Buffalo, N.Y. (WKBW release) The following is a summary of the July 12 meeting of the Common Council of the City of Buffalo.
SUPPORT HISPANIC-AMERICAN VETERANS MEMORIAL INITIATIVE
The Council adopted a resolution sponsored by Council Members David A. Franczyk and David A. Rivera supporting the Hispanic-American Veterans Memorial Initiative. Hispanic-American veterans have fought in every conflict in which the United States has ever participated, displaying loyalty, bravery, and persistence in the face of adversity. Currently, the Hispanic-American citizens of the City of Buffalo and Western New York do not have a single monument or symbol that serves as an illustration of the service and dedication Hispanic-American veterans have made throughout history.
The Hispanic-American veterans want to erect a monument that will recognize and honor the contributions and sacrifices Hispanic-American men and women have made to the United States. The Council is urging residents to support this initiative therefore commemorating the dedication that Hispanic-American veterans have given to our country.
INCREASE PENALTY FOR BURGLARY OF A VEHICLE
The Council adopted a resolution sponsored by North District Council Member Joseph Golombek, Jr. supporting tougher penalties for persons charged with breaking into and burglarizing vehicles. Vehicle break-ins are a problem and can present a major hardship for individuals affected by this crime.
The City continues to experience vehicles being broken into or windows being smashed and personal items, packages, and car stereo systems being stolen. The penalty for these types of crimes is typically a charge of petty larceny or other misdemeanor and these offenses generally carry only minor penalties for the people charged. Many of these individuals have been charged multiple times, yet they rarely face severe penalties or jail time.
The Council maintains that increasing the punishment for these types of thefts may be the deterrent that is needed. Classifying vehicle break-ins as a burglary would allow judges to impose harsher charges on persons charged with this type of crime. The Council is requesting the New York State Legislature to increase the penalty for breaking into vehicles to a burglary charge.
WAIVER OF FEES FOR INSTALLATION OF ORNAMENTAL LIGHTING ON HAZELWOOD AVENUE & EASTON STREET
The Council approved a resolution sponsored by Council Members Richard A. Fontana and Bonnie E. Russell requesting the City of Buffalo Departments of Permit and Inspection Services, Public Works and Law, to waive any and all fees associated with the installation of ornamental lighting on Hazelwood Avenue and Easton Street by Romeo’s Superior Home Improvements, Inc. for the Hazelwood-Easton Block Club.
The Hazelwood-Easton Block Club is partnering with the City of Buffalo to promote safety and a high quality of life for community residents. As part of their efforts to beautify the Lovejoy District, the block club has obtained a grant that will fund the installation of ornamental lighting on Hazelwood Avenue and Easton Street. The block club has arranged for Romeo’s Superior Home Improvement’s, Inc., a licensed and insured contractor, to install these lighting improvements. The Council maintains that waiving any and all fees associated with the project is necessary to assist the Hazelwood-Easton Block Club, which has limited funds at its disposal.
RENAMING THE SCAJAQUADA PEDESTRIAN BRIDGE THE 9-11 MEMORIAL BRIDGE
The Council adopted a resolution sponsored by Council Members Michael J. LoCurto and Joseph Golombek, Jr. urging the New York State Legislature to approve an effort to rename the pedestrian bridge which spans the Scajaquada Expressway, from Nottingham Terrace to Hoyt Lake in Delaware Park, the 9-11 Memorial Bridge. Since 2003, an annual memorial has been conducted, for the victims of the attacks on September 11, 2001, atop the pedestrian bridge which spans the Scajaquada Expressway.
City of Buffalo Police Officers, Firefighters, and Emergency Medical Service and Military personnel attend each year to pay their respects to the brave men and women who gave their lives on September 11th and to those who continue to do so in wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The organizers of this annual event would like to rename the pedestrian bridge “The 9-11 Memorial Bridge” and hope to do so before the 10 year anniversary of the attacks on September 11, 2011. The Council maintains that renaming the bridge, as well as placing a memorial flag pole and spotlight, would provide an eternal tribute in the City of Buffalo to those who sacrificed their lives on that fateful day.
PROJECT HOMELESS CONNECT MONTH
The Council adopted a resolution sponsored by Ellicott District Council Member Darius G. Pridgen designating September 2011 as Project Homeless Connect Month. The Western New York Coalition for the Homeless (“WNYCH”), with the support of the Homeless Alliance of Western New York and Mayor Brown’s Poverty Initiative Team, will hold Buffalo’s Third Annual Project Homeless Connect on September 19, 2011.
This event is held in over 200 communities nationwide to link people experiencing or at risk of experiencing homelessness, with a broad range of needed services. In 2008, the United States Census Bureau released a special report naming the City of Buffalo as the third poorest large city in the United States. Approximately 2,000 people are homeless on any given night in the City, a number that has not changed dramatically in recent years.
Project Homeless Connect Buffalo works to welcome homeless neighbors into the life of the community, change the way resources are accessed and achieve quantifiable results for people experiencing homelessness. The Council acknowledges the hard work and commitment of WNYCH in their efforts to raise awareness and assist homeless and at-risk individuals in the City of Buffalo.
WAIVER OF FEES FOR ST. TERESA’S CHURCH
The Council adopted a resolution sponsored by Council Members Richard A. Fontana and Michael P. Kearns requesting the City of Buffalo Department of Permit and Inspection Services to waive any and all permit and inspection fees required by St. Teresa’s Roman Catholic Church for its chair lift project.
St. Teresa’s, located at 1974 Seneca Street, faithfully serves the residents of both the Lovejoy and South Council Districts. Many of the parishioners of the church are senior citizens or individuals with physical disabilities that impair their mobility. These physical disabilities often make it difficult or sometimes impossible for the parishioners to gain access to the church for worship and services. St. Teresa’s has planned to install a chair lift to assist disabled parishioners who may have trouble climbing the stairs to get into the church. The Council maintains that waiving any and all permit and inspection fees associated with the chair installation project is necessary to assist St. Teresa’s, which operates with a very limited budget.
WAR OF 1812
The Council adopted a resolution sponsored by North District Council Member Joseph Golombek, Jr. officially designating the cross-border Niagara Region as an International Corridor of Peace and Cooperation. The War of 1812 represents a seminal period in the process of nation building in both the United States and Canada.
The cross-border Niagara Region was at the frontline of the War of 1812, reporting the greatest number of casualties and the longest period of continual conflict. The War of 1812 significantly affected civilian populations on both sides of the Niagara River, especially when the flames of war burned British-Canadian, American and Tuscarora settlements in December of 1813. From the death and destruction of the war was born a spirit of cooperation and a vision of peace between the United States and Canada.
The Council maintains that the bicentennial of the War of 1812 in the year 2012, offers and exceptional opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate the true and lasting legacy of 200 years of peace along the Niagara River between the United States and Canada.
2011 GREATER BUFFALO ITALIAN HERITAGE AND FOOD FESTIVAL
The Council adopted a resolution sponsored by Council Members Michael J. LoCurto and Richard A. Fontana granting the North Buffalo Business Association, and the West Side Business and Taxpayers Association permission to conduct the Annual Greater Buffalo Italian Heritage and Food Festival. This year’s festival is being held from of July 14 through July 17, 2011 between the hours of 11:00 am and 11:00 pm on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and 11:00 am to 10:00 pm on Sunday. The event area will be closed to general traffic and will be conducted on Hertel Avenue, between Crestwood and Tennyson Avenues, and the cross streets bounded by Colvin, Linden, Delaware, and Tacoma Avenues.
BANNERS TO BE HUNG IN THE CITY OF BUFFALO
• The Council adopted a resolution sponsored by North District Council Member Joseph Golombek, Jr. giving permission to the Black Rock – Riverside Good Neighbor Planning Alliance Historical Committee to hang banners in the Black Rock area, along Amherst Street from Niagara Street to Tonawanda Street. The banners will commemorate the War of 1812 and will be displayed from July 1, 2011 until the completion of the events commemorating the War of 1812.
SALE OF CITY OWNED PROPERTY
The Council approved the sale of the following City owned properties:
• Ellicott District
35 Tenth Street was sold to Ms. Tiffany Durilla for $2,400.
• Fillmore District
56 and 58 Empire Street were sold to Mr. Ronald and Mrs. Amy Jones for $3,000.
604, 610, and 616 North Division Street was sold to Harvest House for $4,500.
• South District
1566 South Park Avenue was sold to Mr. Donald Smukall for $3,800.
• The Council approved the appointment of the following individual to a position within the City of Buffalo at a step above the base salary:
Department of Public Works
• Stephen Rogers
• 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
Senior First Class Stationary Engineer
• John Scanlon
Assistant Filtration Plant Operator
• John Gurbacki
Supervising Lifeguard – Seasonal
• Damian Reed-Wheeler
• Elizabeth Connors
• Erin O’Brien
• Giovanni Jones
• Jim Wilkinson
• Justin Hart
• Otuken Gildo
• Robert Malave
• Samantha Murphy
• Samantha Schultz
• Sarah O’Brien
• Shanae Duncan
• Taylor Sittniewski
Lifeguard – Seasonal
• Aaron Dalton
• Adrienna DiCioccio
• Ahmed Elbaneh
• Alan Ring
• Alexander Walters
• Allison Wagner
• Amanda Gonter
• Andrew Potwora
• Arianna Gonzalez
• Ashley Murdoch
• Brandon Waz
• Brenda LaBorgne
• Brett Andersen
• Brittany Jaeckle
• Brittany Johnson
• Carl Reeves, Jr.
• Christopher Petrella
• Courtney Leous
• Daniel Clark
• Danielle Polniak
• David Gzyl
• Debra LaBorgne
• Desmond Brown
• Dominique Brown
• Donald Hill, Jr.
• Donovane Hill
• Edgar Rodriguez
• Eduvijez Sanchez
• Elizabeth Vogl
• Emma Hartman
• Erik Martin-Mingo
• Erin Hughes
• Greta Rizzo
• Ilon Crittenden
• Jacob Fossitt
• Jacob Jeziorowski
• James McCool
• Janel Anthony
• Jesus Algarin
• Jillian Casey
• Jillian Harris
• Jonathan Rossi
• Jose Cruz-Jackson
• Joshua Koester
• Joshua Parker
• Juan Nieves
• Julie Wozniak
• Kasia Williams
• Katelin Reed
• Kathleen Scherer
• Kayla Witherspoon
• Keith Peters
• Kevin Quinn
• Kirsten Lempke
• Liana Rodriguez
• Marisol Angeles
• Matthew Pasqualetti
• Megan Morcio
• Michael Geary
• Monica Smithers
• Noah Atkisson
• Nunzio DiCioccio
• September Williams
• Shane Casado
• Shane Palistrant
• Tam Mai
• Tarah Foresta
• Teela Gajewski
• Timothy Anderson
• Timothy Ryan
• Treykel McGee
Department of Fire
Account Clerk Typist
• Talisha Colston
Department of Assessment & Taxation
Clerk – Seasonal
• Alonzo Thompson, Jr.
•The Council appointed the following individuals to the position of Intern within various District Common Council and the City Clerk Offices:
Office of the City Clerk
Kevin Pitts Jr.
Thearthur Duncan II
LICENSE AND PERMIT APPROVALS
Upon the recommendation of the Department Permit & Inspection Services, the Council approved the following license and permit applications:
• Delaware District
Permit for a Sidewalk Café
H. Persaud, owner of property located at 579 Forest Avenue.
• Ellicott District
Permit for an Outdoor Patio
D. Hannon, agent of property located at 166 Franklin Street.
Restaurant Dance Class III License
Pure Live located at 67 West Chippewa Street.
Used Car Dealer License
Bigg-Dogg Inc. located at 538 Pearl Street.
Leons Auto Sales & Service located at 116 Myrtle Avenue.
Permit to Erect Ground Sign
J. Knab, agent of property located at 1069 Delaware Avenue.
Sidewalk Café License
PURE located at 67 West Chippewa Street
• Fillmore District
Permit for an Outdoor Café
G. Alfieri, owner of the property located at 253 Allen Street.
Restaurant Dance License
Roxy’s located at 884 Main Street.
Used Car Dealer License
Global Resale Center located at 98 Wasmuth Avenue.
• Niagara District
Second Hand Dealer License
Westside Stories located at 205 Grant Street.
The Council denied the following license application:
Permit for a Ground Sign
D. Mika, agent of property located at 63 Linwood Avenue.
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 DiDonato Associates for the South Park and Tifft Street Project was increased by $50,000 for additional design, construction, and inspection services. The contract was initially awarded in the amount of $508,491 and with this change the contract will increase to $558,491.
• Upon the request of the City of Buffalo Office of Strategic Planning (“OSP”), the Council:
Authorized the PILOT Agreement between the City of Buffalo, County of Erie, and Heart of the City Neighborhoods Inc. (“HCN”) for the Cynthia Gardens Project. HCN will construct eight apartment units on the vacant land located at 294-302 Hudson Street. The project will consist of four two-bedroom units and four three-bedroom units, all of which will be affordable for households with incomes at or below 60 percent of the area median income. The total development cost is estimated to be $1,527,000.
Authorized the sale and transfer of former School Number 36 located at 40 Days Park to the Elmwood Village Charter School (“EVCS”). The property was sold to EVCS for the sum of $550,000 and is subject to various terms and conditions.
• Upon the request of the City of Buffalo Department of Public Works (“DPW”), the Council:
Authorized DPW to engage the services of a engineering consultant for the Rehabilitation of the Number 4 Pump and Motor Project at the Massachusetts Avenue Pump Station. The pump station has two 30 million gallons per day pumps which provide redundancy for the City’s water system, however one of the pumps is in need of a full rehabilitation due to a shaft failure. The estimated cost for the consulting engineer will not exceed $100,000.
Authorized DPW to engage the services of Watts Architecture & Engineering, P.C. for architectural and engineering services for projects in the following City of Buffalo parks:
LaSalle Park Shelter House and Dog Park Improvements
Shoshone Park Shelter House Improvements
Riverside Park Fields Improvements; and
Construction administration and inspection at various parks citywide
• The Council approved the reports of bids from the City of Buffalo Department of Public Works for the following project:
The Massachusetts Avenue Park Project – Phase I. Of the bids that were received, Titan Development was the lowest with a bid of $119,647.
The 213 Bristol & 235 Emslie Streets Playground Rehabilitation & Soil Remediation Project. Of the bids that were received, Scott Lawn Yard, Inc. was the lowest with a bid of $90,210.
The Erie Basin Marina Boardwalk Construction Project – General Construction Phase. Of the bids that were received, Pinto Construction, Inc. was the lowest with a bid of $428,450.
The Erie Basin Marina Boardwalk Construction Project – Electrical Phase. Of the bids that were received, Ferguson Electric, Inc. was the lowest with a bid of $26,290.
The Erie Basin Marina Pier Gates Project – General Construction Phase. Of the bids that were received, Pinto Construction, Inc. was the lowest with a bid of $114,950.
The Erie Basin Marina Pier Gates Project – Electrical Phase. Of the bids that were received, Ferguson Electric, Inc. was the lowest with a bid of $98,890.
The Erie Basin Marina Restroom Improvements Project – General Construction Phase. Of the bids that were received, Miller Enterprises was the lowest with a bid of $131,670.
The Erie Basin Marina Restroom Improvements Project – Electrical Phase. Of the bids that were received, Ferguson Electric, Inc. was the lowest with a bid of $46,200.