Council approves measure to safeguard residents of Fruit Belt from tax impact of gentrification - The Buffalo News

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Council approves measure to safeguard residents of Fruit Belt from tax impact of gentrification

The Common Council on Tuesday adopted legislation seeking to protect longtime residents of the Fruit Belt neighborhood from the possibility of rising property taxes.

Residents and lawmakers fear that rising property values around the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus will lead to higher property taxes and could drive longtime residents from the neighborhood.

The resolution, from Council President Darius G. Pridgen, proposes that a group of Fruit Belt residents weigh in on gentrification and present their ideas to the Council by June 3.

It also calls on the city’s Law Department to investigate any legal prohibitions to freezing property taxes for longtime residents.

“This is about helping our people, the people who vote for us, to stay in our neighborhoods,” Pridgen said,.

The Council president added that he supports economic development in the area.

“We want progress in the Fruit Belt,” Pridgen said.

In other business:

• The Council hired the operators of Acqua, a waterfront restaurant on the Niagara River, to run the Hatch restaurant at Erie Basin Marina.

• Council members voted to support Buffalo firefighters’ use of Narcan, a powerful antidote to heroin that is carried by city police officers.

The measure’s sponsor, Delaware Council Member Michael J. LoCurto, said firefighters are often the first responders when someone overdoses on heroin or other opiates, and they should carry the drug, as well.

Narcan can be administered through a nasal spray.

• A 10-year agreement regarding the management of Canalside by Erie Harbor Development Corp. was sent to the Council’s Community Development Committee for more discussion, as was a lease extension through March 31, 2015, with the Buffalo Bisons for Coca-Cola Field.

• Lawmakers supported a measure requesting any state plan for high-speed rail include upgrades at the Central Terminal.

• The Council scheduled a public hearing for 2 p.m. April 1 in Council Chambers for the $1.4 million sale of the Market Arcade building to Sinatra Realty.


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