Car Wash Approved in Town

Posted by MJ

The Buffalo News Reported:

A new car wash will be constructed on South Transit Road after approval of a variance by the town Zoning Board of Appeals last week. The site at 6719 S. Transit Road, owned by Craig Heidemann, is just north of Bartz Road. The Zoning Board of Appeals passed a variance from the rules for front and rear setbacks from the property lines

Why do I bring it up? Because I've always hoped for a full service Delta Sonic to find its way to Lockport. It is a local WNY business that would fit nicely in the Lockport area.


Refuse Savings on Track

Posted by MJ

The Buffalo News Reported:

The city has saved an estimated $380,000 on its garbage and recycling program in the 8½ months since privatization, City Clerk Richelle J. Pasceri told the Common Council this week.

Dawn M. Timm, Niagara County's environmental coordinator, calculated the number based on the trash pickups since mid-October and comparison figures for October 2010 through June 2011, when city crews still were doing the work.

Modern Disposal took over last fall, and the city established a user fee for the program, including standardized garbage and recycling totes.

Timm said Tuesday that the city has recycled about 1,400 tons of waste since privatization, versus only 354 tons in the city-run period, when only newspaper and cardboard were collected at curbside....
A good job by those who put it together or by those using it. I believe the fees are generated yearly based on cost. The more the recycled should lead to lower rates as time goes on.


LSD Closes Hunt

Posted by MJ

A couple years after closing Dewitt and reducing Pound to just Pre-K, the Lockport School District has decided to close Hunt. The LUSJ reported:

...Board members said they did not make the decision lightly.
”I’m not going to sit here and pretend I can say something that will make this any easier,” said President John Linderman. “It’s not an easy decision for this board to come to.”

”It’s with a heavy heart I voted,” said Trustee James Gugliuzza, a Hunt alum.
Superintendent Michelle T. Bradley said the district will move forward, deciding whether to sell or lease the building. The roughly 250 kids who attend Hunt will be transferred by the fall of 2013, not including the ones who will move up to fifth grade at Emmet Belknap Intermediate...
A big plus for the City of Lockport was its neighborhood elementary schools. It was rare to find a municipality that still offered the benefits of these  neighborhood bonds and the ability to walk a short distance to school instead of living on a bus.
...A parent of two at Washington Hunt, including a son who will enter his fifth school in seven years, Michael Foster said losing a school like Hunt could have adverse effects on the community. Parental involvement in their children’s education could be reduced and stability of the community threatened

Foster told board members about his decision to move to Livingston Place within the Washington Hunt community. He told board members to be sure about their decision to close the school....
It would have been nice to see city leaders more involved or taking a stand in the last two rounds of closures. Losing these 3 neighborhood anchors for 2-3% savings in the school budget (what did salaries and benefits rise the past 3 years?) seems a short sighted decision in regards to the well being of the city and school district.

Work on a classroom addition at Kelley is expected to begin in the fall. The addition was a part of an $18.9 million capital project approved by voters last year. Some residents said had they known it would lead to the closure of Hunt, they probably would have voted differently.
Keep churning the spoon fed calves out of the bigger and bigger factories. 


UCC Sold

Posted by MJ

The Buffalo News and LUSJ  reported:

For the second time in seven months, a tentative sale of Ulrich City Centre has been announced.
This time, the buyer is supposed to be Siesta Development, a newly formed Buffalo company whose principal is Darrel R. Lloyd, an appraiser at KLW Group in Amherst.
The Niagara County Industrial Development Agency on Wednesday approved the transfer of the property tax break on the commercial complex from Ulrich Development Corp. to Siesta.
Owner David L. Ulrich said the sale hasn’t closed yet.
In November, the IDA board approved the transfer of the tax break to Timothy R. Gelder, vice president and chief financial officer of Barden & Robeson Corp., Middleport. However, that deal fell through.
“The buyer wasn’t able to obtain financing,” Ulrich said Wednesday.
He declined to discuss the sale price, calling it “very modest.” However, Siesta’s application says the company intends to obtain a $2.8 million mortgage while investing $600,000 in equity — a total of $3.4 million...
Some people have mentioned that they have some concerns with the person who tax assessed the property at $2.2 million buying the property for $2.8. Is the concern that he received priority in the sale for giving a lower assessment to the previous owner Ulrich?

We are all free to sell our properties for more than they are assessed at. Tax assessments are educated guesses and the real value in most cases is revealed in a sale.(obviously not the case if my mother sold me her house for $1).

The city did not lose out on any money since the assessments just relatively divvy up the approved budget for the year. You and I just may have paid a couple $$$ more.

I've written about assessments in the past. Their punitive nature is a big hold up to reinvestment in the city. We should be rewarded for improving our properties, not for letting them die a slow death infecting the houses around them.


Washburn Street "Bricks" are coming down

Posted by LoneWolf

Seeing as tho it was mentioned in the Concert Thread that all it seems is that the concerts are the "Best news in Lockport"    I figured I would share this as a change of pace ..

 As of this morning "The Bricks"  on Washburn Street are being torn down .. FINALLY .. its only been .. HOW LONG  since the fire and the condemnation of the building? 
(Pic attached of the tear down.)

 Not 100% sure if they are taking BOTH buildings down ,  or if a rebuild is planned. However the buildings DO have the fencing and a "Asbestos warning" sign around the entire (99%)  of the perimiter.

In the pic you cant see it BUT they do have a fire hose running across the street from the hydrant going to where they are working.. there are also workers dressed in white Tyvek suits  and with respirators on ..

Just another piece of "blight"  that is being removed from Lockport.


2012 Molson Canal Concert Series

Posted by MJ

***Blogger has reach the 200 comment "unofficial limit" in the first post. Please continue the conversation here.***

Front Stage - Summer '10

I have had some contact about where The Tracker is this year. I am quite preoccupied but here is the 4th installment. We will fill in the line up of the 2012 Molson Canal Concert Series in Lockport NY. This is the 5th year of the series in Lockport and there are to be 9 shows again this summer as the city works it way to a new 3 year contract.

New this year is Artpark charging for their Tuesday Series since it had grown to crowded. Will Lockport see more concert goers because of this?

Past years' threads are here:
2011 Series
2010 Series
2009 Series

Artists will be added as they are leaked/found up to the official series announcement date. The date is usually early June but was announced mid-May last year after the whole line-up was eventually discovered. If anyone finds any information feel free to drop them in the comments below. I have been a little busy to dig deep. Recent updates will be shown in red.

All shows are held outdoors at the Ulrich City Center downtown on Main St rain or shine and are free. Visiting Lockport and looking for other things to do? Look here: "Lockport on the Erie Canal"

2012 Molson Concert Series Lineup:
(Official 5/14/12)
6/29 - Gov't Mule              
7/06 - Eddie Money
7/13 - Rik Emmett
7/20 - Big Wreck   
7/27 - Theory of a Deadman
8/03 - 54 40
8/10 - George Thorogood and the Destroyers
8/17 - Kenny Wayne Sheppard
8/24 - Tea Party

Official series website: http://www.canalconcerts.com/ Any inquiries about being an opening act etc. should be directed there as I am only a Lockport resident with no real ties to the concert promoters.

This post is for discussing the lineup and the artists. Any comments relating to the costs/benefits of the concerts are to be directed to an appropriate post. Any appearing here will be deleted. Don't rain on the parade. Thank you for your cooperation.


LSD Cost Per Student

Posted by MJ

The Buffalo News has a nice interactive of Erie and Niagara County school districts' cost per student for the upcoming year.

Lockport is relatively "good" when compared to other districts, especially urban ones in Erie County. A big point to note is that costs have gone up 20% in the last 5 years while inflation has only gone up 7, almost a 3x difference.

The Buffalo News reported a large special section will be in this Sunday's edition.
On Sunday, we'll be running a special section, "Your Schools, Your Vote," providing the most extensive coverage in Western New York related to the suburban school budget votes and school board elections on Tuesday.
We'll give you detailed information about the proposed budget for every district in Erie and Niagara counties; information about candidates in contested board races; and graphics that will enable you to compare taxes, enrollment changes and spending changes in your district to others in the region.