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Mayor Brown: More must be done to help Buffalo, smaller cities

The $2 trillion economic rescue package 'falls short of providing the critical relief state and local governments need.'

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Mayor Byron Brown on Wednesday said more will need to be done by the federal government to help Buffalo and cities its size or smaller.

During an afternoon teleconference, he said the $2 trillion economic rescue package moving through the Senate to address the coronavirus epidemic will not help Buffalo as much as other cities.

"The relief bill creates an additional burden on the City of Buffalo because municipalities with a population that is less than 500,000 are not eligible for direct aid in this relief bill," Brown said. "The federal government’s lack of direct support for medium-sized cities will therefore have a profound impact on the Buffalo’s fiscal outlook."

Brown went on to endorse the House of Representatives' economic package.

"I stand with Gov. Andrew Cuomo in calling on our federal leaders to address these issues now," he said. "While this legislation will help many of our recently unemployed workers, residents and certain business sectors, it falls short of providing the critical relief state and local governments need."

Mayor Brown touched on a number of other topics as well:

  • He said the Erie County Industrial Development Agency approved the Accelerator Fund. The $40 million fund will help the Cars Sharing Main Street initiative.
  • The Buffalo Police Department will add 15 new rental cars to its fleet, and they could be in use as soon as Thursday. The unmarked cars will be used in the detectives unit, whose marked vehicles will shift to patrol districts.
  • Mayor Brown said Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Centennial Park is now open, but he emphasized that it's for passive use only. He continued to stress the importance of using strict social distancing measures.
  • He added that playgrounds, golf courses, skate parks and park buildings remain closed.
  • Mayor Brown also talked about Delaware North to lay off workers. "It's an agonizing decision. No one wants to make these decisions or see this," he said.

Buffalo Police Captain Jeff Rinaldo also discussed protocols following the news that four officers had coronavirus. At least 10 officers are now in quarantine.

"We've hired additional cleaning staffs to sanitize and disinfect and give a deep clean" to police offices, he said.

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