The Seneca Gaming Corp. has agreed to make street and sidewalk improvements around the Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino, and the Common Council on Tuesday agreed to allow the improvements to move ahead.
The gaming corporation had earlier approached the Council for permission to improve streets around the casino at its expense, but a Council committee turned down the request last week.
Lawmakers said if the corporation was going to install new sidewalks along the casino, it should install sidewalks on the other side of the streets as well.
“We very much appreciate our ongoing relationship with both the City of Buffalo and our neighbors in the community surrounding the Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino,” the corporation said in a statement Tuesday. “Last year, Seneca Gaming Corp. allocated $1 million for a host of community beautification and improvement projects, and our commitment to restore crumbling sidewalks on both sides of the street surrounding the Seneca Nation’s Buffalo Creek Territory will provide additional benefits to the inner harbor area of downtown.”
The gaming corporation has plans for streetscape improvements on Michigan Avenue, Perry Street, Marvin Street and South Park Avenue.
The improvements are being made in coordination with the construction of a permanent casino at Michigan and Perry, which is set to open later this summer.
Infrastructure improvements could begin in a few weeks and will be done before the casino opens, said corporation spokesman Philip J. Pantano.
The cost for the new casino and the infrastructure improvements is $130 million, though the final cost for the additional sidewalk work has not been determined, Pantano said.
The measure passed Tuesday in an 8-1 vote. Delaware Council Member Michael J. LoCurto, a frequent critic of the corporation, voted against it.
“While I appreciate that the gaming committee will do the other sides of the streets, I still feel at this time they’ve still not addressed the many broken agreements with the city,” LoCurto said.
In other action Tuesday:
• The Council unanimously appointed Rasheed Wyatt as its chief of staff. Wyatt replaces Kevin Linder. The Council majority selected Wyatt, who had been a senior legislative assistant on the Council staff since January 2012.
• The Council approved requests for underage patrons to visit Lux, 75 W. Chippewa St., on Feb. 2 and 14. Ellicott Council Member Darius G. Pridgen said the approval was a way to allow the Brown administration to decide whether it has the resources to accommodate the request.
Pridgen and the administration are working to straighten out the process that allows bar owners to apply for exceptions to the city’s policy of prohibiting people under 21 from visiting Chippewa Entertainment District establishments. The Police and Fire departments know their staffing levels better than the Council does and whether they have the personnel scheduled to handle the event, Pridgen said.
• The Council unanimously adopted a measure that institutes a process for swearing in individuals who speak at Council meetings related to a permit or license application. An oath will be administered verbally or in writing, according to the resolution. .
• The lack of city regulations regarding existing outdoor wood boilers will be discussed at the Legislation Committee meeting Tuesday, at the request of a block club.