Unanimous Support of National Breast Cancer Month – The Council began their October 30th meeting with a program in honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  Juliana Janson, Executive Director of Susan G. Komen for the Cure’s WNY affiliate, was present and introduced Averl Anderson, a volunteer speaker for the organization who gave a moving personal account of her experience as a breast-cancer survivor and the importance of early screening for the disease. The program concluded with the Council Members, each of whom wore pink in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, providing certificates of appreciation and pink ribbons to Ms. Janson and Ms. Anderson as well certificates of support to City employees and others in attendance that had experience with this disease.

 

Later in the meeting, the Council unanimously adopted a resolution jointly sponsored by all nine Council Members to support National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and recognize those that have struggled with this disease.  National Breast Cancer Awareness Month is a program that is dedicated to increasing public knowledge about the importance of early detection of breast cancer. Since National Breast Cancer Awareness Month began in 1985, mammography rates have more than doubled for women age 50 and older and breast cancer deaths have declined. According to the National Cancer Institute, over 220,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year and approximately one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. While the 5-year survival rate for breast cancer is 98% when detected early (the localized stage), more than 30% of women continue to be diagnosed after breast cancer has spread. The Council encourages women to be proactive about their health by following an Early Detection Plan for Breast Cancer, performing routine breast self-exams, and scheduling clinical breast exams and mammograms as appropriate based upon their age and health history.

 

Recognition of Veterans Events – The Council approved a resolution, sponsored by Ellicott District Council Member Darius G. Pridgen, to recognize the sacrifices of our nation’s Veterans and to raise awareness and support for the National Veterans Golden Age Games and Veterans Day Parade. The 27th National Veterans Golden Age Games is a National Adaptive Sporting event that attracts veterans and their families from across the country. The games are open to all veterans age 55 and older, and feature Olympic style events. Likewise, veterans will also be honored on the City of Buffalo Veterans Day Parade which will be held on Saturday, November 10, 2012. Pursuant to this resolution, all fees associated with these events will be waived.

 

Clarifying the City’s Food Store Licensing, Closure & Appeals Process – At the Council’s October 16th meeting, a resolution sponsored by President Pro Tempore and University District Council Member Bonnie E. Russell was adopted directing the City’s Departments of Permits & Inspections and Law to brief the Council on current procedures, regulations and timelines pertaining to food store licenses. The City continues to struggle with problem delis that negatively impact quality of life for City residents by selling loose cigarettes, diapers and other goods not packaged for individual sale; dealing in stolen, illegal and untaxed goods; violating health, tax, and labors laws; and providing safe havens for criminals and gang members that menace and intimidate neighboring residents. Despite the concerted efforts of the community, Council Members, law enforcement, City attorneys and inspections officials, some problem delis that were closed by the City were recently allowed to reopen by Judicial decree.  In adopting this resolution, the Council also requested that the Law Dept provide an opinion as to whether Administrative Adjudication proceedings involving problem delis are open to the public to observe and potentially provide testimony or other evidence. The Council would like to ensure the transparency of these hearings and make sure that all relevant evidence can be presented.  Finally, the Council committed to exploring the possibility of a task-force for reviewing laws, regulations and procedures related to food store licensing, inspections and enforcement; examining problems that hinder City departments in their application and enforcement of these requirements; and ensuring that the Law Department is equipped with the tools they need to keep problem stores closed.

 

Reinstitute A Deli Task Force – In response to the resolution adopted at their last meeting regarding Clarification of the City’s Food Store Licensing, Closure & Appeals Process, the Council adopted a resolution, sponsored by President Pro Tempore and University District Council Member Bonnie E. Russell, that formally requested the reinstitution of a Deli Task Force. This new Deli Task Force will be charged with reviewing the various problems and issues involved in regulating delicatessens across the City of Buffalo and will be made up of representatives from a number of City departments. The Council previously organized a Deli Task Force in the mid 1990’s that was comprised primarily of representatives from Federal, State, County and local law enforcement agencies.  While at the time it was viewed as a tremendous success, the work of this original task force was discontinued as a result of various staffing, contractual and legal issues. In recognition of the fact that some of the issues faced by the original Deli Task Force remain in place today, the Council is committed to structuring the new Deli Task Force in a way that ensures its continuity and ability to develop permanent solutions to problems associated with Food Stores in the City of Buffalo. The Deli Task Force will examine the possibility of drafting more effective legislation to regulate food stores and clearer enforcement policies, as well as the creation of a standing Food-Store Licensing Review Board to oversee the various aspects of the food store licensing and enforcement process.

 

Liquor Licenses – The Council adopted a resolution, sponsored by President Pro Tempore and University District Council Member Bonnie E. Russell, directing that all notices of liquor license applications and renewals received by the City Clerk be certified as to when they were received and immediately forwarded to the appropriate District Council Member. This resolution was filed to clear up confusion regarding the local notice requirement for liquor license applications and to ensure there is a process to ensure that Council Members have adequate time to forward their concerns to the New York State Liquor Authority (“SLA”) prior to granting or renewal of licenses by the State.  For most types of new liquor license applications, the SLA puts the burden on the applicant to provide notice to the local municipality of their intent to secure a liquor license.  This is done by submitting a standardized “30 Day Notice Form” to the municipality 30 days prior to the submission of an application to the SLA.  When the application is submitted to the SLA, proof must be provided that the applicant provided appropriate notice to the local municipality. The SLA does not typically require notice to local municipalities for renewal applications however, and the City is not typically notified of either when applications are submitted to the SLA or of when the SLA has scheduled hearings on applications.  These factors, as well as confusion over the notice requirement, have made it difficult in the past for Council Members and the community to properly forward their concerns to the SLA prior to hearings on applications being held.

 

 

Waiver of Fees

  • The Council adopted a resolution, sponsored by Council President and Lovejoy District Council Member Richard A. Fontana, requesting that the City of Buffalo Office of Special Events and Department of Public Works waive any and fees associated with the 2012 Annual Lovejoy Halloween Parade. Waiving these fees will decrease the financial burden that volunteer community organizers incur in association with this event and ensure that this event remains free to the public.
  • The Council approved a resolution, sponsored by Niagara District Council Member David A. Rivera, directing that all Special Events permit fees associated with the “Fuel 99% – The Great Disconnect” event being held on Monday, November 19, 2012 at Main Street and Mohawk Place be waived for People United for Sustainable Housing (“PUSH”).

 

Sale of City Owned Property—The Council approved transactions relating to the following City owned properties:

  • Ellicott District
    • 128 Genesee Street was sold to Signature Development for $2,000.

 

Appointments

  • The Council approved the appointment of the following individual to the position of Heavy Equipment Operator within the City of Buffalo Department of Public Works:
    • Sean Cooley
  • The Council appointed the following individual as a Commissioner of Deeds within the City of Buffalo for the term ending December 31, 2012:
    • Sharon L. Williams

 

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

  • Ellicott District
    • Food Store License
      • Virginia Food Market Inc., located at 224 Virginia Street.
    • Lodging House License
      • The Tap Room at the Lafayette, located at 391 Washington Street.
    • Permit for a Freestanding Sign
      • D. Mika, agent of the property located at 1231 Delaware Avenue.
  • Lovejoy District
    • Second Hand Dealer License
      • I. Karanovic, owner of the property located at 1946 Clinton Street.
  • Niagara District
    • Food Store License
      • 7-Eleven Inc., located at 171 Grant Street.
  • North District
    • Permit to Erect Ground Sign
      • D. Mika, agent of the property located at 641 Hertel Avenue.
    • Food Store License
      • 7-Eleven Inc., located at 256 Forest Avenue.
      • 7-Eleven Inc., located at 2070 Niagara Street (aka 2078 Niagara Street).

 

License and Permit Denials—Upon the recommendation of the Department of Police, the Council denied the following license and permit application:

  • Ellicott District
    • Restricted Use Permit for a Tavern Event Allowing Entry of Patrons Under Age 21 Where Alcohol is Served in the Downtown Entertainment Review District
      • Noir Ultra Lounge, located at 88 West Chippewa Street, for the Roboroc Halloween Party

 

 

Claims, Contracts, Change Orders & Agreements

  • Upon the request of the Mayor of the City of Buffalo, the Council:
    • Approved the contract settlement agreement between the City of Buffalo and the Buffalo Crossing Guard Association.  This agreement covers a five year contract term (July 1, 2021 – August 31, 2015), will ensure a Living Wage for these employees and includes health insurance concessions.
  • Upon the request of the City of Buffalo Office of Strategic Planning (“OSP”), the Council:
    • Approved a federal HOME funding agreement in the amount of $2,750,000 in HOME funds between the City of Buffalo and St. John Fruit Belt Community Development Corporation and its partners.  This agreement will allow for the construction of 49 new townhome rental units, with the HOME funds yielding or otherwise funding all or a portion of a total of 16 units. This project will redevelop areas of the Fruit Belt neighborhood and provide quality and affordable housing for low income household families.
  • Upon the request of the City of Buffalo Department of Police (“BPD”), the Council:
    • Authorized BPD to accept one vehicle seized for department use utilizing drug asset forfeiture funds to cover the administrative/seizure fees. The vehicle will be used in future undercover operations and will replace a current vehicle that has outlived its usefulness.
  • Upon the request of the City of Buffalo Department of Fire, the Council:
    • Approved a 10 year lease agreement between the City of Buffalo and Mercy Hospital of Buffalo to facilitate the City’s upgrade, placement, continued operation and maintenance of the City’s Public Safety Communications System. The rooftop of Mercy Hospital has long been an important part of the City’s communications system due to the hospital’s location and the building’s ideal height.
  • Upon the request of the City of Buffalo Department of Public Works (“DPW”), the Council approved the following contract change orders:
    • The contract with Nichter Associates, Inc., for the Cazenovia Park Casino Interior Reconstruction Project, was increased by $2,134 to furnish and install additional electrical outlets for the kitchen equipment and plywood and drywall for the kitchen area. The contract was initially awarded in the amount of $34,500 and with this change the contract will increase to $36,634.
    • The contract with Frey Electric Construction Co., for the City Court Basement Detention Center Project – Electrical Work, was increased by $38,891 for additional miscellaneous work necessary to complete the project. The contract was initially awarded in the amount of $920,000 and with this and prior changes the contract will increase to $1,002,326.
    • The contract with Wilsandra Construction, for the City Court Basement Detention Center Project – General Construction, was increased by $26,710 for additional work necessary to complete the project. The contract was initially awarded in the amount of $1,364,000 and with this and prior changes the contract will increase to $1,428,109.
    • The contract with Miller Enterprises, for the J. B. Wiley Sports Complex Renovations Project, was increased by $11,114 for additional miscellaneous work necessary to complete the project. The contract was initially awarded in the amount of $312,000 and with this and prior changes the contract will increase to $340,694.
    • The contract with Miller Enterprises, for the LaSalle Park Concession Building Improvements Project, was increased by $4,400 for removal and replacement of brick on the outer wing walls necessary to complete the project. The contract was initially awarded in the amount of $28,700 and with this change the contract will increase to $33,100.
    • The contract with GHD Consulting Engineers, LLC, for Supply of Water Meters for the Buffalo Water Board, was increased by $19,500 for services related to additional engineering required to prepare technical specifications for the procurement of meter setting and associated equipment. The contract was initially awarded in the amount of $297,865 and with this change the contract will increase to $307,365.
  • Upon the request of the City of Buffalo Department of Public Works (“DPW”), the Council:
    • Authorized the City of Buffalo to grant a Cultural and Recreational Easement to Erie County in order to facilitate the Buffalo Zoo’s use of $3 million in County assistance for construction of their Arctic Edge and Polar Bear Exhibits.
  • Upon the request of the City of Buffalo Department of Public Works, the Council approved the following reports of bids:
    • Of the bids that were received for the Argyle Park Stone Entry Gates Restoration Project, Highland Masonry was the lowest, with a bid of $14,250.
    • Of the bids that were received for the Broadway Garage New Restroom Addition Project, Miller Enterprises was the lowest, with a bid of $8,570.
    • Of the bids that were received for Emergency Repairs at the Ellicott & Goodrich Garage (“EGG”), Union Concrete and Construction Corp. was the lowest, with a bid of $29,850.