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Mayor Brown unveils proposed 2015 capital budget

Ashley Hirtzel

Mayor Byron Brown unveiled his proposed Fiscal Year 2015 Capital Budget for the City of Buffalo Monday morning. The $26 million spending deal includes allocating $2.1 million to the Buffalo Fire Department for the purchase of state-of-the-art Fire Apparatus.

The budget includes $3.2 million for municipal improvements at City Court, the Apollo Media Center Marquee and Kleinhans Music Hall. Part of the investment at Kleinhans would be a pilot program that would include the hiring a fundraising consultant for the city to help coordinate public-private partnerships.

The plan also suggests spending $1.6 million on improvements at cultural institutions. The specific improvements would include monument restoration and upgrades at citywide libraries, the Allendale Theater of Youth, and the Buffalo Museum of Science, as well as all-new seats at Coca-Cola field, roof replacement at the Buffalo Zoo’s reptile house, and a new stage for Shakespeare in Delaware Park.

Credit Ashley Hirtzel / WBFO
Rendering of Highland Park, formerly known as Central Park Plaza

Brown says the premier project the city plans to invest in this year is at Highland Park, formerly known as Central Park Plaza.

“It’s a $70 million dollar project. There will be over 600 housing units over a seven year period of time. The plaza over the years was a retail facility. It was not maintained by the out of town ownership. It fell into decline and it became an eyesore,” said Brown. “The city will come in with streetscape investment that will reconnect the neighborhood and will make the neighborhood more attractive for additional private sector investment.”

Credit Ashley Hirtzel / WBFO
Former Central Park Plaza to be reconstructed by LP Ciminelli

The city plans to spend $1.6 million on road construction near Highland Park. The 27 acres of vacant property is being developed by LP Ciminelli. Brown says he believes the project will create jobs and add to the overall renaissance happening in the city.

Other budget recommendations include $6 million for city-wide infrastructure reconstruction, $2.5 million for the demolition of city buildings and structures, $802,500 to improve the Genesee Gateway, more than $1 million for improvements near the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, and $1.2 million for the Niagara Street Gateway project.

The Buffalo Common Council has until December 15th to adopt a capital budget.