Please Call!!!

Considering its location - one block from Main Street - I don't know of a house in the City that's in worse shape. Last month I posted about this house - 70 Riley Off to a Landfill - and spoke with City officials who told me that the place was coming down in the next few days. Well 6 weeks after the collapse of the exterior wall you can see nothing has changed. I took this photo yesterday.
Today I'm asking you for help. Please take a moment and call the Mayor's Call and Resolution Center at 716-851-4890 or complete the form available from that link. Or if you prefer, contact Councilman Brian Davis who represents the Ellicott District where 70 Riley Street is located. He can be reached at 716-851-4980. In either case please let them know that 70 Riley Street is clearly beyond repair and should be demolished immeadiately.

Kindly let me know if you've called by leaving a comment here. I'd like to think that together we can make a difference. Let's see if City Hall is listening and how much longer and how many phone calls this will take before we get action. Please consider emailing this post to your friends and family members asking them to call, too.

Thank you.
ArtspaceBAVPAWoodlawn Row HousesfixBuffalo flickr
the creativity exchangeshrinking cities


buildupbuffalo said...

OK - submitted comment using call and resolution online form.

Carissa said...

Hello, I also filled out the Call & Resolution form and sent it in.

Anonymous said...

This is ABSOLUTELY DISGUSTING! I made several calls today.. Michele J

Anonymous said...

I sent in a request using on line form. Ty

fix buffalo said...

As of 5pm this afternoon house is still standing. I'd like to thank everyone who called, wrote and commented here.

Please keep calling and completing the Mayor's complaint form and following up with additional phone calls.

I'll keep you posted about developments here...

b said...

For problems like this, contacting the Old Media can be useful too. Some phone calls from them to City Hall might have more impact. Here's 4 possibilities.

Ch 2: news@wgrz.com 716-849-2220

Ch 4: newsroom@wivb.com 716-876-7333

Ch 7: news@wkbw.com 716-845-6100

Buffalo News (they say they don't want email tips for some reason): "Anytime you see or hear news, we'd like to hear from you. If you've got a tip about a general news event, call The Buffalo News at 716-849-4444, or fax your tip directly to our newsroom at 716-856-5150 or 716-847-0207".

Most influential of course is the Buffalo News. Faxing to them the picture shown here might get some attention and motivate them to contact Tobe's office.

The TV stations might be interested too, but probably only if some neighbor or community contact will do an on-camera interview.

MBG said...

I submitted a complaint. I wish I could say it was shocking to see the degree of decay shown in your pictures, but unfortunately I cannot. Keep up the good work.

Buffalopundit said...

Complaint left online.

fix buffalo said...

I just received the following email...

I emailed Davis and filled out the Mayors complaint form. I just
received this back from Davis's office (apparently another woman wrote
as well):

Mary, Edward:

Good morning to you both and thank you for your inquiries to
Councilmember Davis regarding 70 Riley Street. As the Councilmember's
Aide in charge of Constituent Services, I am responding to your
messages on behalf of the Councilmember.

First off, we are fully aware of 70 Riley Street. It is a nightmare
property, one of hundreds within the Ellicott District alone that
should have been demolished a few years ago. I fielded a complaint by
a fellow neighbor about it in April, and I want to share with you what
I found out:

1. The property is privately-owned by City residents. This is the
first clue as to why things have moved so slowly. If the property is
struck to the City for back taxes, user fee or water bills, the City
can then easily work on the property or demolish it without running
into private property laws. New York State Property Law governs
private property in Buffalo. It's what allows all of us to freely buy,
sell, rent or lease property, and what limits government interference
in private property matters. This is an excellent thing if you are a
responsible property owner who takes care of your home. This is a
nightmare if you are a neighbor, block club leader, housing inspector,
housing court judge and legislative aide who has to deal with a
negligent owner of a derelict property. That's what has slowed things
significantly. The Housing Court Judge just issued a demolition order
on the property this past February 4, 2008.

2. The City of Buffalo is flooded with vacant properties and lots,
like Flint, Michigan, Gary, Indiana, Dayton, Ohio and many other spots
on the Rust Belt, older industrial cities where industry has
disappeared. Because the City has vacant property, it has less
property tax. Property taxes pay for City operations. With less money
for City operations, important functions like demolishing vacant homes
slow down. With over 10,000 vacant city properties (and frustrated
neighbors next to all of them), properties that have been on the
demolition list for years remain standing. Thankfully, state
assistance has provided millions of dollars to demolition more than a
thousand of these properties this summer.

3. That said Riley has received b-line access to demolition since
February because of the condition it is in. It has already been
inspected for asbestos, a necessary first step before demolition can
be bid out to demolition contractors by state law. And demolition
should happen by the summer's end, if not sooner.

In short, it's coming down as soon as we can bring it down.

For the reasons listed above, it has not been an issue of neglect,
City indifference or lack of effort. The Councilmember, the Mayor and
City Hall employees do the best that we can, given the challenges and
constraints we face. The Midtown section of Buffalo, stretching from
lower Cold Spring in the Ellicott District to Hamlin Park in the
Masten District, is slated for numerous revitalization projects.
Artspace was the biggest, but neither the first nor the last to date.
New homes, rehabilitated homes, new rental properties and new
commercial development will all be coming in the near future to
complement development in the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus,
Artspace, Jefferson Avenue and Canisius College's investments on its
campus and the surrounding area.

I thank you again for expressing your concerns. I share them as
well. If I can be of any assistance to either of you, feel free to
write or call anytime Monday through Friday, from 9am to 5pm. All the
best to the both of you.


Richard J. Morrisroe
Legislative Aide
Councilmember Brian C. Davis
Ellicott District
Rm. 1408 City Hall
Buffalo, NY 14202
(716) 851-4980
Fax: (716) 851-6576

Anonymous said...

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, Jun 2, 2008 at 3:24 PM
Subject: RE: 70 Riley Street

Please let the Fix Buffalo Blog know about the rush order on 70 Riley.
Should be coming down within 30-45 days, if not sooner.

Richard J. Morrisroe
Legislative Aide
Councilmember Brian C. Davis
Ellicott District

caesandra said...

I do hope that whoever does the demo might be encouraged to allow Buffalo ReUse to do the SALVAGE of materials; it would be a shame to see those windows and porch columns go to a landfill. We can't deconstruct it, but we could reclaim the useable materials for the community.