By Autumn Evans
The ninth annual Ride for Missing Children, Buffalo will begin and end at the border of Wheatfield and North Tonawanda, the latter's Common Council learned at its Tuesday work session.
The council received correspondence from Kathleen Gust, program director for the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, requesting the use of city roads during the ride and providing a list of times riders will be in the city.
The only concern among council members was that the ride ends in North Tonawanda around 4:15 p.m., shortly before rush hour. If any cyclists lagged behind during the race, they could be faced with dangerous traffic at the finish line.
City Clerk/Treasurer Dan Quinn said he was assured the riders would stick together and keep to appointed times closely, so the ride should be over by rush hour.
The ride will start at 7:30 a.m. in St. Johnsburg Fire Co. on Ward Road in Wheatfield and head through North Tonawanda to Buffalo, Kenmore, Clarence, Williamsville, Lockport, Sanborn, Niagara Falls and then back through North Tonawanda to Wheatfield again.
For more information on the Ride for Missing Children, Buffalo, visit www.RideForMissingChildrenBuffalo.org.
The council also discussed an offer to buy a group of vacant lots on Oliver Street. The city has owned the lots, located at 776, 772, 770 and 766 Oliver St., for a year. They were put up for auction last year, but no buyers showed interest.
Allan Ridge and son Michael of Ridge Overhead Door Inc. have now expressed interest in the lots, which are adjacent to their garage door installation and repair business. They offered $13,500.
The assessed value of the properties is $23,300, but City Attorney Shawn Nickerson reminded the council of the difficulty the city had selling them at all, let alone for the assessed value. Furthermore, the city has paid $12,100 on the property and the offer from the Ridges would cover that, leave the city with a profit and put the properties back on the tax roll.
The council agreed, calling it a "fair, reasonable offer." They also expressed confidence the Ridges would put the property to good use.
"He's very reputable. He's been here for years," Mayor Art Pappas said. He also mentioned its value to the revitalization of Oliver Street.
"It's a step in the right direction," Alderwoman Donna Braun said.
"It's another step where people can see something expanding," Pappas agreed. "It's a longtime reputable business. They're very good with their service. I can't see it dissipating."