Buffalo Common Council Meeting Summary for March 20

March 20, 2012 Updated Oct 24, 2013 at 7:51 AM EDT

By WKBW News

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Buffalo Common Council Meeting Summary for March 20

March 20, 2012 Updated Oct 24, 2013 at 7:51 AM EDT

(WKBW release) The following is the meeting summary of the Common Council of the city of Buffalo for March 20.

AUTHORIZING RESOLUTION – The Council approved a resolution sponsored by Majority Leader and Masten District Council Member Demone A. Smith authorizing an amendment and restatement of a ground lease for certain educational facilities to the Erie County Industrial Development Agency (“ECIDA”). The resolution also authorizes other matters related to certain bonds issued by the ECIDA for financing the refunding of Series 2004 Bonds, determining the terms and conditions of such agreements, and other matters in connection therewith.  It is the Council’s position that these actions will be beneficial to the City and will promote educational opportunities for City residents.

REPLACEMENT OF THE TOXIC SUBSTANCE CONTROL ACT – The Council adopted a resolution sponsored by Council President and Lovejoy District Council Member Richard A. Fontana opposing the Toxic Substance Control Act (“TSCA”) for its ineffectiveness in controlling dangerous chemicals and urging federal lawmakers to pass more effective, replacement legislation.  The Council further went on record in favor of passage of the proposed Sage Chemicals Act authored by U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey. When it was passed into law, the TSCA approved more than 60,000 chemicals that were in existence prior to 1976; however, only 200 of the original 60,000 chemicals have been tested for safety and only five of these toxic substances have been restricted for certain uses. The TSCA does not require chemical manufacturers to demonstrate that their products are safe before they go into use, but rather requires the government to prove actual harm in order to control or replace these dangerous chemicals. As a result, known carcinogens, such as asbestos and formaldehyde, are unregulated by the TSCA.

HEALTHY CORNER STORE PROMOTION – The Council approved a resolution sponsored by Majority Leader and Masten District Council Member Demone A. Smith, Ellicott District Council Member Darius G. Pridgen, and Niagara District Council Member David A. Rivera stating its intent to look into additional steps that can be taken to improve access to healthy, fresh, affordable, and culturally appropriate food in the City of Buffalo. These steps will include community meetings to discuss possible solutions with food store owners and research into possible legislative options, with the goal of creating greater access to healthy food. This resolution seeks to create programs that increase healthy foods in City food stores and lower rates of obesity and other diet related diseases.

BUFFALO ERIE NIAGARA LAND IMPROVEMENT CORPORATION – The Council adopted a resolution sponsored by Majority Leader and Masten District Council Member Demone A. Smith authorizing the creation of the Buffalo Erie Niagara Land Improvement Corporation and executing an intergovernmental cooperation agreement with Erie County and other foreclosing government units in Erie and Niagara County. The initial Board of Directors for the Buffalo Erie Niagara Land Improvement Corporation will consist of 11 members and are as follows:

• Brendan R. Mehaffy – Executive Director of Strategic Planning of the City of Buffalo
• Timothy A. Ball – Corporation Counsel of the City of Buffalo
• James Comerford, Jr. – Commissioner of Permit and Inspection Services of the City of Buffalo
• Janet Penksa – Commissioner of Administration, Finance, Policy and Urban Affairs for the City of Buffalo
• David P. Comerford – General Manager, Buffalo Sewer Authority
• Maria R. Whyte – Commissioner of Erie County Department of Environment and Planning
• Joseph L. Maciejewski – Director, Erie County Department of Real Property Tax Services
• Michael A. Siragusa – County Attorney, Erie County Department of Law
• Frank E. Krakowski – City Assessor, City of Lackawanna
• Joseph M. Hogenkamp – City Treasurer, City of Tonawanda
• Christina Orsi – Empire State Development – Western New York Regional Director

HOME RULE MESSAGE RESOLUTION– ACT TO AMEND THE LOCAL FINANCE LAW, IN RELATION TO THE SALE OF BONDS AND NOTES OF THE CITY OF BUFFALO —The Council adopted a resolution sponsored by Council President and Lovejoy District Council Member Richard A. Fontana requesting that the New York State (“NYS”) Legislature approve Senate Bill #S6517 and Assembly Bill #A09354 so as to extend authorization for the private sale of bonds and notes by the City of Buffalo for one year beginning June 30, 2012. Without passage of these bills in the NYS Legislature, Section 54.30 of the Local Finance Law will expire on June 30, 2012. The Council maintains that this law has already proven its usefulness by giving the City of Buffalo a valuable tool to provide expeditious funding to projects which require immediate attention and an extension of one year would provide the City with additional financial flexibility when addressing its capital funding needs. 

HOME RULE MESSAGE – ACT TO AMEND RETIREMENT & SOCIAL SECURITY LAW —The Council adopted a resolution sponsored by Council Members Michael J. LoCurto and Michael P. Kearns supporting New York State (“NYS”) Senate Bill #S5378 and NYS Assembly Bill #A5564-A, which would amend the retirement and social security law, in relation to allowing certain firefighters of the Cities of Buffalo and Niagara Falls, NY and the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (“NFTA”) to participate in an optional 20 year retirement plan under certain circumstances. Passage of the bill would benefit the City of Buffalo by ensuring that all firefighters employed by the City are afforded the benefits of the “non-contributory” agreement in the retirement and social security law. The Council maintains that due to the peril that firefighters face on a daily basis, the “non-contributory” agreement, which had heretofore been afforded to members of fire departments statewide, is essential to their well-being.

ORDINANCE AMENDMENT—The Council approved an ordinance amendment sponsored by Ellicott District Council Member Darius G. Pridgen amending Chapter 511, Section 68.6 of the Code of the City of Buffalo, by establishing a new Downtown Entertainment Review District with special zoning guidelines. Other than on Thursday nights between 10:00 pm and 4:00 am the following Friday morning, taverns that are located within the Downtown Entertainment Review District and licensed by the New York State Liquor Authority to serve alcohol are prohibited from permitting entry to patrons under the age of 21, unless they have first obtained a Restricted Use Permit from the City. 

BANNERS TO BE HUNG IN THE CITY OF BUFFALO

• The Council approved a resolution sponsored by Fillmore District Council Member David A. Franczyk giving permission to the Depensata Corporation to hang 85 banners in the Broadway/Fillmore neighborhood to promote and celebrate the Easter shopping season and Dyngus Day activities in the neighborhood. The banners will be hung on or around March 28, 2012.

WAIVER OF FEES

• The Council approved a resolution sponsored by Fillmore District Council Member David A. Franczyk and Niagara District Council Member David A. Rivera waiving all installation and permit fees, associated with erecting the Hispanic-American Veterans Memorial at the Buffalo and Erie County Naval and Military Park, for the Hispanic-American Veterans Memorial Initiative. The Hispanic-American Veterans Memorial Initiative is a group of Hispanic-American veterans, volunteers and concerned citizens who have been working together to erect a monument to honor and recognize the contributions and sacrifices Hispanic men and women have made to the United States. 
 

APPOINTMENTS

• The Council appointed the following Council Members to its Committee on Legislation and Committee on Community Development:
o Committee on Legislation
 Council Member Darius G. Pridgen – Chairman
 Council Member Demone A. Smith
  Council Member David A. Franczyk
 Council Member Joseph Golombek, Jr.
 Council Member David A. Rivera
o Committee on Community Development
 Council Member Joseph Golombek, Jr. – Chairman
 Council Member Bonnie E. Russell
 Council Member Michael J. LoCurto
 Council Member Darius G. Pridgen
 Council Member David A. Rivera

• The Council appointed the following individual as Chaplain of the Common Council:
o Reverend Al Warner
 
• 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 Public Works
 Chief Pumping Plant Engineer
• David Fatig
 Head Exterminator
• Michael Murphy
 Supervisor of Street Sanitation I
• Jeffrey Tamsen
• Philip Gramaglia
• The Council accepted the appointment of the following individuals to positions within various City of Buffalo Departments at the base salary:
o Department of Administration, Finance, Policy & Urban Affairs
 Director of Urban Affairs
• Geraldine Ford
o Department of Public Works
 Clerk
• Cecelia Folmar
 Senior First Class Stationary Engineer
• James Wozniak
• Dewitt Overton, Jr.
• Patrick McParlane
• Louis Eze

SALE OF CITY OWNED PROPERTY—The Council approved transactions relating to the following City owned properties:

• Niagara District
o The sale of 417 Breckenridge Street to Mr. George Niualiku and Mr. Richard Goodman was rescinded and their deposit forfeited.

LICENSE AND PERMIT APPROVALS—Upon the recommendation of the Department of Permit & Inspection Services, the Council approved the following license and permit applications:

• Delaware District
o Permit to Expand a Restaurant
 N. Abraham, agent of the property located at 1292 Hertel Avenue
o Permit to Convert an Existing Store to Take-Out Restaurant
 A. Eoannou, owner of the property located at 1416 Hertel Avenue
o Permit to Expand Into the Second Floor of an Existing Restaurant
 P. Tsouflidis, owner of the property located at 708 Elmwood Avenue was approved with various terms and conditions.
• Lovejoy District
o Food Store License
 7-Eleven Inc. located at 398 Dingens Street
• Niagara District
o Food Store License
 7-Eleven Inc. located at 304 Elmwood
 7-Eleven Inc. located at 959 Niagara Street
 7-Eleven Inc. located at 595 Prospect Avenue
• North District
o Food Store License
 Lucy Take Out & Variety Store located at 388 Amherst Street
 7-Eleven located at 355 Military Road
• South District
o Food Store License
 South Park Pizza and Deli located at 1727 South Park Avenue
 7-Eleven Inc. located at 481 Abbott Road
 7-Eleven Inc. located at 975 Abbott Road
 7-Eleven Inc. located at 1971 South Park 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”):

o The contract with Frey Electric Construction, for the City Court Basement Detention Center Project – Electrical Work, was increased by $29,656 to provide power for temporary heat during construction and for added security features. The contract was initially awarded in the amount of $920,000 and with this and prior changes the contract will increase to $963,434.

o The contract with Jim Ando Plumbing, for the City Court Basement Detention Center Project – Plumbing Work, was increased by $4,410 to provide and install an Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) compliant Combi-Unit in a Handicap Accessible Cell, an ADA compliant Water Closet, 21 institutional sprinkler heads at cells, and fire valve cabinets. The contract was initially awarded in the amount of $341,780 and with this change the contract will increase to $346,190.

o The contract with Greater Niagara Mechanical, for the City Court Basement Detention Center Project – Mechanical Work, was increased by $926 to provide temporary heat during construction. The contract was initially awarded in the amount of $327,300 and with this change the contract will increase to $328,226.

o The contract with Stieglitz Snyder Architecture, for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Park Shelter House Renovation Project, was increased by $29,712 for additional services related to the construction phase of the project. The contract was initially awarded in the amount of $59,400 and with this and prior changes the contract will increase to $96,184.
 
• Upon the request of the City of Buffalo Department of Parking, the Council:

o Authorized the Department of Parking to enter into a 90 day trial agreement with Duncan Solutions. The goals of this trial are to assess the functionality, dependability, service, and ease of use of five newly installed, single head, Duncan parking meters for consumers and meter mechanics, to assess the impact on revenues of the new meters, and to assess the overall performance of the new meters in comparison to Pay and Display meters.

• Upon the request of the City of Buffalo Department of Public Works (“DPW”), the Council:

o Authorized DPW to hire a consultant to provide construction phase services for Citywide Sidewalk Replacement Inspection. The cost for this consulting service is expected not to exceed $150,000 and the consultant will be chosen through a Request for Qualifications process.

o Authorized DPW to hire a consultant to provide construction phase services for Citywide Spot Sidewalk Replacement Inspection, specifically at tree damage locations. The cost for this consulting service is expected not to exceed $75,000 and the consultant will be chosen through a Request for Qualifications process.

o Authorized DPW to use $44,810 from a City Bond Account for the Lanigan Field House Roof Reconstruction Project. The remainder of the project will be funded using Community Development Block Grant monies in the amount of $178,790. These funds will be used to install metal weather-proofing sheets.

o Authorized DPW to hire Fisher Associates to provide traffic signal timing optimization services for the Citywide Traffic Signal Optimization – Various Corridors Project. The costs for these consulting services are estimated not to exceed $180,000.

o Authorized the extension of the existing contract with Republic Services, Inc., on a month-to-month basis, for the collection of recyclable materials throughout the City. This extension will allow the City additional time to collect adequate recycling rate data on increasing recycling volumes through weekly collection.

• Upon the request of the City of Buffalo Department of Public Works, the Council approved the following reports of bids:

o Of the bids that were received for the City Court Fire Detection/Alarm System Replacement Project, Weydman Electric was the lowest with a bid of $684,640.