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Housing Authority allocates funds

Commissioners of the Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority cleaned house Thursday during the board's annual meeting.

They said goodbye to a 10-year veteran of the board whose term will expire this month. They elected new officers. And they announced the available surplus for this fiscal year and how the money will be allocated.

"There is $17 million in actual reserves authority-wide," said Modesto Candelario, the authority's assistant executive director. "That's the surplus [available] for this fiscal year, which goes from June 2008 to July 2009."

Of that, $10 million will be allocated across individual developments or small groups of developments for emergencies.

About $980,000 will go into reserves to replace equipment such as lawnmowers, snowblowers and vehicles.

"The fleet is fairly old. We have to take a look at that," Candelario said.

Officials plan to put $900,000 in reserves for additional lighting and cameras at various housing developments.

And $1.1 million will be put aside specifically for repainting units. Many of the apartments and town homes in the authority's 27 housing developments have not been painted in 25 years. Officials would like to begin a painting cycle to cut down on that.

During the annual meeting, the commissioners re-elected new officers -- Michael Seaman as chairman and Ronald Brown as vice chairman.

The meeting was the last for Commissioner Charles J. Flynn, who had served on the board for 10 years.

"It's a new chapter," said Flynn, who had been appointed to the board by then-Mayor Anthony M. Masiello.

The biggest challenge and the project that pleases Flynn the most is the development of Lakeview Hope VI near the Niagara Thruway, he said. The transformation from project-style public housing to modern townhouses and flats is the most expensive and comprehensive public housing overhaul in Buffalo's history.

The biggest challenges he leaves behind include the redevelopment of Kensington Heights, property that has been vacant 25 years, and finding ways of doing business with decreased funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

"HUD money will certainly be decreased," Flynn said. "The board will have to do some site closings."

According to Seaman, Buffalo Mayor Byron W. Brown will make two new appointments by next month's board meeting to replace Flynn and Crystal Rodriguez, who left the board over the summer after accepting a new position with the city.

e-mail: dwilliams@buffnews.com

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