Artpark to Charge

Posted by MJ

The Buffalo News reported that Artpark will start charging admission for its Tuesday concerts (with reduced parking charges) while the Wednesday concerts will remain free (but with the current higher parking charges).

Free concerts at Artpark played a key role in transforming Lewiston from a sleepy village to a bustling regional tourism destination.

But as the bands came, so did the crowds -- so much so that this year, Artpark's popular Tuesday in the Park concerts will, for the first time, require an admission fee. Proceeds from the tickets, which will range from $5 to $25, will be used largely to control crowds.
"The crowds here for really big concerts have been kind of overwhelming," Artpark President George Osborne said Tuesday. "It's just grown to be so big, and we really couldn't find a way to control all the people until this project."
The new Tuesday admission charges -- along with reduced parking fees -- were outlined as Artpark announced plans for a $4 million overhaul of its facilities. The upgrade will include a new elevated stage, fences and ticketed entrances...


City Rejects Radio Tower

Posted by MJ

The Buffalo News reported that the city has rejected a new county radio tower in Outwater Park.

Niagara County is looking for places to install new emergency radio towers, but the City of Lockport last week rejected a county request to build one in Outwater Park.

The Common Council and Mayor Michael W. Tucker decided at last week’s meeting that they didn’t want a 180-foot radio antenna to be installed next to the Outwater Park water tower, as the county had proposed.
The tower would have been surrounded by a 51-by-41-foot enclosure. “I just didn’t think Outwater Park was an appropriate place,” Tucker said. He called the proposed tower “not very pretty.”...
...“They’re waiting on some final numbers there,” Tucker said. “Outwater Park is not going to happen. We still want to work with them. We still have some options. They could still put their antennas on top of the Spires.”
That’s a nine-story housing complex at Church and Ontario streets, owned by the Lockport Housing Authority....
I can see the reasoning for not wanting to put it in a park. But seeing the monstrous water tower is already there why not just put it on top of the water tower, especially if they are mentioning putting it on top of  The Spires as an option? Outwater has been hurting for a long time. In exchange for the radio tower on top of the water tower request park improvements like new trees etc.


School Vote Locations

Posted by MJ

The LUSJ reported that the polling locations for this year's school budget will not change. They are still trying to consolidate in the long term to one location (the high school). It goes to say that doing so will only save $600-$700 dollars. But....

...District officials have cited safety concerns at the schools used as voting sites as the main reason behind reducing the number of them to two...
What are the safety concerns? What documented events in last 100+ years of voting in Lockport school buildings show them to be reasonable to occur and thus necessary to prevent?

Out in industry a Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA) is used at times. In short you rate chance of occurrence, effects that would result and chances of detecting it. Multiply the three to rank the priority. Something can happen often and be hard to detect but have little effect. Something else can have a disastrous effect but rarely ever happen and/or be easily detected. What "events" are the school district trying to avoid here by making it more of a PIA to vote?


Library Vote April 4th

Posted by MJ

The LUSJ reported that the library budget vote is coming up:

Voting on the Lockport Public Library’s 2012-13 budget will take place from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. April 4 in the community meeting room of the library.

Registered voters of the Lockport City School District are eligible to vote on the proposed $1.5 million budget. The spending plan will need $1.3 million from the tax levy, a $32,127 increase.

The library trustees will hold a public meeting on the budget at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in the library’s community meeting room. The trustees and the library director, Beverly Federspiel, will present the proposed budget and answer questions from the public...

The summary flier PDF is here.


Concert Contract

Posted by MJ

The LUSJ reported on Tucker proposing a 3-yr contract for the Molson Concert Series.

Mayor Michael Tucker is advocating a three-year agreement between the city and Canal Concerts Inc. to ensure the summertime series stays put here.

The series of Friday night concerts at Ulrich City Centre, held over nine weeks between June and August every year, has been in Lockport since 2008. The agreement between the city and Canal Concerts Inc., specifying each party’s obligations related to carrying out the shows, has been year-to-year from the beginning....
I recalled it being an initial 3-yr agreement followed by one year renewals up to this point. The article does a good job at laying our costs and responsibilities of each party (city/promoter)

...As it has all along, the city pays the costs of professional stage rental and assigns several police officers and a paramedic crew to the venue on concert nights. The arrangement cost the city about $124,000 in 2011...
...The proposed contract covers the 2012, 2013 and 2014 series seasons.

For the duration, it has the city agreeing to: pick up and dispose of all garbage collected at the venue; help get the series included in area advertising of cultural, art and summer events; provide street barricades and “no parking” signs where needed for crowd management; pay for stage rental for nine shows per season, at total cost of $79,200 per season; waive city permit fees and licensing normally required of vendors; maintain a liability insurance policy for the shows and name Canal Concerts Inc. as an additional insured party; lease the City Centre courtyard from Ulrich City Centre LLC, from 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. on concert nights, at no cost; provide a staffed ambulance at every concert; cover Canal Concerts’ electric costs and ensure the company has access to three-phase power at City Centre; provide a changing room for the bands; and move portable bathrooms to and from the courtyard before/after the concerts.

Canal Concerts inc. is obliged to conduct a minimum of nine Friday night concerts per year in the courtyard; provide the city with a list of acts booked for the series by April 1 every year; obtain series sponsors and provide the “same level of performance” as in past years; clean up all refuse in the courtyard and have it placed at the curb for pickup; provide at least 15 security staff, and at least 15 portable bathrooms, at every concert; have the bathrooms cleaned weekly before city workers move them; select beer and food vendors and ensure they all have proper permits and/or licenses; return the courtyard to its “original” condition after concerts; provide four uniformed staff to man each ticket tent; ensure trailers and beer trucks are parked next to electric outlets, in specific places agreed upon by CCI and Ulrich City Centre; not block the entry and exit at Lock 34 Bar  & Grill at City Centre; use only “volunteers” as workers at concerts, or show worker compensation and state disability insurance paperwork for employees;  and ensure third-party vendors also can show the necessary paperwork for paid employees...
 We've all been through the perceived benefits or lack thereof so I'll leave that alone for the time being.

Buffalo News reported. They also noted that a 3yr deal is the same as the original and "par for the coarse".


"Other" Recycling

Posted by MJ

I was searching for the location to drop off a couple of our old printers that were in the attic. The Niagara County Landfill on Rt. 93 still takes electronic waste for free. During the search I noticed that the county has updated the website and has a lot of information on whee to recycle/donate/give away old items:

Niagara County "Other" Recycling Page.

Old sneakers? coats? craft/school supplies? furniture, eyeglasses, paint? There are some unique sources out there to not only get rid of the equipment and keep it out of the landfills but also to help out other people. 


March is Change Tote Size

Posted by MJ

The Buffalo News reported last week:

March is the month for action for city residents who want to change the size of their garbage or recycling totes.

City Clerk Richelle J. Pasceri said starting Thursday, residents may call the city’s taped refuse hotline at 439-6752 to leave their requests to go bigger—or smaller. Each resident is entitled to one free trade.
Garbage totes come in 35-, 64-and 96-gallon sizes, while recycling totes are available only in 64-and 96-gallon models. Pasceri said a limited number of 96- gallon recycling carts are available, but the city has ordered some yellow lids to convert 96-gallon garbage totes, which have blue lids, into recycling bins.
The trades will be carried out in late March and early April, Pasceri said.
The best news is the ability to get a larger recycling tote. Ours is full well before the bi-monthly pick up.


New Roof for Lockport Cruises

Posted by MJ

Last night the planing board gave approval to Lockport Locks and Erie Canal Cruises for a new metal roof with cupola along with some facade improvements. I believe it is part of a matching grant  from the state done through the city planning office. The roof will go on top of the existing roof which will make it a quick project. The plan is to have it completed by this upcoming canal season. Some other businesses are also applying for the grant so hopefully I will have more to share in the upcoming months.

 Approved Roof - Facade

Current Roof - Facade