Friday, April 18, 2008


Date: 4/14/2008 9:01:13 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time

Mayor Robert J. Duffy joined Dept. of Environmental Services Commissioner Paul Holahan and Neighborhood Empowerment Teams Director Molly Clifford to announce the dates for “Rochester’s Clean Sweep...Showing Pride in Our City,” today at Cobbs Hill Park. Beginning Mon., April 21, the City will work alongside community volunteers beautifying Rochester’s neighborhoods during six-weeks of neighborhood spring cleanup activities.

 “This year, we are going after litter and illegal graffiti, incorporating our Rochester Blossoms planting day, supporting more than 400 local Boy Scouts and announcing a citywide e-recycling day,” said the Mayor. “This is the third year of Clean Sweep and it keeps growing. The more than 10,000 volunteers and the many organizations that have supported Clean Sweep realize how keeping our city clean and beautiful benefits our community’s public safety, education and economic development.”

 Groups and individuals can join the Mayor for one or more Saturday Sweeps, where volunteers receive a Clean Sweep t-shirt, have coffee and donuts, get assigned to a team, pick up their tools and then head out to beautify the streets. Graffiti removal kits will be available this year. At noon, they’ll meet up again for a picnic lunch. The City’s show wagon stage and a large tent are set up and music plays throughout the morning, making for a fun and festive scene. The Saturday Sweeps will take place rain or shine, 9 a.m. -- 12 noon:
• April 26, Genesee Valley Park, 131 Elmwood Ave.
• May 10, Cobbs Hill Park, corner of Culver Rd. & Norris Dr.
• May 17 Norton NET, 500 Norton St.
• May 31 Edgerton Park, 41 Backus St.

 The City is also supporting “Scout Sweep,” April 26, by providing Clean Sweep t-shirts, tools and lunch for hundreds of local Boy Scouts who will pick up litter and debris along the Genesee Riverway Trail and Erie Canal. In addition, Rochester Blossoms will join Clean Sweep on May 31, when Green thumbs will fan out across the city to plant thousands of flowers in public spaces. “Flower Sweep” can accommodate about 300 volunteers. Gardeners must preregister and will begin their day at 8 a.m. at the City Parks Administration building, 400 Dewey Ave. A morning snack, flowers, maps and planting advice will be provided.

Participants are asked to bring their own garden gloves, trowels, shovels and rakes. Rochester Blossoms will also provide around 100 perennials for each of the other Saturday Sweeps.

A city computer and electronic recycling day also takes place during Clean Sweep. Residents and small businesses can drop off computer and electronic equipment, 9 a.m. -- 2 p.m., Sat., May 31 at the Frontier Field VIP parking lot on Morrie Silver Way. Call 458-2460 for more information.

 During Clean Sweep, city crews come out in force to sweep streets; pick up bulk refuse; cut grass and clean up city properties, alleys and underpasses; repair potholes; survey street signs and street lights for repair and replacement; and repair hazardous sidewalks.

 City residents and businesses are encouraged to do their spring cleaning during Clean Sweep by raking their yards and tree lawn areas, sweeping their sidewalk and curb areas and taking litter and rakings to the curb for collection. Citizens are asked to call 311 to report graffiti on utilities or buildings, broken street lights and hazardous sidewalks. City residents can take advantage of the opportunity to get rid of large bulk refuse items.

 Groups who would like to organize their own street or block projects to collect litter, rake tree lawns or perform a special clean up or beautification project can call their local NET office. The City will provide suggested projects, tools and bags, mulch, soil and/or flowers for planting as supplies last.

 Volunteers may register by calling 311 or visiting Walk-ups on the morning of the Sweeps are also welcome. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. and teams will hit the streets at 9 a.m. Volunteers are asked to wear appropriate clothing, including hard-soled shoes and long pants. Gloves and tools will be provided, but volunteers are encouraged to bring their own, if possible.

 RG&E has provided title sponsorship for the spring Clean Sweep event. Stantec, Cricket Wireless, and UNICON have committed to supporting sponsorships for program expenses. City Councilmember Dana Miller is once again sponsoring a Clean Sweep coloring contest for children in grades K-6.


Date: 4/16/2008 9:01:31 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time
The City's Dept. of Community Development has released the Draft Consolidated Community Development Plan/2008-09 Annual Action Plan.

The Action Plan contains the one-year plan to carry out the City’s housing and community development activities funded by Federal formula grant funds received in the 2008-09 program year from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). These funds are from the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME), Emergency Shelter Grant (ESG), and Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) programs.
The amount of revenue expected to be available to fund plan activities is estimated to be $17,315,630. Of this amount, $13,765,630 represents new grants from the federal government and $1,550,000 represents the anticipated receipt of loan and interest repayments on prior year Urban Development Action Grant and other program income. We are submitting an application in the amount of $2,000,000 for a Section 108 loan to provide additional funding for a Business Loan Program.
The following table provides a summary of funding by program goal:
GOAL                                                                   AMOUNT             PERCENT OF TOTAL
Promote Economic Stability                           $4,548,700                       26%
Improve the Housing Stock                             $9,620,586                       56%
Respond to General Community Needs           $2,326,344                       13%
Other                                                              $820,000                         5%
Total                                                          $17,315,630                      100%
The City’s Community Development Program has been nationally recognized. In 1998, the City was awarded eight John J. Gunther Blue Ribbon Practices in Community Development from HUD, one of which was in the area of administrative excellence. Rochester also received the prestigious HUD-Buffalo Meritorious Award in 2006
A public hearing on the Consolidated Community Development Program /2008-09 Draft Annual Action Plan will take place 8 p.m., Tues., May 13 at City Council Chambers, Third Floor, City Hall, 30 Church St. The hearing will consider the Plan, including the City Development Fund and annual performance report on the 2006-07 Consolidated Community Development Plan Program Year.
Copies of the Plan are available at the City’s Department of Community Development, City Hall, Room #125-B, 30 Church St.


Mayor’s Proposed Budget for 2008-09


May we ask you and your neighborhood newsletter to  include this information in your next publications.  I've sent it in two formats--Word and as pdf so it everyone should be able to open of them for their use. 

Ann Flynn

Ann Flynn
City Council/Clerk Office
City Hall
30 Church Street
Rochester, NY 14614
428-7421, 428-6347(fax)

I opened the Word document and copied/pasted it here for the LONA community:

Dear Fellow City Residents:

I am pleased to announce that the City Council is preparing to review the Mayor’s Proposed Budget for 2008-09.  In mid-May, Mayor Duffy will present this document to the City Council for our analysis, which I believe is the most thorough public review conducted in Monroe County.  This year we have scheduled two all-day budget hearings (see schedule below) that will be broadcast on City’s Cable Channel 12.  My Council colleagues and I hope that the broadcast will provide City residents and business owners with a close look about how we review spending priorities for the City.  Please feel free to attend these meetings in person in City Council Chambers.


Thursday, May 29

     9:00-9:10            Council/Clerk

     9:15-9:40            Emergency Communications

     9:45-11:10           Fire

     11:15-12:25          Police

     12:30-1:30           Lunch break

     1:30-2:25            Recreation and Youth Services

     2:30-3:20            Library

     3:25-5:00            Administration (NET, Law Dept., Mayor’s Office, Communications, Office of Management and Budget)


Monday, June 2

     9:00-9:55            Community Development

     10:00-10:55          Economic Development

     11:00-11:55          Information Technology

     12:00-1:00           Lunch

     1:00-1:40            Finance

     1:45-2:25            Undistributed expenses

     2:30-4:00            Environmental Services



We expect that the public hearing on the City’s and the City School District’s Budgets will be held during the week of June; the exact date will be available soon.  Council’s final vote on the two budgets will be held during the June 17 Council Meeting.


If you should have any questions, feel free to call the Council office at 428-7538.



Carolee A. Conklin

Finance Committee Chair

Monday, April 14, 2008

Sunday, April 13, 2008


Results of the City’s Customer Satisfaction (CSI) Survey released today reveal that 84% of residents think Rochester is improving. The survey polled 646 city residents, business owners and landlords from Nov., 2007 -- Jan., 2008, with the question: "On balance and all things considered, do you agree with the following statement? There’s still a long way to go, but the City is improving."

“This is an amazing vote of confidence for our team at City Hall because it comes from our customers," said Mayor Robert J. Duffy. "We are grateful for the recognition, and I am pleased that the overall results of our survey are positive. But our customers also feel we need to improve in certain areas. We intend to keep working hard to make Rochester the best place in the nation to live, work and raise a family.”
The Mayor also noted that public safety, the City’s most important priority, weighed heavily on people’s minds. Nearly half of respondents indicated that they do not feel safe and that is a huge concern for the mayor and his administration. “People did have concerns about public safety and that is disheartening,” said Mayor Duffy. “But, by a nine-to-one margin, they overwhelmingly support the City’s efforts to curb violence by continuing to invest resources in public safety. People told us loud and clear that ‘Zero Tolerance’ should be a top priority. I hear them and will do everything in my power to make our community one where everybody can feel safe and be safe on any street in any neighborhood.”

Mayor Duffy and his team commissioned the study, contracting with the Rochester Research Group, to measure customer satisfaction levels in a wide variety of areas. The in-depth, scientifically valid survey gave the people the City serves a chance to offer their input about a range of issues, from their quality of life to City services and programs. The survey was an unusual move for a municipality, because the questions were posed with no realistic expectation as to the outcome and knowing that all data would be released publicly. The City will use this valuable input to focus on areas for improvement and make important budget decisions. In the coming year, the City will convene focus groups and track the results.

Some highlights of the survey include:
We asked what people thought about a number of City initiatives, including:
• 71% think re-opening Durand Beach was a good or great idea
• 94% think Clean Sweep is a good or great idea
• 86% think demolition of the city’s vacant and abandoned homes is a good or great idea

On public safety in particular, they said:
• 89% think Zero Tolerance is a good or great idea
• 77% say it should be a high priority
• 85% think hiring more police is a good or great idea                                      

Compared to two years ago:
• 70% of residents say our city is looking cleaner
• 60% say we are better off
• 47% say they feel less safe 

Our customers graded us on a number of services, including:
• Fire Department: A-
• Trash Pick-up and Recycling: B+
• Festivals: B
• Restaurants and Entertainment: B
• Parks and Recreation: B-
• Neighborhood Empowerment Teams (NET): B-
• Public Transportation: B-
• Parking: C+
• Noise: C+
• The condition and repair of the City’s streets: C+

Some other interesting findings:
• We asked people whether they had contacted City Hall over the last year. 22% (or 1 in 5) had. Asked how they would grade their service, respondents gave us a B.
• 75% of respondents said they don’t care who provides their water
• 75% think it’s very important that the City be an environmental leader
• 87% say we are paying enough attention to recreation

  A summary of the City’s CSI Survey results can be obtained from the Communications Bureau by calling 428-7135 or by visiting the City’s website,

Sunday, April 6, 2008

info sheets/letters of interest from past meetings, Sep '07 - Mar '08




The City of Rochester offers gardeners an opportunity to attend workshops, adopt a garden, tour an urban farm and more during the months of April and May as part of its “Flower City Looking Good Program.” For more information on the City’s gardening programs or to adopt a garden within a city neighborhood, call 428-6770 or visit
Activities include:

Spring Garden Talks: 7--8:30 p.m., Wed., April 9, 16 and 23.
• April 9: All about Hydrangeas. Discover hydrangeas: blooming patterns and pruning techniques. Rochester Civic Garden Center, 5 Castle Park.
• April 16: Butterfly Gardening. Learn easy steps to creating a beautiful butterfly garden and how to monitor and track Monarch butterflies during migration. Cornell Cooperative Extension, Auditorium, 249 Highland Ave.
• April 23: Urban Gardening.  Insights on how to succeed at urban gardening--from wind tunnels to wildlife, excessive shade to super heat. Cornell Cooperative Extension, Auditorium, 249 Highland Ave.

Rose Workshop: Pruning Roses. 10 a.m.--12 noon, Sat., May 3
• Greater Rochester Rose Society members provide expert advice on roses and hands-on demonstrations. Meet by the fountain at the Maplewood Rose Garden, corner of Lake and Driving Park Aves.  Free admission and no prior registration.

Free Urban Farm Tours:  Begins Sun., April 20 (3rd Sunday of each month through Nov.)
• Visit city farms which harvest herbs, vegetables and fruit. Tour mini vineyards, rain collection systems and clever composting projects. Visit for details.

Flower City Garden Contest -- 18th year!
• Any city gardener may nominate his/her own garden or a neighbor’s garden. Recognition and prizes are awarded in the following categories: 1) Best Use of Container Gardening; 2) Best Use of a Water Feature; 3) Best Educational Garden Project; 4) Best Neighborhood Enhancement; Garden 5) Best Wildlife Habitat Garden and 6) 2008 Butterfly Garden. Call 428-6770 or go to for an on-line entry form. Enter by July 31.


LONA NOTE: I am confident that we have many talented gardeners in the Lyell-Otis Neighborhood, so I look forward to seeing many winners of the contest come from our neck-of-the-woods! Don't forget to enter!! And please contact us here in LONA so we can let others in the community know of your accolades! :)

MAYOR ANNOUNCES EARTH DAY ACTIVITIES (City of Rochester News Release - 04/02/2008)

Mayor Robert J. Duffy today announced activities for youth and families at City Recreation Centers to celebrate Earth Day, 2008. This year RG&E joins the City as its corporate sponsor for a “Cache In, Trash Out” event and a series of environmental and educational programs through the “Sprouts Kids Gardening and Environmental Club.”
“Cache In, Trash Out” participants will meet at 9:30--11:30 a.m., Sat., Apr. 19 at Tay House Lodge, 85 Hillside Ave. in Cobbs Hill Park and use hand-held GPS devices to navigate the park, pick up trash and find clues along the way. Walks, games and demonstrations will be aimed at educating families about the natural environment. Tools will be provided or bring your own gloves, folding saws, hand pruners and rakes. The first team with a full trash bag wins! Preregistration is advised by April 11.  
In addition to GPS activities, earth-friendly information and demonstrations will be available at various booths:

• Wind energy
• Water and recycling
• Organic food and local organic food outlets
• Free ‘Laughter Yoga’ class uniting family and friends at 11 am
• Debut service project by the “Sprouts Kids Gardening and Environmental Club” 

Throughout the year, “Sprouts” will also create gardens, learn about trees, assist with outdoor community projects and explore the natural environment. Interested youth and family members may contact their nearest City Recreation Center for club and registration information or call 428-6770.
Earth Day activities are a part of the City's Flower City Looking Good Program, sponsored by the City with support from Preferred Care, the Democrat and Chronicle and Wegmans. For information about the City's Earth Day or any Flower City Looking Good activity call 428-6770, or visit

THE BIG READ COMES TO MONROE COUNTY! (City of Rochester News Release - 03/24/2008)

The Big Read is coming to Rochester. The Monroe County Library System is inviting everyone to read Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury and participate in numerous events that will be taking place at the Central Library of Rochester and Monroe County, city branches, and town libraries from April 13-May 31.  Copies are available at Monroe County libraries.

The Big Read is an initiative from the National Endowment for the Arts to encourage lapsed readers to start reading again.  Most of us are born wanting to read but as we grow up there is less and less time to read and many just stop reading anything for the pure enjoyment of it.  The program aims to remind everyone of the joys of reading.  Over 100 communities from around the country have already participated in the program.

The program will begin on April 13th with a “Set Your Mind on Fire:  The Big Read Kick-Off” celebration.  Mayor Duffy and other local dignitaries will be on hand to start the event.  The Genesee Valley Storytellers will entertain the younger set in the Children’s Center’s Secret Room.  A group from the Eastman School of Music will perform.  The Friends of the Library will be offering a simple book-making project in front of the Library Store.  But that is only the beginning of six weeks of programs!

From April 14-May 31st there will be speakers, film presentations, Random Acts of Reading, book reviews and of course, book discussions. On May 4th, Thomas Olson will present “Gutenberg and the Invention of Print:  Revolution or Evolution.  Julie Wosk will discuss “Alluring Androids and Robots in Film, Photography and Art on May 13th.  Authors will discuss having their books banned.  And there will be a tour of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Collection at the Rush Rhees Library at the University of Rochester.

See for a complete listing of events.

MIDTOWN UPDATES (City of Rochester News Releases - 03/26/08 and 04/04/08)


Mayor Robert J. Duffy today encouraged Rochester residents to continue shopping at Midtown Plaza as the Midtown Revitalization Project continues. While the City works with Governor Paterson and its partners at Empire State Development, PAETEC and City Council to move the project forward, the mayor is reminding people that the Plaza’s shops and restaurants will remain open to the public for several months. There are more than 35 retail stores, salons and eateries that are open Mon. -- Sat., 10 a.m. -- 5:30 pm. 

“As we continue working to revitalize the core of our city, I want to be sure people realize that there are nearly 40 merchants in Midtown who welcome their business,” said Mayor Duffy. “We are working together to find many of these businesses homes right in downtown, so as the new Midtown takes shape, many will be close by to continueserving their customers.”

The City is allocating approximately $5.5 million to assist Midtown Plaza tenants with their relocation. The City is also working to create a special grant program to provide additional assistance for those businesses relocating within downtown or in the city. City Council will vote in April to authorize funding for the City's relocation efforts and to secure approval for the grant program.



With the exception of the Euclid Building lobby at Euclid St., Midtown Plaza will officially close to the public on August 1, marking the start of a new chapter for downtown Rochester. Rochester-based telecommunications company Paetec plans to construct a half-million sq. ft. high rise and locate its headquarters there by mid-2011.
“Thanks to the vision of Paetec Chairman and C.E.O. Arunas Chesonis and the dedication and support of N.Y. State through Empire State Development, we have the opportunity to re-draw our Main St. and forever change our skyline,” said Mayor Robert J. Duffy. “This is an historic event that doesn’t come along very often, and we are proud to be leading the way to downtown’s renaissance.”
The City will take ownership of the Plaza’s properties in early May and is working aggressively with the remaining Midtown businesses to relocate them downtown and the city. A majority of the tenants will have vacated the Plaza by the end of June and by August 1, all tenants will have vacated with the exception of Clear Channel Radio in the Euclid Building and the Trailways bus station located on Elm St. Clear Channel and Trailways will remain as tenants through December.
Beginning June 30, the City will begin limiting access to the Plaza by closing the Chase and Xerox skyway connections and on August 1, pedestrian access to the Midtown Garage will be limited to the Euclid Building lobby and the Broad St. underground tunnel from the gateway atrium at the southeast corner of Broad St. and Clinton Ave.
The Midtown Parking Garage will close on Sept. 30 as asbestos removal begins. A parking relocation plan has been developed to accommodate the 1,300 current Midtown Parking Garage customers and make their transition as convenient as possible. The City is re-opening the Mortimer St. Garage and a creating a new surface lot on Mortimer St. Alternative parking options include the East End and St. Joseph’s Parking Garages.
City staff is working closely with the Rochester Police Department and the Rochester Downtown Development Corporation’s Downtown Special Services team to maintain public safety in and around Midtown as pedestrian and parking circulation paths change.