By Jill Terreri
The Common Council will not add $250,000 for new digital movie projectors for the Market Arcade Film & Arts Centre Inc. to the 2014 capital budget when it meets at 2 p.m. today.
Majority Leader Demone A. Smith said that the city's Law Department informed him that it could not "legally justify" the purchase.
Smith had inquired as to whether the city could use capital budget funds on the Market Arcade, which is owned by the Buffalo Urban Renewal Agency Buffalo Economic Renaissance Corp., a city-affiliated organization that keeps its books separate from the city. He wanted to add the expense to the capital budget but was waiting on an opinion from city lawyers as to whether the city could borrow for a property that it does not directly own.
Several Council members spoke in favor of using $250,000 in capital funds to partially upgrade digital projectors at the city's only downtown movie theater during a pre-meeting caucus on Monday, and no lawmaker voiced any opposition. The Brown administration, however, is against using funds for the theater, with Office of Strategic Planning Executive Director Brendan Mehaffy telling The Buffalo News that the city wasn't willing to spend the money. Mayor Byron Brown reiterated that position in an interview with WBFO-FM that aired Monday.
Movies will soon only be available for projection in theaters in a digital format, and Market Arcade does not have digital projectors for its seven theaters, an upgrade estimated to cost $420,000, or $60,000 each.
taggedByron Brown | City of Buffalo | city spending | Common Council | Demone Smith