Public Safety Is One of Several Initiatives Being Addressed By Intermunicipal Partnership Group
Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-27), City of Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown, Town of Cheektowaga Supervisor Mary Holtz, State Senator William Stachowski, Assemblyman Dennis Gabryszak, Cheektowaga Councilmembers Stan Kaznowski and Charlie Markel and City of Buffalo Councilman Richard Fontana were joined by local police officers, block club members and neighbors to announce the installation of a new surveillance camera at the corner of Walden and Poplar Avenues.
“Security is of paramount concern to our residents,” said Cheektowaga Supervisor Mary Holtz. “Congressman Higgins is an important partner with the City of Buffalo and the Town of Cheektowaga and together we can maintain and revitalize this border neighborhood. Working cooperatively with Mayor Brown’s administration we hope to provide a master plan for the re-development of the Walden/Pine Hill neighborhood, from Harlem to Bailey.”
The Town and the Cheektowaga Economic Development Corporation are working together to prepare a master plan for revitalization of the Walden Avenue/ Genesee Street area. As the first step, a consultant has been engaged to prepare a request for proposals which will be utilized to solicit professional proposals for a comprehensive study of the Cheektowaga-Buffalo Walden Avenue/Genesee Street neighborhood. In addition to housing issues, the study will also address commercial revitalization in the study area.
"The installation of Buffalo's surveillance camera system has added an important anti-crime component to my Administration's continuing effort to improve our resident's quality of life and reduce crime throughout Buffalo," said Mayor Byron W. Brown. "I'm pleased this successful effort is now being expanded to include areas of shared interest like the city's border with the Town of Cheektowaga. I thank our federal and state governmental partners for ensuring that this program was funded and I share Cheektowaga Supervisor Mary Holtz's determination to fight crime vigorously and with all available resources, thereby making our neighborhoods safer."
Elected and community leaders representing the Cheektowaga/Buffalo border have come together to form the “Buffalo/Cheektowaga Neighborhood Revitalization Task Force.” The group, established earlier this year, meets regularly to find solutions to mutual problems including: crime, vacant housing, absentee landlords, economic decline and population loss.
“Older communities like Buffalo and Cheektowaga have common challenges and can use their collective strength to reach shared goals,” said Congressman Higgins, Chair of the Congressional Revitalizing Older Cities Task Force and sponsor of federal legislation to address vacant housing challenges facing regions like Western New York. “Cheektowaga and Buffalo are working toward the common objective of maintaining neighborhoods that are safe and stable and a business climate that is strong and growing. This camera is a good first accomplishment achieved by the Buffalo/Cheektowaga Neighborhood Revitalization Task Force. I look forward to continued involvement and achievements through this partnership.”
Congressman Higgins, in conjunction with Congresswoman Louise Slaughter and Senators Charles Schumer and Hillary Clinton, secured $376,000 in fiscal year 2008 federal funding for Buffalo’s surveillance camera program.
"Many of Buffalo's first ring suburbs have been experiencing the same problems as the urban core, and the installation of this camera will allow law enforcement officials from both Buffalo and Cheektowaga to keep an eye on this city/town border area" added Senator Bill Stachowski. "During the meetings we've had with residents and business owners we learned that the placement of this camera would provide some peace of mind for those in the area. Everybody involved in this project is to be congratulated for responding to the wishes of these individuals and families."
"It is great to see that the task force that my office helped to spearhead was able to give the shared community a voice that led to this camera installation," said Assemblyman Dennis Gabryszak. "I am hopeful that this is only the first visible accomplishment, and I look forward to continuing to work with the Buffalo/Cheektowaga Neighborhood Revitalization Task Force to make our community better."
“The Buffalo/Cheektowaga Revitalization Task Force is an example of two communities coming together to address common problems along a shared border,” added Cheektowaga Councilman Stan Kaznowski. “The installation of this camera is the first step toward making this area a safer place. The Task Force will continue to meet and will develop a revitalization strategy to address safety, housing and community development issues in this border neighborhood”
City of Buffalo Councilman Richard Fontana said, “Illegal activity has occurred at this corner for quite sometime. It has been the main focus of discussion at our Block Club. We feel that the installation of this camera will help protect the residents in the Walden/Poplar area.”
“It’s important to know that when all parts of government get together on an issue, we can accomplish great things for our community,” said Cheektowaga Councilman Charlie Markel. “The challenges we are facing are not specifically Cheektowaga or a Buffalo problems, they community problems. This camera will go a long way to helping residents feel a little safer.”
Since Mayor Brown’s surveillance camera initiative was launched a total of 105 cameras have been installed or approved for installation in the City of Buffalo.