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Today in City Hall: 'Coffee Rich' renovations face approval

By Jill Terreri

Good morning, 

Today is shaping up to be a busy day in City Hall. 

UPDATE: Mayor Byron W. Brown will annouce plans for a spring gun buyback at 11 a.m. today at police headquarters.

Plans to transform an old building used for refrigeration near the I-190 downtown will go before the Planning Board at 8:15 a.m. today.

Ellicott Development is planning offices, apartments, a restaurant and small banquet facility in the old "Coffee Rich" building at 199 Scott St., which also features a political billboard. 

The board will also hear about plans for a new restaurant and apartment at 3233 Bailey Ave., and a request for an outdoor cafe and patio at Bertha's, 1416 Hertel Ave.

Meanwhile, the Common Council's committees will also meet today.

Lawmakers on the Civil Service Committee will hear about staffing levels in the Fire Department when it meets at 9:45 a.m.. Firefighter union leadership is concerned that the Brown administration has not filled all of the jobs in the department, leading to higher overtime costs and delaying things such as training and physicals, said Buffalo Professional Firefighters Association Vice President Thomas P. Barrett.  

At 2 p.m., the Legislation Committee will consider a proposal from North Council Member Joseph Golombek to support the "no-kill" movement for local animal shelters, including at the city-run shelter. 

At 2:30 p.m., Brown will take part in a national recognition of National Service volunteers during an event at the Montante Cultural Center at Canisius College. 

More than 1,500 local Americorps and Senior Corps volunteers will be recognized on the Mayors Day of Recognition for National Service

And over at state Supreme Court, arguments are scheduled on the city's ban on "commingling" in the Chippewa Entertainment District. The ban prohibits patrons ages 18-20 from visiting Chippewa bars or clubs in the evenings, and is unique in the city.   

Two bar-owners and an underage patron are suing to have the ban overturned. They had tried to have the ban lifted as the case is argued, but were unsuccessful.  

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