Parking, recycling and cleaner buses on council agenda

The proposed Midtown Parking garage removal – which is to make room for a more modern replacement consisting of space for retail and commercial properties in the lower level known as Trade and Transit II – is on City Council’s agenda tonight.

Council is expected to vote to accept a contract for Apollo Dismantling Services of Niagara Falls, N.Y., which bid $362,000 to remove the garage at West Third and Laurel streets starting in early September.

Councilman Jonathan Williamson, chairman of the city Finance Committee, said the costs for this first phase of site preparation aren’t from the city general fund budget, but rather federal Highway Transit Administration grants and smaller amounts of investment taken from the River Valley Transit, city bus service budget.

Councilwoman Liz Miele said the cost for demolition and abatement was $300,000 less than what she and other city officials had anticipated.

Council is expected to vote to amend an ordinance to allow for additional borrowing to pay for projects, such as repaving and reconstruction on about 25 streets, many of them not touched for decades, according to Mayor Gabriel J. Campana.

In a recycling update, council may alter its recycling ordinance to add a single-stream recycling option for residents.

If approved, the amended recycling ordinance would define single-stream recycling and allow residents to work with their licensed trash haulers who can provide the bins that can take comingled recyclables such as aluminum, bitmetal, glass and newsprint for a fee.

The city remains obligated by state law to continue to provide residential curbside recyclable pick-up, and is enlarging the recycling drop-off on West Third Street, but moving it west near the Route 15 overpass to make room for the public island portion of the compressed natural gas fueling station at the River Valley Transit headquarters at 1500 W. Third St., according to John Grado, city director of community and economic development.

Fisher Mining Co. has asked for land-development approval to build a metal out-building on property it owns in the Newberry Rail Yard, according to Gary Knarr, city zoning officer. The company received the positive recommendations for council’s approval from the city and county planning commissions, he said.