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Block club, arts funding still up in the air

The Buffalo Common Council has scheduled a meeting Friday afternoon to approve a spending plan for the next fiscal year, though some details are still being negotiated.

Council leaders are talking with the Brown administration about money in three areas:

--Grant funding for block clubs. Some block clubs were previously promised funding that came from the city's share of aid from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, but those allocations were rejected by the agency, Majority Leader Demone A. Smith said.

--Arts and cultural funding. Arts groups requested assistance from the city earlier this week. The Buffalo Arts Commission requested $200,000, and the Arts Services Initiative of Western New York requested $450,000.

--Water bottles for firefighters. The fire union wants to split the cost of bottled water provided to firefighters at fire scenes.

The amount of potential changes in the $482.6 million spending plan, which was proposed by Mayor Byron W. Brown on May 1, includes a reduction in the residential property tax rate.

The Council will meet at 2 p.m. Friday in Council Chambers. It has until Tuesday to approve a spending plan.

--Aaron Besecker
Follow me on Twitter: @BeseckerBN

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