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Medical campus growth creating issues in surrounding neighborhoods

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

Fruit Belt residents say they want to stay where they are living and not be pushed out by the expanding Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus (BNMC).

The residents said effects are visible when workers on the Medical Campus take up the parking spaces in the surrounding neighborhood. They worry housing prices may rise and push them out, after they stayed when the community was in rough shape.

Council President Darius Pridgen said he worries government may accidentally push them out.

"If we can find a way to do tax breaks for multi-million dollar businesses for renovation of historic sites, we ought to be able to find some way in conjunction with the state, our state representatives to ensure that the people who live and have lived in the Fruit Belt for all of these years are not priced out by taxes," Pridgen said.

That concern flows from plans for a city-wide property re-assessment which might raise tax assessments and potentially taxes so high long-time Fruit Belt residents can't pay them and they might have to leave the community on the edge of Downtown.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.