Mayor Byron Brown, during a Monday afternoon briefing in downtown Buffalo, echoed the comments of Governor Andrew Cuomo earlier in the day about when and how local economies may reopen and emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic. But he also hinted that when the City of Buffalo gets the green light to resume business as usual, many of the work-from-home tasks going on now may still continue.
Mayor Brown referred to the Centers for Disease Control's guidelines for reopening economies, including more testing and a 14-day downward trend in hospitalizations. The continuation of flexible and remote scheduling may factor significantly in the mayor's strategy for making City Hall a little greener with its operations.
"As part of my goal to reduce the City Hall carbon footprint by 40 percent, I have asked all department heads to come up with a plan for remote work, for flexible work for their employees, so that we can reduce the number of people working in Buffalo City Hall, even when we are finally through the COVID 19 pandemic," he said.
The city has established a COVID-19 website, providing information and resources, activities, and even memorials to individuals who have died of the disease.
In the meantime, he's urging members of the public continue to obey physical distancing while going out. He explained measures to promote such distancing in the city's parks, including closings to keep cars out and give pedestrians and bicyclists more room to spread out.
"We've closed the Delaware Park ring road," he said. "Now in South Park, we're closing the South Park ring road, and we're closing the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Centennial Park roadway in certain sections so that we have more room for safe, social distancing in those very highly visited parks in the city of Buffalo.
"Our preference isn't for cars to be driving in our parks, social distancing. It's for people to be able to get into our parks and get exercise and socially distance."
Mayor Brown also announced that a $10.5 million paving project is getting underway in the city. The paving project will cover 120 city streets, he said. A list of the streets scheduled for repaving is available on the city's website.