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Today in City Hall: Marina contract

By Jill Terreri

The Erie Basin Marina will likely have a new operator in place by the end of the Common Council's meeting today. 

The Council appears poised to approve a five-year contract with Smith Boys to run the marina, as well as rate increases for slipholders effective in 2015. (The mayor has to sign the contract, but it was his administration that recommended Smith Boys.) Rates have not increased since 2002. The average annual rate increase over the term of the proposed agreement is 8 percent for city residents and 16 percent for non-residents. The agreement, from 2014-18, shows that the city won't see any rent from Smith Boys until 2016, when the rent is 10 percent of any net profit over $80,000. The same figure is due the city in 2017. In 2018, the rent increases to 20 percent of any net profit over $80,000.


(A separate contract to run the Hatch restaurant hasn't yet come before the Council.)

The city did not renew a contract with Brand-On Services, which had run the marina since 2002, after an audit showed the company owes the city $343,245. Subsequent audits have found that the company owes the city a total of $515,296, according to the comptroller's office. The company disputes thse figures and the city and Brand-On are in the early stages of arbitration to settle their differences.  

The Council also is ready to approve an expense of $50,000 in federal Community Development Block Grant funds on a study of the city's immigrant populations, their needs, programs that are available to them and recommendations to expand those services.

The United Way and the International Institute are also working on it, said Office of Strategic Planning Executive Director Brendan Mehaffy. 

The Council will also approve a contract with Titan Development for $717,392 for new tennis and basketball courts in city parks and $10,485 for a new set at the Apollo Media Center, for independent producers to use for their public access television shows. 

In other news:

  • A hookah lounge operator wants to open in the old Ambrosia restaurant space at 467 Elmwood Ave. (Ambrosia moved down the block to co-locate with Nektar.) Niagara Council Member David Rivera said he told the operator to get support from the neighborhood. The issue will be discussed at 2 p.m. March 11 in the Legislation Committee.   
  • Council President Darius Pridgen will be the keynote speaker tomorrow during a civil rights ceremony. 
  • The Council will adopt a resolution urging state officials to raise the age of criminal responsibility. (The resolution does not say to what age.) 



City of Buffalo | Common Council | Darius Pridgen
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About Politics Now

Robert J. McCarthy

Robert J. McCarthy

A native of Schenectady, Robert J. McCarthy came to The Buffalo News in 1982 following a six-year stint at the Olean Times Herald. He is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University, and has been covering local, state and national politics since 1992.

Tom Precious

Tom Precious

Tom Precious joined The Buffalo News in 1997 as bureau chief at the state Capitol, where he covers everything from statewide politics and state government fiscal affairs to health care, environmental and municipal government matters. Prior to The News, he worked for news outlets in Albany and Washington, DC.

Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri is an Amherst native and has covered politics and government in upstate New York since 2003. She joined The Buffalo News in 2012 and covers City Hall.

@jillterreri |

Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski, The Buffalo News Washington bureau chief, has reported from the nation's capital since 1989 after joining The News as a business reporter in 1984. A graduate of Syracuse University, Zremski is a former Nieman fellow in journalism at Harvard University. In 2007, he served as president of the National Press Club.

@JerryZremski |