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RESTRUCTURING SYSTEM AIDS DEVELOPMENT

Majority Leader Rosemarie LoTempio and her colleagues on the Common Council are to be commended for their statements made at the Oct. 2 Common Council meeting regarding waiver of permit fees.

The Buffalo Niagara Partnership has been working tirelessly with city officials to streamline the permit process. This system not only needs to be equitable, but fair and predictable. A consistent and coordinated permit process will prove to be an effective economic development tool.

With this precedent set, the Department of Permits and Inspection Services can ensure that organizations will not overstep the permit process by having their cost waived by the Council. Benefiting both the budget and permit process, their position is the right one.

The Partnership's Building Permit Process and Fees Schedule Revision Team has been working toward this goal for more than two years. The committee, comprised of both private sector and city officials, is in the final stages and preparing to submit its report to Mayor Anthony Masiello, the corporation counsel and the Common Council for legislative approval.

Commissioner Ray McGurn and his staff have already implemented many aspects of the streamlined permit process. Many steps have been taken by the department to reduce the existing inequitable permit fees. We appreciate them working diligently with our task force to move this process along smoothly.

Both the public and city officials have anxiously awaited this new structure with hopes that it fosters further economic development in the City of Buffalo. No longer waiving permit fees is the first step in this important restructuring.

LAURA M. GANG

Coordinator of Local Government Affairs

Buffalo Niagara Partnership

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