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Today in City Hall

By Jill Terreri

Good morning, 

Today the Common Council will meet and is expected to approve a labor contract with Teamsters, who repair city water lines. The caulkers are in line for 2 percent raises, retroactive to 2007. Lawmakers are also expected to approve a $75,000 settlement with a retired police lieutenant who said she was discriminated against by the city. 

A measure that would revive the city's public art program, which requires that 1 percent of capital project spending goes toward public art, is expected to be adopted today. 

Continue reading "Today in City Hall" »

New vendor in the City Hall cafeteria

By Jill Terreri

The audience for this post is likely narrow, but it will be useful to anyone who works around Niagara Square and eats lunch.  

Sue's New York Deli is taking over operations in the City Hall cafeteria, under terms the Common Council is set to approve when it meets at 2 p.m. today. 

It appears, from the restaurant's menu from its other operations, that more healthy options will be offered in the cafeteria. Sue's has locations on Main Street in the theater district and at 130 S. Elmwood Ave., next to City Hall.  

Public Works Commissioner Steve Stepniak didn't know on Monday when the service would switch over, but said that the new vendor has done a walk-through and wants to bring its own equipment in. 

Continue reading "New vendor in the City Hall cafeteria" »

Today in City Hall: Big projects to start

By Jill Terreri

Good morning, 

The Common Council will meet at 2 p.m. today in chambers and is expected to approve millions of dollars for construction projects, including $15.8 million for a redesign of the 500-block of Main Street and $2.4 million for streetscape improvements to East Lovejoy and Clinton streets and Delavan Avenue.

Main Street downtown is in the midst of a transformation, as it is being reconfigured to allow for the return of vehicle traffic. The 500-block is the most expensive piece of the project, and is expected to begin in September, and will be completed by summer 2015. Mark Cerrone, Inc., won the bid for Main Street, while Concrete Applied Technologies Corp. won the bid for the Lovejoy District streetscapes. The Lovejoy work is expected to begin in August. 

The Council will also approve consultant contracts for capital improvements to more than 20 community centers all over town. The projects are funded with federal block grant funds from prior years that were unspent.  

Continue reading "Today in City Hall: Big projects to start" »

Today in City Hall: Trico

By Jill Terreri

Good morning, 

Preservation Buffalo Niagara will hold a news conference at noon today on the steps of City Hall in an effort to pressure the Common Council to designate the Trico complex a local landmark, which would give the city's Preservation Board more say in any proposal to demolish it. 

The Council is set to vote tomorrow on Trico's landmark status. Ellicott Council Member Darius Pridgen's district includes the building, and other lawmakers will likely take their cues from Pridgen. Pridgen did not say last week how he will vote, but noted that many from the neighborhood who spoke during Tuesday's Legislation Committee were not in favor of saving the building. 

UPDATE: During a brief interview this afternoon, Pridgen said there will be a vote on the landmark designation tomorrow, but he would not say how he would vote. 

In a separate interview today, Matthew K. Enstice, president and CEO of the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, which owns development rights to Trico, said the Medical Campus is not in favor of landmarking the building, but is willing to work with developers and preservationists on re-using the former factory. 

Continue reading "Today in City Hall: Trico" »

Today in City Hall: Niagara Square gets a makeover

By Jill Terreri

Good morning,

Beginning today, just outside of City Hall, work is set to start on a $600,000 makeover of Niagara Square, which should come as welcome news to anyone who has traveled around the square on foot or in a wheelchair. Improvements include accessible ramps, new curbs and sidewalks, and highly visible pedestrian crossings, which can be expected to be a big upgrade from the haphazard signage that is there now. 

The square will also be repaved, as well as a block on each intersecting street. Work is expected to be completed by Memorial Day, though the start and end dates are weather dependent.    

Continue reading "Today in City Hall: Niagara Square gets a makeover" »

This week's Planning and Zoning board agendas

Work on a former downtown hotel and a former school highlight Tuesday's city Planning Board agenda.

On Wednesday, the Zoning Board of Appeals' agenda also includes the former Greystone Hotel and Elmwood Village Charter School projects, among others.

Check out the rest of this week's public meetings in city government.

--Aaron Besecker
Follow me on Twitter: @BeseckerBN

Preservation Board to tackle addition planned behind Delaware Ave. mansion

Plans to put an addition on a carriage house behind a Delaware Avenue mansion are among the proposals going before the City of Buffalo Preservation Board on Thursday.

The address of the project, being undertaken by Courier Capital Corp., is 1114 Delaware Ave., at Highland Avenue. Courier Capital bought the property in October from the Protestant Episcopal Diocese of Western New York for $650,000.

The company wants to split the mansion property from the carriage house property, making the carriage house its own residential property, a representative said last week.

Bradley Hamm, an aide to Delaware Council Member Michael J. LoCurto, told the city Zoning Board of Appeals on Wednesday that the property sits in the Linwood Preservation District. Hamm also said the Council office received two emails in opposition to it. 

Here's the Preservation Board's full agenda.

The board meets at 3 p.m. in Room 901 in City Hall.

--Aaron Besecker
Follow me on Twitter: @BeseckerBN

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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.

rmccarthy@buffnews.com


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.

tprecious@buffnews.com


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 | jterreri@buffnews.com


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 | jzremski@buffnews.com

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