Feb 16


Fire station burning up City Hall budget

Not content to spend double what it did to build its last new fire hall, Buffalo also pays up for work NOT done on its present station in South Buffalo.

The City of Buffalo plans to build a palace of a new fire station in South Buffalo, judging from its price tag.

Over the last several years, the city has approved borrowing about $9 million to replace Station No. 6 at the corner of Seneca Street and Southside Parkway. The station houses two trucks, Engine 25 and Ladder 10, and the department’s 6th Battalion. 

The 62-year-old building definitely needs replacing. It’s a wreck.

But $9 million (“… and counting,” says a City Hall source) is more than double the cost of the last new fire station the city built in 2010, in the Kensington-Bailey neighborhood.

It’s also more than double the estimate Cannon Design gave the city for replacing that station six years ago, according to court documents filed in a lawsuit generated by the project.

That’s right: The project has already generated a lawsuit.

In 2014, before the city contemplated building a new station, it decided to put a new roof on the existing building. The lowest responsible bidder was Weaver Metal & Roofing, an East Side company, which gave a price of $514,900 for the job.

The project stalled for a while, but finally the contract was signed in April 2016.

Two months later, the city tried to cancel the contract. 

Based on consultations with Cannon Design, the city decided replacing the building was better than putting a new roof on it. The structure was compromised, Cannon concluded. Roof replacement wouldn’t work.

However, Weaver already had committed time and money to the project. They had a signed contract. And, according to the company’s lawyers, that contract did not permit the city to simply change its mind. 

The company sued the city in June 2018, seeking to be made whole.

Last month, the Common Council signed off on a settlement. The city agreed to pay Weaver Metal & Roofing $112,500 for its trouble. 

For roof that will never be built on a structure slated for replacement. 

Add it to the bill.