Just as winter approaches, making defects in city streets more apparent than ever, Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown is proposing a capital budget tangled by COVID-19.
Much of the capital spending planned for this year never went into the ground because capital markets were so disrupted by the virus. That's nearly $18 million in city bonds that weren't sold.
This is the financing at the core of projects, from firehouse roofs to paving city streets. Besides that, there is usually state and federal cash paying for much or all of some projects.
That means the planned capital borrowing of just over $47 million becomes much larger once those outside dollars are added in. There are also bond issues authorized, but aren't sold immediately because a project can be stalled or delayed or just takes a long time to complete.
In a written statement, the mayor said the planned spending is within the budget cap of City Comptroller Barbara Miller-Williams and the selected projects can have an immediate social and economic impact while promoting inclusive growth in the city.
He said infrastructure spending will be just under $11 million, with around half of that for street and sidewalk projects. There's also around $16 million for parks, cultural institutions and recreational facilities, over two years.