Cash Mob - Grimble's

Posted by MJ

An e-mail was forwarded to me today. It apparently originates from Jack Martin of J Fitzgerald Group located a few doors away. Here is the email:

Doug Bailey from our office told me of a story about a local hardware store in Chagrin Falls, OH, where the community all came together for one day to flood the place with sales. 
Since I love stealing good ideas, Doug and I thought this would be a great way to support one of Lockport's oldest businesses - Grimble's Hardware.  So here's what we'd like to do:
* On Saturday, February 4, we'd like everyone to visit Grimble's and agree to spend at least $20.  They are open from 8:30-5.
* Send this note to at least 10 other people, and encourage them to send it to at least 10 as well
Grimble's has been around since 1920 and, if you haven't been there, it's the place to find practically anything.  And unlike most big hardware stores, they actually know where everything is in the store.
Thanks to Doug Bailey for pointing out this story and idea.  It's hard to run a small business, especially in this economy, so let's see if we can all show support to one of our own just like they did in Ohio.  And while you're downtown, you should also stop by some of the other businesses and show your support.  Thanks.
Grimble's Hardware 
18 W Main St 
Lockport, NY 14094
Great initial story out of the Cleveland area and great idea to give it a shot here.


2013 Budget

Posted by MJ

The Buffalo News reported that Tucker is already giving warnings on the 2013 budget.

Mayor Michael W. Tucker told the Common Council on Wednesday that layoffs might be necessary in next year’s budget if the Council wants to obey the state’s 2 percent property tax cap.

The Council voted to override the cap for the 2012 budget it passed in November, and it increased the tax levy by 9 percent.
Tucker told the Council that all five city union contracts run out at the end of this year.
“If we don’t get some wage concessions, which we probably won’t, and some health care concessions, those things alone will put us over 2 percent,” the mayor said. “If you’re going to hold [a tax increase] at 2 percent, you’re going to have to reduce the force by layoffs. I’m not going to be hiring anybody for a while.”
He told the aldermen he intends to meet with them individually in the next few weeks to sound out their attitudes toward meeting the tax cap in the 2013 budget.
“Sometimes it’s hard to keep expenses low. Health care will go up. It always does, probably 15 percent,” Tucker said...
I'll agree it's hard to keep expenses low and the city has made some progress in the recent past in trying to contain them. But until the city makes an honest progressive effort to start luring investment back into it, the same old record will be playing for the rest of our lifetimes. Most sadly become numb to the situation until they decide to move on.


Another Walmart Suit

Posted by MJ

The Buffalo News reported.

Work on the Walmart supercenter has been stalled by a months-old lawsuit that town officials didn’t even know about until this week, Supervisor Marc R. Smith said Wednesday.

Smith said Town Attorney Daniel E. Seaman briefed the Town Board behind closed doors Wednesday about a lawsuit a town resident filed July 1 in Albany against Walmart and the state Department of Environmental Conservation.
Since the town wasn’t a party to the suit and it wasn’t filed locally, no one told him about it until Monday, the supervisor said.
The suit was dismissed Oct. 4 by a State Supreme Court judge in Albany, but it is being appealed, said Daniel A. Spitzer of the Hodgson Russ firm, attorney for the plaintiff....
Where are people getting the money for these lawsuits? The lawsuit costs have to be higher than any property value loss. A Walmart half the size of the old mall is going in with new view sound barriers etc. What's the real issue? 


SOS Canal St.

Posted by MJ

Same Old Situation (S.O.S) on Canal St. The Buffalo news reported another bidder has pulled out.

A clothing store has withdrawn its offer to buy a building at 51 Canal St. because its owner didn’t feel the city was really interested in him.

Lindsey Hicks, of Picasso Moon, who wanted to relocate his business from Main Street, said last week he might end up in Buffalo. 
His was the clothing business city officials previously said wanted 51 Canal St.

A recreational sales business wants to buy both 51 and 79-81 Canal St., while a third contender, a gift and decor shop interested only in 79-81 Canal, seems to have receded in the city’s view

R. Charles Bell, city director of planning and development, said the recreational sales business may feature seasonal activity offerings of potential tourist interest, such as rentals of bicycles and other sporting goods.
However, he said, the deal isn’t ready for the board of the city’s development corporation to vote on yet, though that could change by meeting time Thursday..
Once the the final establishments, if any, pop up on Canal St. we'll have to take a look back and see if all this drama was worth it. The street is so sparse on store fronts that regardless of what goes in there it will hardly be a place of abundant activity. The gazebo plot would need infill with upper residential of any hope of critical mass. As always, I'll always pray that we someday see the original Niagara Wine Trail concept reappear.

As I have mentioned before, it would also be great to see a Trek sign on the Canal facade of their building to show people driving by some type of life on the street.


Ottaviano Switching Firms

Posted by MJ

The Buffalo news reported that the city attorney is switching firms.

The city’s attorney disclosed Thursday that he’s switching law firms and taking some of his municipal work with him.
Corporation Counsel John J. Ottaviano said as of Wednesday he’s leaving the Harris Beach firm and joining Rupp, Baase, Pfalzgraf, Cunningham&Coppola of Buffalo...

...Ottaviano said his duties as the city’s salaried attorney are independent of his ties to Harris Beach, but his work for the Greater Lockport Development Corp. and the Niagara Falls Water Board came through contracts bid by Harris Beach

He said he will take those with him to Rupp Baase and continue representing them as well as the City of Lockport.
Ottaviano said he will keep his private law office at the same Lockport location.


Air Base at Risk Again?

Posted by MJ

The Buffalo News reported  that the Niagara Falls Air Force base may be at risk of closure again.

Seven years after surviving a near-death experience, the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station finds its future in question once again under a Pentagon budget blueprint released Thursday.

In a cost-cutting move, the Air Force said that it would retire 65 of the kind of transport planes that are based in the Falls -- though it did not yet say which bases would be losing those planes...
...Since the Falls base was proposed for closure both in the 2005 closure round and another a decade earlier, Lane said, it's possible that a new base-closure panel would do the same. "You'd think they might look at what's been done in the past and dust it off," Lane said.
Next week, Lane will travel to Washington with John A. Cooper, vice chairman of the Niagara Military Affairs Council, to discuss the base with Pentagon officials and lawmakers.
Lane said the base, with 3,500 employees, is Niagara County's largest employer...


Peter's Dry Cleaning

Posted by MJ

The Buffalo New's reported on the continuing housing court battle on Willow over the partially collapsed former Pete's Dry Cleaning.

It will be sad to see the structure go. The ivy covered read brick building was an interesting surprise when walking along Willow. Considering its use it blended in very well with the rest of the residential street.


Garbage Fee Reductions for Some

Posted by MJ

The LUSJ reported that owners who have owned their properties for less than a year have been requesting that some of their bill be credited.

The city treasurer’s office will adjust the city refuse collection bills of property owners who didn’t own and occupy property for the entire Jan. 1 to Oct. 10, 2011, billing period.

City Treasurer Michael White confirmed Tuesday that his office will reduce the bills of property owners who can show, through property documents, that they didn’t use 91⁄2 months of city refuse pickup service last year.

The new policy comes after a couple of property owners complained about the $147 per property city refuse bill. In both cases, the owners said they had purchased property in the spring or early summer of 2011 and didn’t think it was fair to be stuck with charges for refuse service dating back to Jan. 1....
I can see both sides here. It is a levy on the property out of the general ledger. It was technically an even split between properties of the cost of the system and not based on use or assessment etc. One the face of it though I can understand the feeling of being over charged.

I'm not sure how much effort I would want to put in to save $20. Maybe if I bought the place in August and was saving $100?


Planning Board Agenda Jan 2012

Posted by MJ

I have been slacking on posting the planning board agenda. So with a new year a new resolution to keep on it.

January 2012 agenda for meeting at 5pm on 01/09/2012

We will be getting a Subway on Main St and the Salvation Army will be submitting their new layout driven by the discussion posted here: Zoning - Salvation Army and DT.


Lockport's Natural Caves

Posted by MJ

The Buffalo News had an article by Niagara County historian Craig Bacon about Lockport's Limestone cave system.

Caverns of an indeterminate length and size wind under the city’s yards and streets. They have been traversed, explored, studied, polluted and debated for nearly 200 years, but there are as many unfounded rumors about the caves as there are documented facts.
What is undisputed is that the Lockport cave is a natural, limestone cavity. It is not to be confused the with the man-made cave on the northern side of the Erie Canal, which is used today as a tourist attraction, or the culvert covering Eighteen Mile Creek as it crosses the eastern part of the city.
The earliest mention of the cave dates to 1816, when John Comstock built a cabin near its mouth....
 It's interesting to note where Cave Street's name came from and a little more history about the caves that I heard about here and there.

After watching Sanctum last night, we're sure we would not want to explore them even if they were still accessible. I would love to see pictures though. It's also very interesting to here of homeowners who ad access from their basements. How interesting that would have been as child.


Christmas Tree Pickup

Posted by MJ

Happy New Year!

Christmas tree pick-up is now ongoing. It is being done by City Brush Chipping Crews as it has been in the past. Place the tree at the curb with the trunk facing the road.

We went with a second tree this year/ It was a small 4ft pine in the front bay window to go along with the fake tree in the sitting room. Although hesitant to go to two trees, my mind was changed and  I enjoyed the results.

In other refuse news, seeing the ongoing lack of 64-gallon trash totes for people to trade for, I'd be happy to trade in my 64-gallon recycling tote for a 96 gallon one. I could easily spray paint the cover yellow.