The Census response rate for the City of Buffalo as of Monday, June 29th is 49.2%. Mayor Brown continues to push for 100% participation. An accurate count helps the City access hundreds of millions of federal dollars to fund infrastructure improvements, education, critical community programming, and much more. Complete your questionnaire at 2020Census.gov.
Mayor Brown is reminding residents that tonight there is a 6 pm parking switchover, from 6 pm Monday to 6 pm Thursday. The alternate side parking on these streets is critical for emergency vehicle access.
The City of Buffalo continues to offer assistance to eligible restaurants interested in offering outdoor dining services. Per New York State regulations, outdoor tables must be spaced six feet apart, all staff must wear face coverings and customers must also wear face coverings when not seated. Restaurants can submit open public space use plans at buffalony.gov/ reopenbuffalo.
National Grid says applications are still being accepted for the federally funded Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) and the Emergency HEAP program through Tuesday, June 30, 2020, while funds are available. The programs have been extended to assist customers who are struggling to pay their energy bills during the COVID-19 emergency.
The programs provide income-eligible families assistance in paying their energy bills and offer relief for households in a heating or heating-related energy emergency. The funds are awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis and do not need to be paid back.
The level of funding varies depending on household income, household composition and heating fuel type in relation to income. The income requirement is based on the past four weeks of household income, therefore customers who may not have been eligible in the past are encouraged to apply. Customers who receive HEAP funding will be automatically enrolled in National Grid’s Energy Affordability Program, which provides monthly bill credits.
Customers who believe they may qualify should visit the Erie County Department of Social Services website at www2.erie. gov/heap/. Residents can also call the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance at 1-800-342-3009 or visit the website otda.ny.gov/programs/heap/. Applications are also accepted online at www.mybenefits.ny.gov.
Residents looking for work can get assistance through the Buffalo Employment and Training Center by calling 856-JOBS.
Employment counselors are available for remote counseling sessions. 145 residents have been placed in positions since the beginning of the COVID-19 emergency.
ConnectLife says the need for blood is constant for Western New York hospitals. Mayor Brown is asking healthy residents to donate blood and asks organizations to consider hosting blood drives to help boost the local supply. Donating is safe and physical distancing precautions are in place to protect donors. To donate or to host a drive, visit connectlifegiveblood.org.
If you are interested in getting tested for COVID-19, you can find your closest test site by visiting covid19.buffalony.gov. The map contains a complete listing of all COVID-19 testing sites, with addresses, which are located throughout the City, contact information for setting up an appointment, hours of operation, and whether the site requires a prescription by a doctor for testing. Additional locations to provide this vital service can be added to this resource by visiting www.buffalony. gov/SubmitTestSite.
The 2020 City of Buffalo Bulk Trash Collection and Tire Drop Off will return in July. Due to the COVID-19 emergency, the City postponed the spring collection.
The updated Bulk Trash schedule is as follows:
Ellicott- July 12
Fillmore- July 19
Niagara- July 26
Masten- August 9
Lovejoy- August 16
South- August 23
Delaware- August 30
North- September 13
University- September 20
Additionally, City residents can dispose of up to 4 old car tires per event, at no cost, at the Buffalo Broadway Garage, located at 197 Broadway, between 7:30 am and 3 pm on July 25th and September 12th. For more information, contact the City’s Call and Resolution Center at 311.
Mayor Brown urges all Buffalo school students to take part in his Virtual Reading Rules! Kid’s Summer Reading Challenge. His 19th Challenge and Awards Ceremony for Champion Readers will take place completely online this year. Every student who reads 10 books plus writes 10 book summaries, now through August 14, 2020, will be eligible to win even more amazing Raffle Prizes in July & August plus bonus prizes at Mayor Brown’s Virtual Graduation & Awards Ceremony on Saturday, August 29, 2020.
Mayor Brown established this important educational program 19 years ago when he received alarming statistics about local students who were testing below the New York State average in English Language Arts and Literacy. Since then, over 20,000 children from the Greater Buffalo-Niagara Region have improved their literacy proficiency skills by participating in Reading Rules! To learn more about the challenge, visit buffalony.gov.