By Jill Terreri
The Common Council will meet at 2 p.m. today in chambers and is expected to approve millions of dollars for construction projects, including $15.8 million for a redesign of the 500-block of Main Street and $2.4 million for streetscape improvements to East Lovejoy and Clinton streets and Delavan Avenue.
Main Street downtown is in the midst of a transformation, as it is being reconfigured to allow for the return of vehicle traffic. The 500-block is the most expensive piece of the project, and is expected to begin in September, and will be completed by summer 2015. Mark Cerrone, Inc., won the bid for Main Street, while Concrete Applied Technologies Corp. won the bid for the Lovejoy District streetscapes. The Lovejoy work is expected to begin in August.
The Council will also approve consultant contracts for capital improvements to more than 20 community centers all over town. The projects are funded with federal block grant funds from prior years that were unspent.
Also on the agenda is the sale of land on the East Side for the development of 12 single-family homes for at-risk mothers and children, known as Gospa Village. The city is selling 18 parcels for $43,345 on land bounded by Sycamore, Ruhland, and Oberlin.
The Council will also approve a designated developer agreement with the Polish Community Center of Buffalo, also known as the Lt. Col. Matt Urban Human Services Center, which is planning to use former School No. 57 at 243 Sears St. to expand its operations. The proposal was the only one the city received for the property. It will be used as a shelter for 50 women and children and 18 single-room occupancy units, and will provide job training, after-school programming and other services. The agreement dictates that a purchase agreement for the property be negotiated within 18 months.
North Council Member Joseph Golombek will revive his call to merge bridge authorities - the Niagara Falls Bridge Commission and the Buffalo and Fort Erie Public Bridge Authority. The intent behind the legislation is to move truck traffic from the Peace Bridge to the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge.
Ellicott Council Member Darius Pridgen is asking the state to approve a pilot residential parking permit system for people who live around the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.
Later this week, at 2 p.m. Thursday, the Council's Education Committee will hold a meeting to hear from parents upset about the limited options their children have when it comes to getting out of a low-performing school.