Mayor Brown has announced that he’s attempting to keep Buffalo running as best he can, despite the financial and political obstacles that the City is facing.
To that end, Mayor Brown stated that the proposed Federal relief bill that is still in the works, “…falls short of providing the critical relief state and local governments need to effectively meet the demands which have arisen during the Covid-19 emergency. New York State will only be eligible for a fraction of the funding it will need to cover the projected $15 billion budget shortfall it will face as a consequence of the public health and economic fall-out from this emergency. The relief bill creates an additional burden on the City of Buffalo because municipalities with a population that is less than 500,000 are not eligible for direct aid in this relief bill. The federal government’s lack of direct support for medium sized cities will therefore have a profound impact on the Buffalo’s fiscal outlook. It is imperative that immediate, flexible funding in the amounts reflected in the House of Representatives’ version of the bill for New York State and Buffalo be made available to meet our budgetary needs at a time when revenue streams in every City Department are falling and demand for government services is rising. I stand with Governor Andrew Cuomo in calling on our federal leaders to address these issues now.”
Mayor Brown again called on City residents to complete the Census forms, saying that the size of Buffalo’s population does impact its share of federal funding—especially in the wake of emergencies—which we will need during the recovery process. Go to 2020Census.gov to fill out your form.
Mayor Brown also announced that he would continue to invest in Buffalo’s infrastructure and commercial corridors, while not pulling back on crucial initiatives that are either planned or underway.
- Today, the Erie County Industrial Development Agency approved the Accelerator Fund
- This innovative $40 million fund further advances the Cars Sharing Main Street initiative, supports the implementation of Smart City technologies, and Buffalo’s pending Mobility Innovation Zones
- It also continues the Brown Administration’s efforts to position Buffalo as the most Intelligent Smart City in the nation
Other issues/concerns raised by Brown includes his confidence that regional water supply remains clean and safe, and that residents should only flush toilet paper down the toilet, as anything else “puts a strain on the City’s sewer system.”
He also mentioned that the Buffalo Police Department added 15 new rental cars to its fleet, “to be used as backfill in the Detectives Unit, freeing up marked vehicles to be used in patrol districts.” Currently, the Detroit police department is reeling from COVID-19 – it’s imperative that Buffalo prepare for similar situations. Cars is one thing; officers is another.
Along with news on the Buffalo Police Department and The Sewer Authority, Mayor Brown also provided some park updates:
- Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Centennial Park is now open, but strictly for passive use. The park was closed after sustaining damage during a storm earlier this month
- Reminder: ALL City parks are open for PASSIVE USE ONLY. Please continue to practice social distancing for safety and to prevent community spread of COVID-19. All playgrounds, golf courses, skate parks and park buildings are closed until further notice
Finally, Mayor Brown discussed his concern for the local economy, by addressing the recent layoffs at Delaware North. He released the following statement:
“Obviously, the news regarding local companies and organizations having to make the extremely difficult decisions to reduce their workforces and enact other cost-saving measures is devastating to many in our community. However, many major regional employers and drivers of the local economy, may decide to reduce costs now so that they have the ability to resume regular operations once the immediate public health emergency has passed. I am hopeful that the COVID-19 impacted businesses will do their utmost to support their employees during this public health crisis, with the continuation of health benefits and other accommodations that will help to prevent panic or added anxiety.”
Mayor Brown pointed to The Buffalo Employment Training Center as a way to help get some displaced employees back to work. He encouraged anyone looking for work to call 716-856-JOBS.
- Employment counselors are working remotely so you can make an appointment to set up one on one counseling sessions
- Residents can also contact the NYS Department of Labor for unemployment assistance BuffAlert is the quickest way to get information about the City’s evolving response to this emergency.
- Nearly 65,000 subscribers have signed up since Mayor Brown launched the program during his State of the City address in February
- The City is continuing to issue alerts and other information through its BuffAlert system
- Text “Join BuffAlert” to 30890 to enroll
In closing, Mayor Brown stated, “Buffalo continues to remain strong during this uncertain time. We must continue to lean on each other to get by. Check on your neighbors, show the world that this situation will not ruin our spirit of unity, kindness and community. We are the City of Good Neighbors. We will get through this together.”