The Buffalo City Council voted to forgive liens against the Occidental Hotel property stemming from CDBG grants that were awarded to them a number of years ago for economic development at the property.
Former City Attornewy Dennis Kirven explained to the council that the CDBG (Community Development Block Grants) were a successful Federal Grant program used by local governments in commnities to enhance economic development in the downtown area. The money was used in a number of local properties for development including the old Buffalo Bar (now Margo's Pottery) and Bison Theater (now Deerfield's).
Kirven explained the money was never intended to be paid back to the Federal Government, but that he, as the city attorney, had drafted a provision saying if any user of the funds was to flip the property within a certain amount of time, the city should reap some of that profit to put back into an account to re-use those funds. That account still has roughly $40,000 available to loan local businesses for economic development.
He explained more to the council at the meeting.
Kirven urged the council to release the current lien against the Occidental Property, as the intent and purpose of the lien was to prevent a quick turnaround and profit from the funds borrowed. He said the purpose of the funds has been met and asked them to release the lien on the Occidental, which they did on a unanimous vote.