Mayor Byron W. Brown’s 10th State of the City address Friday afternoon at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center emphasized a stay-the-course approach, putting a freeze on property taxes for a fifth straight year and the goal of pushing the city’s economic development successes further into Buffalo’s East Side neighborhoods.
“We will not be turned back,” Brown said. “We will not be stopped. We will not be discouraged in our mission to keep moving our great city forward.”
Here are the highlights:
Freeze on property taxes – assessments as well as tax rates – for fifth straight year. That means property taxes frozen or cut every year since Brown became mayor in 2006.
Ciminelli Development companies (Ciminelli Real Estate, LP Ciminelli, and All Pro-Parking) selected to redevelop a city-owned lot on Ellicott Street into a new urban grocery store. Tops Markets will locate in the store. In addition to the grocery, the project includes a parking ramp, apartments or condominiums and an Erie Community College annex.
Buffalo selling a parcel of land to the Erie Canal Harbor Corp., which will install a 1924 carousel, made in North Tonawanda. The parcel is at Canalside. The price of a ride on the carousel will be limited to $1.
East side development
• City allocating $4 million to the Northland Corridor redevelopment project area, to remove blighted properties and support construction of center for advanced manufacturing and training. City contribution is in addition to $44 million allocated to the project from the Buffalo Billion.
• Former library on East Utica near Jefferson will be Buffalo renovated and reopened as the Beverly Gray Business Resources Center, to help develop and grow minority and women-owned businesses. Attorney Asa Mosey and Alfonso O’Neil White, former president and CEO of Health Now, will served as co-chairs of the center.
Support for Schools Superintendent Kriner Cash’s “Educational bargain for students and parents” by:
• Providing 500 computer tablets to graduating Say Yes Scholars.
• Providing yet-to-be determined financial incentives to 200 Buffalo senior citizens to tutor students in partnership with Buffalo schools, Say Yes and Read for Success.
• Providing incentives to 200 students and families who demonstrate good attendance or show great attendance improvement.
• Recruiting city lawyers to volunteer in the Say Yes school clinics.
• Recruiting city employees to mentor Say Yes scholars in high school.
City will partner with the Buffalo Zoo and Olmsted Conservancy to provide 150 additional parking spots for the zoo.
Every on-duty police office will be equipped with an iPad, which will be programmed with data to help police with crime-fighting. The iPads can be used in or out of their police cars, and will replace laptop computers now in all police cars.
City allocating $300,000 for new software to streamline and speed up the construction permit process.
City will add 50 additional summer jobs to its summer youth program, now tied into two local colleges as well as employment and training centers. The total number of summer jobs will now be 1,500.