|Date:||March 27, 2023|
By Anna Blatto |
Each week, PPG summarizes important takeaways from the major Buffalo Common Council meetings. We also include information from Council meetings related to our Community Agenda items
For this summary, we will focus on two meetings. The Caucus Meeting is where members from a specific political party, in Buffalo's case, the democratic party, meet, but official voting on issues does not occur. The Regular Meeting is the Common Council's primary meeting, where they make official decisions on issues.
During the Caucus Meeting, Council Member Wyatt expressed concerns about a proposal for a $450,000 inter-fund loan requested by the Department of Public Works (DPW). This loan supplements a $2.2 million grant from the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) for pedestrian safety improvements. Wyatt planned to meet with DPW representatives to address his concerns and praised the DPW for their work striping Suffolk Street. He shared that residents in his district have noticed the difference and have reacted positively. It's his hope more streets can be similarly striped. Representatives from the DPW shared that they spent $250,000 on striping last year and aim to increase this year over year.
Majority Leader Rivera brought up American Rescue Plan (ARP) funding and explained that all council members had submitted their recommendations for ARP funding to the DPW. Rivera shared hopes that the amendments from the DPW can return to the Common Council for approval as soon as possible. Representatives from the DPW responded that it would follow up with the Common Council on this matter.
(Note: Due to technical difficulties, the first 20 minutes of the meeting audio were missing from the Common Council’s video stream.)
The Regular Meeting began with each Common Council member presenting a proclamation to an extraordinary woman from their district in honor of Women’s History Month:
Council Member Wyatt expressed concerns over the distribution of ARP funding for district projects. He explained that residents in his district are concerned about where the money is and why it has yet to be administered. Wyatt went on to say that council members and residents have been told Requests for Proposals (RFPs) would be distributed since last July and asked the administration to work with the Council to get ARP money moved and that they cannot continue to wait until the last minute to move money out.
Majority Leader Rivera and Council Member Bollman have liaised with the committee working on ARP funding. Rivera clarified that eight council members have already designated money for their projects and that one member is still researching his request. He hopes to get the funding out soon and will work with the administration, Division of Budget, Division of Planning, and Council Member Wyatt to move this process.
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