3.2 Shared Interests, Common Work

Achieving the goal of the Comprehensive Plan requires a new level of cooperation between City government and other levels of government, and between the City and private and not-for-profit organizations in Buffalo and the region. The City of Buffalo, Erie County, the State of New York, the federal government and businesses and community organizations of all types have a shared interest in the success of this plan and an obligation to undertake common work.

Of course, the City has a fundamental responsibility to improve the management of its affairs and to chart its own future. But, as argued throughout this plan, the City by itself lacks the resources to fully implement the plan and turn the city around. Other levels of government have both a responsibility and institutional self-interest to contribute to that work. Private and not-for-profit sector organizations, likewise, have an interest and an obligation to pitch in. 

If Buffalo continues on its current trajectory of economic, demographic and physical decline, it will harm the County, New York State, and the federal government, as well as the city itself. The same is true for business and community organizations. All are needed to work together to reverse negative trends as quickly as possible by coordinating and concentrating necessary new investments.

Erie County, especially, has a major stake in the Comprehensive Plan and has been cooperating with the City in its preparation. The County has multiple and increasing responsibilities in the city. It is: 

  • A major employer and property owner in the City; 

  • A major source of revenue for the City’s budget, providing 29 percent of the City’s operating budget through sales taxes;

  • The primary economic development agency for the area through the ECIDA; and, 

  • Manager of a variety of public facilities in the city, such as destination parks that are regional in character.

Table 18 Combined Ten Year Funding Allocations
Proposed Goal Accomplishments     Annual   10 Years
Community Preservation Goals     $15,201,00   $152,010,000
Public Service 25.00%   $3,800,250   $38,002,500
Vacant Land Management 25.00%   $3,800,250   $38,002,500
Vacant Building Stabilization/ Management 50.00%   $7,600,500   $76,005,000
Housing Restoration Goals $/Unit Units $40,787,000 Units $407,870,000
Downtown (CBD & Inner Ring Neighborhoods)          
Unit Conversions/ New Units $100,000 160 $16,000,000 1,600 $160,000,000
Rehabilitation of Units $50,000 100 $5,000,000 1,000 $50,000,000
Neighborhoods          
Unit Conversions $100,000 110 $11,000,000 1,100 $110,000,000
Rehabilitation of Units $50,000 160 $8,000,000 1,600 $80,000,000
Demolition $4,000 1,358 $5,431,000 13,578 $54,310,000
Ellicott/Olmsted/Waterfront Restoration Goals     $20,000,000   $200,000,000
Ellicott Street 33.30%   $6,660,000   $66,600,000
Olmsted Parks & Parkways 33.30%   $6,660,000   $66,600,000
Waterfront Access 33.30%   $6,660,000   $66,600,000
Economic Development Goals     $56,621,000   $566,210,000
Commercial Strip Programs 33.30%   $18,855,000   $188,550,000
Business Retention 33.30%   $18,855,000   $188,550,000
New Business Start-up 33.30%   $18,855,000   $188,550,000
Street Infrastructure Goals     $17,934,000   $179,340,000
Street Overlays/ Reconstruction 80.00%   $14,347,200   $143,472,000
Sidewalks 10.00%   $1,793,400   $17,934,000
Street & Pedestrian Lighting 4.40%   $789,096   $7,890,960
Tree Planting 5.60%   $1,004,304    
GBNRTC Goals     $37,800,000   $378,000,000
Water & Sewer Goals     $10,778,000   $107,780,000
Water Line Replacement 25.80%   $2,778,000   $27,780,000
Sewer Line Replacement - CSO 74.20%   $8,000,000   80,000,000
Non-Olmsted Park Facilities Goals     $12,500,000   $125,000,000
Park Maintenance/ Enhancements 33.30%   $4,162,500   $41,625,000
Playground/Pocket Parks 33.30%   $4,162,500   $41,625,000
Facilities Maintenance 33.30%   $4,162,500   $41,625,000
JSCB Schools Reconstructed   5 $95,000,000 49 $950,000,000
Program Delivery - % of Total 0.87%   $2,724,500   $27,245,000
Total     $314,776,500   $3,147,765,000

The City will seek the County’s participation in implementation of the Comprehensive Plan, and request the County join the City in seeking support from State and federal legislative delegations for a special Buffalo Development Program. 

State and federal governments are also powerful influences in Buffalo, both in terms of their policy and program responsibilities, and their employment in the city. The State is the largest contributor to the City’s revenues, providing 45 percent of the City’s operating budget. Government in general is crucial to the City’s employment base. More than 26,000 people in Buffalo were employed in public service jobs in 2000. The city is heavily dependent on this level of employment being sustained.

As work on the Buffalo Comprehensive Plan goes forward, the Mayor, Common Council, and City staff will continue to reach out to leaders at the County, State and federal levels, and to leaders in business and in community based organizations.