12/02/2010

Concert Contracts Approved

Posted by MJ


The Buffalo News and LUSJ reported.
The city will strike two new contracts to keep the Molson Canal Concert Series downtown next summer.
On split votes of 5-1 and 4-2 Wednesday, the Common Council OK’d Mayor Michael Tucker’s signature on separate deals with Ulrich City Centre and Canal Concert Series Inc. to maintain arrangements in place for the popular outdoor free concert series.
Fourth Ward Alderman Andy Chapman voted “no” to both contracts. Second Ward Alderman Jack Smith voted “no” to the city contracting with Canal Concert Series Inc., the not-for-profit outfit that recruits concert acts and stages the shows at City Centre.
Terms of the city’s deal with Canal Concert Series are not satisfactory, Smith said. Lockport is paying a portion of the costs tied to concert staging, while the series’ former host, the City of North Tonawanda, received benefits for being the host: CCS paid the city $1,000 cash for every concert it hosted and also paid a portion of North Tonawanda police officers’ overtime tab for providing security.
“I read the (North Tonawanda) contract,” Smith said. “We could do better with Canal Concert Series.”
The city’s cost to help stage the nine-concert 2010 series was just short of $124,500, according to Tucker. That included the cost of renting a professional stage, and assigning several police officers and paramedics to City Centre, every Friday night during the season
It is interesting to see our costs relative to the cost structure during the N. Tonawanda period. I don't recall if costs were an issue in the series leaving N. Tonawanda.

While I see no problem in discussing the costs of the series, I'm always let down when there is no reporting on discussions on how to further sell Lockport during the concerts. Main St Inc already represents the city with a both at each show. I'm more concerned about infrastructure improvements, housing incentives, etc that wouls not just benefit existing residents but that would also attract new ones.

4 comments:

All American Mommy said...

Unfortunatly the city's leaders are not marketers and quite frankly that is a strong portion their job; to sell Lockport to others. ...of course they believe that they are doing it all perfect when we know that the opposite is true...

MJ said...

Some are business owners so I'd expect at least a couple voices of future vision. I'd prefer a bunch of dreamers with a city comptroller bringing them back down to fiscal reality then just a bunch of penny pinchers themselves.

Past short term "fixes" of hacking forestry, parks, etc made for a stable year but only create a place less and less desirable to live in. One reason the city can no longer afford things is because it no longer attracts those with the money to afford those things. If nothing is changed it will only get worse.
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Anonymous said...

You're absolutely right it will get worse. Unfortunately "the vision" for Lockport that we should be seeking may not necessarily lie in the Concert Series or in most of the politicians that are currently in control. The concert series has too many hidden costs and it appears that alot of the problems that police have dealt with are kept secret too.

I think we really need to bring someone in from outside the city who has a plan and proven track record. I think the majority of our local government seems to have too tight a grip on what goes on and not really too open to new ideas.

MJ said...

I don't even think many residents would know either or be open to "new" ideas. Ask most and the responses would pry be more parking (for what?) more lanes (to where?) and more parks (for whom?).

Using Lewiston as an example, the densest parts of Center St (lack of large lots) draw the most people (action). The nearby residential is historic and well taken care of. The Artpark series draws people through this and leaves them with a feeling of "boy would it be nice to visit again/live here).

And to use it as an example again, there have a been a couple projects in the last few years on Center St that have been shot down by residents because of the perceived "lack of parking." or "not enough room." Sometimes even sucesses and what makes them that way are not seen or understood by the public or gov't.

The Canal Series does give "Lostport" a huge presence in the public eye. What we do with that exposure is up to us. Do we continue to permit (require?) automobile centric crap to be built DT? Do we continue to cut down trees and not replace them? Do we continue with no system in place to cultivate residential investment near DT? etc.

As for the police "secrets" I find it difficult to believe that anything of note is left unknown.

The city put together a rather nice Master Plan back in 1998 (which I really need to get it posted). It was never enacted into law and thus we sit here with 12 years of missed opportunity. Luckily the one large development, Ulrich city Center, followed it.

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