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David A. Franczyk, Council President David A. Rivera, President Pro Tempore Richard A. Fontana, Majority Leader FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: James Pajak, Chief of Staff (716) 851-4047
MEETING SUMMARY for
OCTOBER 4, 2011 INCREASING FUNDS FOR HOMELESS PROGRAMS – 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. STREET MEMORIALS – 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. LIGHTING IN BUFFALO CITY HALL – 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 1
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. KEEP MAIN POST OFFICE OPEN – 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. PROPOSAL TO SELL 217 AND 231 BRINKMAN AVENUE – 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. WAIVER OF FEES 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 2
children and families of the Lovejoy District. Head East Civic Club will be using Lovejoy Street and the Hennepin Community Center for the event. APPOINTMENTS The Council adopted the appointment of the following individual to the Buffalo Arts Commission: o Joanna Angie The Council appointed the following individuals to positions within various District Common Council Offices: o Ellicott District Senior Legislative Assistant Vernee Shaw o Masten District Assistant Legislative Aide II Nikita Fortune o 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: o Department of Management Information Systems Senior Operations Communications Coordinator Jason Amos o 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: o Department of Public Works Deputy Director of Building Operations Uzochukwu Ihenko Account Clerk Typist Rachel Keller o Lifeguard – Seasonal Marcia Maracle Michael Milovich o Office of the Mayor Director of Communications and Intergovernmental Relations 3
Michael DeGeorge o Department of Law Assistant Corporation Counsel II Jacob Osher LICENSE AND PERMIT APPROVALS—Upon the recommendation of the Department Permit & Inspection Services, the Council approved the following license and permit applications: Citywide o Collector License Empire Building Diagnostics Inc. located at 2 Main Street in Depew, New York Delaware District o Permit for a Restaurant M. Green, agent of the property located at 1416 Hertel Avenue Ellicott District o Permit for an Outdoor Café K. Kubiak, owner of the property located at 234 Delaware Avenue o Restaurant Dance License Town Ballroom located at 681 Main Street Niagara District o Food Store License City Candy Grocery located at 544 Fargo Avenue o Lodging House License Kenneth Mazur, owner of the property located at 340 Elmwood Avenue North District o Second Hand Dealer License Amar Second Hand Store located at 431 Tonawanda Street South District o Used Car Dealer License Root’s Collision Service located at 426 Abbott Road CLAIMS, CONTRACTS, CHANGE ORDERS & AGREEMENTS Upon the request of the City of Buffalo Office of Strategic Planning (―OSP‖), the Council: o 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‖). o 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: o 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 4
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. o 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: o 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. o 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: o 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: o 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. o 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. o 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. o Authorized DPW to purchase a bed knife grinder at an estimated cost of $15,000. o 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: o 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.
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. To view the live streaming of Common Council meetings on a personal computing device with internet access, please insert the following address into the device web-browser: www.city-buffalo.com/Home/Leadership/CommonCouncil/Common_Council_Live_Coverage. To view replays of a Common Council Meeting please visit the City of Buffalo Government Television website at www.city-buffalo.com/Home/Government_TV. To view the final Common Council Meeting agenda and/or supporting communications, please visit the City of Buffalo website at www.city-buffalo.com/Home/Leadership/CommonCouncil.
BUFFALO COMMON COUNCIL David A. Franczyk Council President Fillmore District 1315 City Hall 851-4138 Michael J. LoCurto Delaware District 1405 City Hall 851-5155 Joseph Golombek, Jr. North District 1502 City Hall 851-5116 David A. Rivera President Pro Tempore Niagara District 1504 City Hall 851-5125 Darius G. Pridgen Ellicott District 1408 City Hall 851-4980 Michael P. Kearns South District 1401 City Hall 851-5169 Common Council Legislative Staff Office 1413 City Hall 851-5105 Richard A. Fontana Majority Leader Lovejoy District 1414 City Hall 851-5151 Demone A. Smith Masten District 1316-A City Hall 851-5145 Bonnie E. Russell University District 1508 City Hall 851-5165
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