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Home > Leadership > Mayor > Archived Press Releases > 2008 Archives > October 2008 > Mayor Brown Releases Recommended 2009 Capital Budget

Mayor Brown Releases Recommended 2009 Capital Budget

Office of the Mayor
Peter K. Cutler
Director of Communications

$21.5 Million Plan Will Improve Parks, Community Centers and Launch a Comprehensive Condition Assessment of All City-Owned Buildings

Mayor Byron W. Brown today released his $21.5 million 2009 recommended capital budget, which will be submitted to the Common Council for its consideration. Mandated by the City Charter to be submitted by the Mayor on or before November 1st, the Common Council has until December 15th to adopt the recommended capital budget.

“This recommended capital budget contains funding for important capital projects in every section of the city,” said Mayor Brown. “If enacted, this capital budget will further strengthen my Administration’s commitment to improving our residents’ quality of life, enhancing public safety, supporting infrastructure throughout the city and removing blighted, dilapidated structures.”

The Mayor prepared his 2009 recommended capital budget following receipt of recommendations for the capital budget by the Citizens Planning Council (CPC), which, in accordance of the city charter, conducted a thorough examination of $98 million in requests for capital spending. Referring to “…a challenging budget process” in its October 7, 2008 letter to Mayor Brown, the CPC stated that it chose recommending priorities for funding based on the impact on “…health and safety, prior year commitments, annual commitments, and the availability of state and federal and other matching funds.”

The level of spending for the capital budget is set annually by the City Comptroller, which, this year, set the cap at $21.5 million. The capital budget was $22 million in 2008 and $23 million in 2007.

Mayor Brown’s recommended capital budget contains a wide variety of capital improvement projects, including over $1 million for community center improvements, $2 million for the reconstruction of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Park splash pad, an additional $750,000 for parks citywide, $535,000 for a comprehensive condition survey of all city-owned buildings and $2.3 million for demolitions.

“This is a capital budget that will address a variety of important needs throughout the city, including providing our residents with good recreational facilities throughout our city parks system,” said Mayor Brown. “In addition, it follows the recommendations of the Citizens Planning Council to make key investments in removing blighted structures, strengthening infrastructure and making health and safety a top priority for funding capital projects. I am confident, if the Common Council accepts these recommendations, that these capital investments will enhance quality of life and public safety throughout the City of Buffalo.”

Other highlights of Mayor Brown’s 2009 Recommended Capital Budget include:

• Broadway Market General Improvements  $107,000
• Seneca Street Streetscape Improvements  $500,000
• LaSalle Park Centennial Pool/Splash Pad  $53,000
• LaSalle Park Shelter House    $32,100
• LaSalle Park Dog Park    $26,750
• Riverside Park Lighting & Field Improvements $53,500
• Johnny B. Wiley Sports Complex Improvements $53,500
• Shoshone Park Field & Pool Improvements  $26,750
• Upgraded Police & Fire Radio System  $2,140,000
• Buffalo & Erie County Historical Society Electrical System Upgrade    $642,000
• Autumnwood Senior Center Reconstruction  $107,000
• Lafayette Rink Improvements    $168,000
• Emergency Bridge Repairs    $535,000
• Niagara Street Gateway Project   $110,265
• Buffalo Public Schools    $5,100,000 

The funds requested for a building condition survey will facilitate the evaluation of all city-owned buildings, first taking into account their actual physical condition, including but not limited to energy efficiency, compliance with current building codes, general overall conditions, any environmental conditions and how the buildings are being used by the City (community groups, storage, police, etc.).

In its letter to Mayor Brown, the CPC stated regarding the city-owned building condition survey that such an undertaking would “…provide transparent information to the CPC when making further decisions for the Buildings Division.”

The CPC also recommended funding for the Buffalo & Erie County Historical Society
electrical system upgrade due to “…fire hazard that the current 1901 wiring presents” and recommended against funding other cultural organization requests because “…it would not be prudent to provide funding without an assessment of the totality of their needs.”

“I thank the members of the Citizens Planning Council for their dedication and commitment to analyzing this critically important information, which will have a lasting and beneficial impact on the city,” said Mayor Brown. “I also thank the staff of the city’s Office of Strategic Planning, which worked closely with CPC, providing key information on a variety of projects throughout Buffalo. I look forward to working with the Common Council in enacting this capital budget.”