Common Council Items of Interest November 27, 2012

The Council adopted a resolution, sponsored by North District Council Member Joseph Golombek, Jr., calling upon the National Hockey League (“NHL”) and the NHL Players Association to resolve their current labor issues and approve a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (“CBA”).  In addition to hurting the league, its teams, and the fans, the NHL’s recent labor issues have financially impacted numerous local businesses. Since September 15, 2012, there have been no NHL games due to the absence of a negotiated CBA between NHL owners and the NHL Players Association. This lockout has resulted in 15 nights of lost business for bars, restaurants, and hotels that cater to NHL  fans. The continuation of this lockout will exacerbate this negative economic impact and could threaten the viability of Western New York businesses that depend on the Sabres. The Council stands in solidarity with local fans and businesses that have been hurt by this lockout and reminds NHL owners and players that without the support of these groups  the league and its teams would not be profitable. 
The Council began their November 27th meeting with a program to promote December as International Safe Toys and Gifts Month. U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Keshia L. Toro and Kelly Dodd, Coordinator of Special Projects for the Olmsted Center for Sight, were present at the meeting and provided those in attendance with an overview of local efforts to ensure toy and gift safety. The program concluded with Council Members providing certificates of appreciation to Sgt. Toro and Ms. Dodd for their work on behalf of the community.  
Later in the meeting, the Council unanimously adopted a resolution, sponsored by President Pro Tempore and University District Council Member Bonnie E. Russell, in support of December as International Safe Toys and Gifts Month. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has developed an acronym in connection with Safe Toys and Gifts Month, S.A.F.E., which stands for Supervision of children at play, Age appropriateness of gifts, Freedom of gifts from inherent hazards, and Equipment to minimize injuries. The Council encourages City residents to keep this acronym in mind when gift giving to friends and family this holiday season as well as when donating toys and gifts for needy families through the U.S. Marine Corps’ Toys for Tots Foundation, Buffalo and the Western New York Holiday Partnership of the Olmsted Center for Sight and other charitable groups. 
The Council adopted a resolution, co-sponsored by all nine Council Members, supporting the Homeless Alliance of Western New York in their mission to end homelessness in the City of Buffalo and Erie County. Unemployment and scarcity of affordable housing options are the primary catalysts for homelessness. The Homeless Alliance seeks to create an environment with affordable housing opportunities and greater employment opportunities for people of low income in order to reduce the rate of poverty in Buffalo. 
The Council approved a resolution, sponsored by Fillmore District Council Member David A. Franczyk, further clarifying the Council’s reasons for denying a Transfer Station License to Battaglia Demolition Inc. at 1037 Seneca Street.  The Council denied this license at their Sept. 4, 2012 meeting.  Among the reasons cited for denial were that granting the license would be inconsistent with protecting the health, safety and welfare of Seneca Babcock Community residents. After reviewing the application and considering all relevant factors, the Council deemed the site ill-suited for the processing and transfer of putrescible waste. 
The Council adopted a resolution, sponsored by Delaware District Council Member Michael J. LoCurto and Niagara District Council Member David A. Rivera, calling upon the Erie County Legislature to maintain funding for the Vector and Pest Control Program as part of the County’s 2013 Final Budget. The Erie County Executive has included funding for the Vector and Pest Control Program (“VPC”) in his Recommended Budget. When funding for the VPC was eliminated from the 2011 County Budget, increases in local rat and pest populations were reported which threatened the health of City of Buffalo residents. Unlike some County programs, the VPC provides a direct benefit to City of Buffalo residents. 
The Council adopted a resolution, sponsored by Majority Leader and Masten District Council Member Demone A. Smith, proclaiming December 9 – 16, 2012 to be Education Week in the City of Buffalo. Education is an important civil right and cornerstone of our society, and the Council will be launching several education related  initiatives during this week aimed at increasing community engagement and involvement in the City of Buffalo’s education system. 
The Council approved a resolution, sponsored by North District Council Member Joseph Golombek, Jr., requesting the waiver of any and all City permit fees associated with the “Flames Across Niagara” event (lead image) to be held on Saturday, December 8, 2012 at Squaw Island Park. This event will include the lighting of bonfires along both the American and Canadian shores of the Niagara River to symbolize the burnings of Buffalo, Black Rock and Niagara-on-the-Lake during the War of 1812, and commemorate the many years of peace between the United States and Canada. (Facebook)
The Council approved a resolution, sponsored by Niagara District Council Member David A. Rivera, to permit the West Side Bazaar and Westminster Economic Development Initiative to hang a banner at 25 Grant Street to celebrate refugee empowerment and economic development in the City of Buffalo. 
SALE OF CITY OWNED PROPERTY–The Council approved transactions relating to the following City owned properties:
Ellicott District
o 14, 26, 34, and 40 Holland Place were sold to 1291 Group, LLC for $25,200.
Niagara District
o 89 Fifteenth Street was sold to Mrs. Kazi Shajeda Rouf for $4,400. 
o 11 & 15 Perkins Place were sold to Ms. Tammy L. Edin for $3,000. 
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 Food Store License
Community Corner Inc., located at 1146 Hertel Avenue. 
o > Permit to Re-Establish Restaurant in Hertel Avenue Special District
A. Akol, owner of the property located at 1256 Hertel Avenue. 
Ellicott District
o Restricted Use Permit for a Tavern Event Allowing Entry of Patrons Under Age 21 Where Alcohol is Served in the Downtown Entertainment Review District 
Lux, located at 75 West Chippewa Street, for their “Lux New Year’s Eve Gala” event on December 31, 2012. 
Niagara District
o Permit to Expand & Enclose an Outdoor Café 
S. Malliaris, owner of the property located at 451 Elmwood Avenue. 
South District
o Food Store License
Cedos Mini Mart and Takeout, located at 674 Hopkins Street. 
University District
o Permit to Re-establish a Restaurant
K. Johnson, owner of the property located at 3223 Main Street. 
Upon the request of the City of Buffalo Office of Strategic Planning (“OSP”), the Council:
o Approved an amended Land Disposition Agreement between the City of Buffalo and Uniland Development Company for the Oak Michigan Corridor (also known as Block 21, located at 140 Genesee Street between Elm and Oak Streets). Uniland is proposing to construct a $45.9 million six-story, state of the art, Catholic Health Administrative and Regional Training Center at the property. The property will also accommodate parking for 630 vehicles and is anticipated to bring 700 jobs to the central business district. 
Upon the request of the City of Buffalo Department of Fire, the Council:
o Authorized a $50,000 increase in the contract for the Engineering and Design of a New Radio Tower in Delaware Park and C District Police Precinct project to allow for replacement of the existing tower, which has been condemned due to deficiencies discovered during a recent construction inspection. 
Upon the request of the City of Buffalo Department of Parking, the Council:
o Approved the Buffalo Civic Auto Ramps (“BCAR”) Annual Budget for the 2012-2013 Fiscal Year. 
o Authorized the Division of Parking Enforcement to take over use of a 2005 Dodge Durango and a 2000 Ford Expedition for use as enforcement vehicles. These vehicles were unclaimed, making them eligible for auction or conversion to official use, and will not be used for take-home purposes. 
Upon the request of the City of Buffalo Department of Public Works (“DPW”), the Council:
o Authorized the Commissioner of DPW to issue a “Mere License” to DelVir LLC, owners of the property located at 468 Delaware Avenue, to encroach upon the City right-of-way at this address. Permitting these encroachments will allow the incorporation of various architectural features into a mixed-use building that has been proposed for construction at the site. Approvals from the City of Buffalo Zoning Board of Appeals and Planning Board have already been obtained for this project. 
o Authorized the New York State Department of Transportation (“NYSDOT”) to act on behalf of the City of Buffalo to acquire all necessary right-of-way parcels required for improvements to Ohio Street between Michigan Avenue and Fuhrmann Boulevard. After construction has been completed, all parcels acquired will be returned to the City. 
o Authorized DPW to hire a consultant to provide architectural and engineering services for the Parking Garage Reconstruction project at the Broadway Market. The current expansion joints at the garage have failed and are allowing water to leak into the first floor of the market.  The hiring of this consultant will facilitate correction of this problem and limit further damage to the facility. 
o Authorized DPW to purchase one 32′ Full Dump Trailer with vibrator for the cost of $53,673 to replace outdated equipment that has outlived its usefulness.
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 Emergency Repairs to the Ellicott & Goodrich Garage (“EGG”), Union Concrete and Construction Corp. was the lowest, with a bid of $27,362. 
The Council approved the appointment of the following individuals to positions within various City of Buffalo Departments:
o Department of Public Works
Assistant Administrator
Diane Boyce 
Associate Account Clerk
Raylena Cunningham 
Equipment Operator
Gregory Leonard 
o Department of Permit & Inspection Services
Assistant Director of Housing & Property Inspections
Louis Petrucci 
The Council appointed the following person as a Commissioner of Deeds within the City of Buffalo:
o Salvatore Howard 
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.

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David A. Franczyk
Fillmore District
1315 City Hall

David A. Rivera
President Pro Tempore
Niagara District
1504 City Hall

Richard A. Fontana
Majority Leader
Lovejoy District
1414 City Hall

Michael J. LoCurto
Delaware District
1405 City Hall

Darius G. Pridgen
Ellicott District
1408 City Hall

Demone A. Smith
Masten District
1316-A City Hall

Joseph Golombek, Jr.
North District
1502 City Hall

Christopher P. Scanlon
South District
1401 City Hall

Bonnie E. Russell
University District
1508 City Hall

Common Council Legislative Staff Office
1413 City Hall

James N. Jackson
Legislative Assistant
City of Buffalo Common Council
1413 City Hall
Buffalo, NY 14202

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I don't understand the point of these resolutions? How does the city of Buffalo have any say over the NHL? They passed one of these resolutions earlier this year regarding Trayvon Martin. What business of ours is that?

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