone A. Smith and North District Council Member Joseph Golombek, Jr., requesting that the Council’s Taxi Cab and Livery Sub-committee investigate the feasibility of installing in-car surveillance cameras in taxi cabs. Taxi drivers provide a much needed service within the City by assuring safe transport of passengers from one point to another. Unfortunately, a recent tragedy in the City has highlighted the risks that threaten taxi drivers on a regular basis. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health suggest that the installation of in-car surveillance cameras can serve as a safety measure that would aid in apprehending perpetrators of crimes against taxi drivers. The Council maintains that improving safety for drivers requires a multifaceted approach to be taken by drivers, taxi owners, law enforcement agencies, and regulatory officials.
Upon the recommendation of the Department of Permit & Inspection Services, the Council approved the following license and permit applications:
Delaware District
o Permit for Underground Storage Tank, Erect 1 Story Masonry Retail w/ Fuel Station and Pole Sign
F. Crngarov, owner of the property located at 2516 Main Street.
o Food Store License
Lakeview Food Market Inc., located at 3 Lakeview Avenue.
Fillmore District
o Food Store License
Hothara Food Market Inc., located at 177 French Street.
Lovejoy District
o Food Store License
ABC Grocery, located at 2272 Genesee Street.
Niagara District
o Food Store License
Hampshire Corner Mart Inc., located at 250 Hampshire Street.
PRD Dairy LLC, located at 241 Lexington Avenue aka 235 Lexington Avenue.
o Sidewalk Café License
Joe’s Deli, located at 534 Elmwood Avenue.
Vera Pizzeria, located at 220 Lexington Avenue.
o Permit to Convert Warehouse to a Fitness Center in the Niagara River Coastal Special Review District
W. Breeser, owner of the property located at 1270 Niagara Street.
North District
o Permit to Rezone for a Mixed Use Campus/Boutique Hotel
C. Auerbach, agent of the property located at 400 Forest Avenue.
South District
o Permit for an Outdoor Patio
J. Glavey, owner of the property located at 904 Abbott Road.
The Council denied the following license applications:
University District

o Permit for a Freestanding Pole Sign with L.E.D. Component
P. Strada, agent of the property located at 396 Kenmore Avenue.
The Council approved a resolution, sponsored by Ellicott District Council Member Darius G. Pridgen, granting permission to the BryLin Hospital to hang 10 Mental Health Awareness banners on both sides of Delaware Avenue, between Cleveland Avenue and Gates Circle.
WAIVING OF FEES
The Council adopted a resolution, by Delaware District Council Member Michael J. LoCurto, waiving all permit fees associated with the 5 Loaves Farm’s Maple Sugaring Demonstration to be held at Delaware Park on March 23, 2013.
The Council adopted a resolution, by Delaware District Council Member Michael J. LoCurto, waiving all permit fees associated with Summer Arts Program to be held at Delaware Park from July 8, 2013 through August 16, 2013 and for the “Movies in the Meadow” to be held every Friday in August 2013 at Delaware Park.
The Council adopted a resolution, by Niagara District Council Member David A. Rivera, waiving the Special Event permit fee and approving the use of the RAPP lot at 182 Grant Street for the Health Fair to be conducted by Primera Iglesia Metodista Nueva Vision on June 20, 2013.
The Council adopted a resolution, by Majority Leader and Masten District Council Member Demone A. Smith, waiving the Park Rental and Event fees for the following events:
o The 8th Annual School #87 Reunion to be held on June 22, 2013
o Buffalo Caribbean Islands Caribana to be held on August 16, 17, and 18, 2013
o The 4th Annual “Walk for Hope” to be held August 24, 2013
o Buffalo Funkfest to be held August 24, 2013; and
o Praise, Prayer and Worship at MLK to be held on August 31, 2013.
SALE OF CITY OWNED PROPERTY–The Council approved transactions relating to the following City owned properties:
Ellicott District
o 237 Hudson Street was sold to Alice D’Amato for $3,700.
Fillmore District
o 294 and 298 Walden Avenue were sold to Mrs. Nibela Nagi for $3,600.
Niagara District
o 541 West Utica Street was sold to Mr. Anthony D’Aloisio for $6,000.
University District
o 69 Phyllis Avenue was sold to Mr. Darren Fugate and Mrs. Deborah Fugate for $4,500.
APPOINTMENTS
 
The Council appointed the following individual to the City of Buffalo Cat Task Force:
o Carol Tutzauer
The Council appointed the following individual as a Marriage Officer in the City of Buffalo for the period ending September 15, 2013:
o Donald O. Allen
The Council approved the appointment of the following individual to the position of Intern VI within the Masten District Council Office:
 
o Dominique Matthews
The Council approved the appointment of the following individuals to positions within the City of Buffalo Department of Audit and Control:
o Assistant Auditor
Mi-ae Hwang
o HUD Grants Fiscal Administrator
Aubrey Hlavaty

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
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

Christopher P. Scanlon
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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