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Buffalo Place expands Ranger security, operations

Buffalo Place wants to expand the time that it patrols and maintains the city's downtown core, adding additional staff and extending hours into evenings and weekends as downtown gets busier.

The nonprofit organization that runs the downtown business improvement district plans to hire one person each for its Rangers team and for operations. That will boost the hours for operations until 11 p.m. on weekdays, while allowing the Ranger hours to extend well beyond the current 6 p.m. cutoff on Friday and Saturday nights.

The operations employees maintain and clean the sidewalks, tree planters, banners and other infrastructure along the streets, as well as Fountain Plaza, Lafayette Square and other public areas. Rangers provide security and escort services, including in city-owned parking ramps managed by Buffalo Civic Auto Ramps.

"We want to raise the bar. We want to have operations go longer into the evening," said Buffalo Place Executive Director Michael Schmand. "There’s been a movement at night with so many people down here, with the hotels, residents and dogs."

To cover the added cost, the organization approved a new budget that calls for increasing the special-charge levy that it imposes on property owners within the district by 2% to a total of $1.74 million – or two-thirds of total revenues. The district covers Main Street from Canalside to Tupper, as well as some properties on Washington, Pearl and intersecting streets.

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