Constituent Services
Congressman Higgins Joins Mayor Brown to Announce New Funds for Seneca Street
December 5, 2008

Proposed $500,000 in Capital Budget Funds Follows $300,000 Appropriated

In February for New Street Lighting System


BUFFALO — Mayor Byron W. Brown was joined by Congressman Brian Higgins, Assemblyman Mark J. F. Schroeder and County Legislator Tim Kennedy as he announced that he has recommended $500,000 in the city’s 2009 Capital Budget to the Common Council for the continuing Seneca Street Business District infrastructure improvements in South Buffalo. Earlier this year in February, the Mayor announced that the city would provide $300,000 to the infrastructure improvement project.


“Thanks to the dedication and hard work of Congressman Brian Higgins, State Assemblyman Mark Schroeder and Erie County Legislator Tim Kennedy, the Seneca Street Business District is undergoing a significant infrastructure improvement effort, which will help merchants who are investing in the area and consumers who want to support their local, neighborhood businesses,” said Mayor Brown. “As Mayor, I’m very pleased to join my government colleagues in contributing to this very worthy effort that will help strengthen and enhance this important city business district. These new capital budget funds will help continue this very important effort.”


The Seneca Street Business District is currently undergoing a $1.3 million infrastructure improvement effort that includes the City of Buffalo’s contribution for new street lights, as well as road repaving, sidewalk improvements (including fixing handicapped sidewalk cuts), upgraded crosswalks and new landscaping along the business district. Congressman Higgins helped secure $480,000 (SAFETEA-LU) in federal funding for the effort, which is included in the $1.3 million total project cost.


"Streetscape improvements and infrastructure investments have a significant positive impact on the adjoining business district and neighborhood," said Congressman Higgins.  "This investment combined with removal of the flood zone designation will bring new energy to the Seneca Street area."


 "I would like to thank Mayor Brown for making another major contribution to Seneca Street, the latest example of his continued commitment to the revitalization of the strip," said Assemblyman Schroeder.  "Because of the Mayor's efforts, Seneca Street is adorned with beautiful new street lights, and his announcement today is proof that there is much more to come."


"Once again, Mayor Brown is demonstrating his commitment to our neighborhood, not just through words, but through action and most importantly through investment,” said County Legislator Kennedy. I am proud to stand together with my partners in government to help ensure this tremendous project continues to take shape. I am thankful that the residents of South Buffalo and throughout the city will see the fruits of their taxpayer dollars being invested into making our commercial districts as vibrant as they can be."


In 2007, Mayor Brown created the Grow Buffalo Fund, which was designed specifically to support these types of neighborhood-based initiatives. The city’s earlier $300,000 contribution to this project, which came from the Grow Buffalo Fund, helped cover the purchase and installation of 80 new street light standards along the business district.


“Through funding from the 2009 Capital Budget and the Grow Buffalo Fund, which my Administration created to support residential neighborhoods and business districts like the Seneca Street Business District, we can help ensure that these critically important infrastructure projects are fully funded and succeed,” said Mayor Brown.


The additional $500,000 will help bring the Seneca Street project to completion.  Funding currently in place is multi-modal earmark funding secured by Assemblyman Schroeder.  Earmark funds are eligible for paving, sidewalks, curbs, crosswalks, etc. only.  Additional funding will be used to supplement sidewalk improvements by adding ADA ramps and for landscaping (street trees, benches, garbage receptacles, etc.).


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