The Buffalo Development Association held a public workshop at Buffalo's City Hall Thursday night on the Buffalo Downtown Plan, and more specifically, the contentious issue of the carousel and where to locate it.
The BDA, appointed by the city council to oversee the City's downtown plan, has for a number of years held the idea of locating the historic carousel in a redesigned Crazy Woman Square downtown. At the three-hour meeting, citizens spoke mostly in favor of redeveloping the square, but locating the carousel elsewhere.
The issue seems to be, for most, that the carousel doesn't fit with the old West feel and décor of Buffalo's downtown. Many in attendance at the meeting spoke of putting the carousel in a number of other locations, including Washington Park near the pool; a vacant property on Angus Street; or keeping it at its current location behind the Bozeman Trail Steakhouse on East Hart Street.
Although everyone agreed something needs to be done to help develop new business downtown, most felt the carousel was not the answer. Business owner Jim Gampetro said that although he is in favor of most of the plan, the money might possibly be better spent elsewhere.
The meeting took a turn for the worse late as Gampetro and the board traded some heated discussion involving his business and the proposed placement of the carousel, which would effectively eliminate much of the parking for his business.
BDA Chairman Olin Turner said the meeting, although rough at times, was a step in the right direction.
In the end, the BDA Board said they would take all comments and suggestions back to the city council for them to decide what next to do with the project.