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Common Council Report for June 15th, 2011 | News

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Common Council Report for June 15th, 2011
News
Common Council Report for June 15th, 2011

Support for New York State Adopting a “Parent Trigger Law” for Buffalo Public Schools—The Council adopted a resolution sponsored by Council Members Demone A. Smith and Michael P. Kearns expressing its support for New York State (“NYS”) Assembly Bill A7569 which would permit the parents of pupils attending a Buffalo Public School (“BPS”) on the NYS Persistently Lowest Achieving (“PLA”) list to choose implementation of an education intervention model. BPS educates nearly 33,000 students in 59 separate schools. Of those schools, 13 are currently on the PLA list and an additional 13 schools will likely be placed on the PLA list in the near future. NYS mandates that if a school is placed on the PLA list, the local school district must choose one of four education intervention models in an attempt to improve the school. Educational advocacy groups, including the Buffalo-based District Parent Coordinating Council (“DPCC”), have requested that parents be given additional tools to hold the school system accountable and give parents a larger voice in the education process. The proposed NYS legislation would allow parents at a PLA school to implement a chosen education intervention model by collecting signatures from at least 50 percent of the represented parents at the respective school showing support for that model. Advocates for this law assert that this law would give parents a greater role in the education of their children and would result in the school system being more responsive to their interests.

Requiring All City of Buffalo Public Pool Users to Furnish Proper IDThe Council adopted a resolution sponsored by South District Council Member Michael P. Kearns requesting the City of Buffalo Departments of Public Works and Law to provide their opinions on the feasibility and advisability of requiring users of all City public pools, both indoor and outdoor, to furnish proper identification upon entry. The City of Buffalo has a mix of indoor and outdoor public pools. Currently, all uses of City indoor public pools are asked to furnish proper identification upon entry, such as a City issued ID of New York State license. Those who furnish identification proving City residency are admitted to City indoor public pools at a lesser charge than those who are unable to prove city residency. However, users of City outdoor public pools are not asked to furnish proper identification and are not charged upon entry. The Council maintains that the City of Buffalo should apply the same policies for use of its outdoor public pools as are currently in place for use of indoor public pools therefore assisting outdoor pool staff with identifying pool users in case of an emergency or if problems arise.

Home Rule Message—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 is essential to their well-being.

Name Mulroy Park Playground Area – George Herrmann Playground—The Council approved a resolution sponsored by South District Council Member Michael P. Kearns approving the request to name Mulroy Park Playground area the “George Herrmann Playground”. The City of Buffalo parks and playgrounds have played a vital role in providing wholesome recreational and athletic activities for the City’s youth. The City’s playgrounds were made even more vital, vibrant and responsive to community needs because of recreation instructors like George Herrmann. After the City acquired land along Tifft Street for a playground in 1928, Mulroy Park was dedicated in 1930 and named for South Buffalo resident John E. Mulroy. George Herrmann managed and maintained Mulroy Park playground in South Buffalo for more than a quarter century. Under George Herrmann’s steady hand, Mulroy Park captured an impressive string of seven consecutive citywide basketball championships. Beyond his coaching expertise, George Herrmann was a mentor, guiding hand, and a friend to thousands of young people in South Buffalo and he epitomizes the quality of individuals who toiled in Buffalo playgrounds in the 1950’s, 1960’s and 1970’s. The Council will be holding a public hearing on the matter on Tuesday, June 28, 2011 at 2:00 p.m. in Common Council Chambers.

Ordinance Amendment—The Council approved an ordinance amendment sponsored by North District Council Member Joseph Golombek, Jr., amending Chapter 511, Sections 138, 152, and 155 of the Code of the City of Buffalo, by establishing additional zoning guidelines for the Elmwood Village Design Standards District.

Waiver of Fees at South Ogden Transfer Station for Habitat for Humanity—The Council approved a resolution sponsored by Lovejoy District Council Member Richard A. Fontana granting a waiver of disposal fees at the South Ogden Transfer Station for Habitat for Humanity for the 2011-2012 fiscal year. Habitat for Humanity has an excellent reputation as a not-for-profit organization that provides decent and affordable housing for people in the City of Buffalo. The Habitat for Humanity volunteer work force rehabilitates older homes and builds new ones to strengthen the City by increasing home ownership and creating additional property tax revenue. By waiving fees for Habitat for Humanity, the City will be directly reducing the organization’s building costs and freeing up construction dollars that can be used to complete additional projects within the City of Buffalo.

Waiver of Fees for the Scajaquada Creek Bike Path Tour—The Council approved a resolution sponsored by North District Council Member Joseph Golombek, Jr. granting a waiver of permit fees for the Olmsted Conservancy’s Scajaquada Creek Bike Path Tour on June 18, 2011. The Olmsted Conservancy is a not-for-profit organization who is under contract with the City of Buffalo to maintain the Olmsted Parks System and adjacent paths and parkways. The Scajaquada Creek Bike Path Tour is designed to showcase the improvements that the Olmsted Conservancy has made to the bike path, since they were contracted to maintain it.

Waiver of Fees for Riverside Food Pantry—The Council approved a resolution sponsored by North District Council Member Joseph Golombek, Jr. granting a waiver of any required fees that are associated with the move of the Riverside Food Pantry from its current location on Tonawanda Street to its new location at 357 Ontario Street. The Riverside Food Pantry has served the needs of the poor in the Black Rock and Riverside areas for over 25 years. The organization has to relocate from its current location to a new location and any fees associated with this move will force the Riverside Food Pantry to spend funds that could be used to feed the poor in the neighborhood.

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 Buffalo Citybration to hang a banner on Elmwood Avenue at Lancaster Avenue. The banner will celebrate the 6th Annual Buffalo Citybration and will be displayed from June 2, 2011 through June 27, 2011.
  • The Council adopted a resolution sponsored by Ellicott District Council Member Darius G. Pridgen giving permission to The Puerto Rican Day Parade of Western New York Association, Inc. to hang banners on Niagara Street between South Elmwood Avenue, Porter Avenue, and Fourth Street. The banners will celebrate the 9th Annual Puerto Rican Day Parade and will be displayed from August 20, 2011 through September 18, 2011.

Sale of City Owned Property—The Council approved the sale of the following City owned properties:

  • Ellicott District
    • 24, 26, 28, and 30 Locust Street was sold to St. John Fruit Belt Development Corporation for $6,000
  • Fillmore District
    • 33 Tenth Street was sold to Ms. Angela Esquilin for $2,4000

Appointments

  • The Council appointed the following individual as a Marriage Officer within the City of Buffalo, to a term to expire on August 30, 2011:
    • Abraham Munson-Ellis
  • The Council appointed the following individuals to the position of Intern VI within the City of Buffalo Office of the City Clerk:
    • Cameron Rogers
    • Sheila Durham
    • John Wagner
    • Angel Castro
  • The Council approved the appointment of the following individuals to positions within a City of Buffalo Departments at a step above the base salary:
    • Department of Public Works
      • Account Clerk Typist
        • Vincent Lopez
      • Laborer II
        • Perry Pope
      • Street Worker
        • Juan Crespo
    • Department of Administration, Finance, Policy & Urban Affairs
      • Junior Collection Officer
        • Carolyn Manney
  • 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
      • Deputy Director of Cable Communications
  • John Bellamy
  • Greenskeeper
    • Paul Stokely
  • Senior First Class Stationary Engineer
    • Dewitt Overton
  • Bridge Operating Engineer
    • Robert Kreutinger
    • Lewis King
  • Department of Audit and Control
    • Senior Accountant
      • Rachael Cox
  • Office of Strategic Planning
    • Senior Typist
      • Angela Webber
  • Department of Administration, Finance, Policy & Urban Affairs
    • Account Clerk Typist
      • Patricia Higgins
  • Department of Permit and Inspection Services
    • Data Control Clerk
      • Kimberly Smiley
  • Department of Assessment and Taxation
    • Account Clerk Typist
      • Deborah Shields

License and Permit Approvals—Upon the recommendation of the Department Permit & Inspection Services, the Council approved the following license and permit applications:

  • Delaware District
    • Second Hand Dealer License
      • Accentric located at 1416 Hertel Avenue
  • Ellicott District
    • Sidewalk Café License
      • 67 West of WNY Inc. located at 67 West Chippewa Avenue
    • Restaurant Dance License
      • Club Marcella located at 622 Main Street
      • Musicians Big 6 VIP Club & Restaurant located at 600 North Street
  • Lovejoy District
    • Used Car Dealer License
      • Philips Quality Auto Inc. located at 1623 William Street
  • Masten District
    • Sidewalk Café License
      • The Oakk Room located at 1435 Main Street
    • Permit for a LED Ground Sign
      • J. Popiela, agent of the property located at 2253 Main Street

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 CIR Electrical Construction Corp. for the City Hall Emergency Generator Project was increased by $5,715 to furnish and install a replacement window and frame at the generator location with a metal insulated panel and to furnish and install outdoor exhaust piping. The contract was initially awarded in the amount of $165,900 and with this and prior changes the contract will increase to $175,187.
    • The contract with David Homebuilders for the Renewable Energy and Energy Updates at City Facilities Project was increased by $260,000 for additional costs necessary to complete the replacement of the field lighting system at Coca-Cola Field. All lighting fixtures, poles, wiring, commissioning, and a 25 year service agreement are included as part of the installed system. The contract was initially awarded in the amount of $2,736,900 and with this change the contract will increase to $2,996,900.
    • The contract with Destro & Brothers Concrete Co., Inc. for the Porter Avenue Resurfacing Project – Phase I was increased by $250,000 for additional services by the contractor for increasing the project limits due to the City receiving an additional $450,000 grant from the Buffalo & Erie County Greenway Fund. The contract was initially awarded in the amount of $1,483,473 and with this change the contract will increase to $1,733,473.
    • The contract with Marquis Engineering for the Citywide Paving Project was increased by $150,000 for additional service necessary to provide uninterrupted engineering services into the construction season. The contract was initially awarded in the amount of $190,000 and with this change the contract will increase to $340,000.
  • Upon the request of the City of Buffalo Office of Strategic Planning, the Council:
    • Authorized an amendment to the lease agreement between the City of Buffalo and Grassroots Gardens of Buffalo, Inc. to include adding 34 properties to the original lease agreement. The terms and conditions of the original lease, which were approved by the Common Council on October 3, 2006, will remain the same, but will now apply to more properties.
    • Authorized an easement agreement between the City of Buffalo and Niagara Mohawk to provide for electrical upgrades to School Number 306, located at 646 East Delavan Avenue.
    • Authorized an easement agreement between the City of Buffalo and Niagara Mohawk to provide for electrical upgrades to School Number 81, located at 124 Tacoma Avenue.
  • Upon the request of the City of Buffalo Department of Parking, the Council:
    • Authorized the Department of Parking to allocate $32,620 for a Residential Area Parking Program (“RAPP”) Lot Beautification Project. Currently, Buffalo Civic Auto Ramps (“BCAR”) manages, cleans, plows, and maintains 36 RAPP lots for the City of Buffalo; however these lots are in need of upgrades that are not part of the original maintenance agreement. The Lot Beautification Project will address these needs through asphalt sealing, line striping, landscape enhancements, installation of all weather blue garbage containers and uniform signage at all lots.
    • Authorized the Department of Parking to turn over use of an abandoned 2006 Chevrolet Suburban to the City Clerk’s Office for use as a Dog Enumerator Transport vehicle. The vehicle will not be used for take home purposes.
  • Upon the request of the City of Buffalo Department of Administration, Finance, Policy and Urban Affairs, the Council:
    • Authorized the purchase of two vehicles for use in the Division of Inventory and Stores. These vehicles are to replace vehicles that were previously auctioned. The Division is looking to purchase smaller vehicles that would meet its delivery and pick-up demands while conserving fuel.
    • Authorized an agreement between the City of Buffalo and the Colored Musicians Club, Inc. (“CMC”) to provide up to $300,000 in funding for the CMC’s capital improvements and museum implementation project. The CMC plans to improve its building located at 145 Broadway and install museum exhibits celebrating its 82 year history.
  • Upon the request of the City of Buffalo Department of Public Works (“DPW”), the Council:
    • Authorized DPW to accept $6,679,215 from the New York State Consolidated Local Streets and Highway Improvement Program (“CHIPS”).
  • The Council approved the reports of bids from the City of Buffalo Department of Public Works for the following project:
    • The Turner Parking Ramp Renovations – 2011 Project. Of the bids that were received, Patterson-Stevens, Inc. was the lowest with a bid of $214,494.

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 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 and select the Common Council link.


 

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