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The Library: BERC, BURA, BNRC Documents

This morning I was sifting through the BERC, BURA, and BNRC financial documents released by the Brown administration to the Common Council last week under threat of Council subpoena, as I expect to be doing for several days, when it occurred to me: I ought to post them online, so that anyone else who wants to pore over hundreds of pages of loan information and salaries and audits can do so at their leisure. Maybe offer me some pointers.

All of these documents were requested at the beginning of February by Council as part of a review of the Brown administration’s community development block grant plan for 2009. The Council was stonewalled by the Brown administration, until two weeks ago, when the Council voted 8-1 to threaten to subpoena the requested documents if the administration would not fork them over. (That resoultion brought ecumenism to a contentious Council. Only Ellicott District Councilmember Brian Davis voted against it.) The Brown administration relented, and the Council received the documents last Wednesday.

Artvoice got them on Monday. Here they are:

Who at BERC and BURA gets cell phones.

BERC loans that have been written off since 2000.

Property BERC owns.

BERC salaries, 2006-2009.

A 2007 audit of BERC.

BNRC financial statements for 2006 and 2007.

Some info on BNRC loans.

Land owned by BURA.

BURA loan information.

More BURA loan information.

BURA salaries.

I hope to have made something of these reports in a few days. If anyone out there wants to help, I’m all ears.


  • Crowdsourcing this investigation is probably a good idea. I’ll post it elsewhere on the Twitters and Internets and see if we can’t get some more help.

  • Betty Barcode

    Thanks for posting this material. Great public service. Any chance you could rotate the landscape-style PDFs for greater legibility? Can’t seem to do it in my browser.

    So, who knew that BERC was big in the parking lot business?

  • Advice for rotating

    Betty, If you try right-clicking your mouse over any page of the open PDF file (has to be right-click for a Windows computer, or maybe Ctrl-click for a Mac), then that should display a menu that includes a “clockwise rotate” option.

  • Advice for rotating

    (But I agree with you that it’d be nice if Geoff could please rotate the docs so they open that way!)

  • Betty Barcode

    Thanks, found the Rotate feature. And thanks again to Artvoice. I circulated the link.

  • jturcotte

    So, I think what we need now is a flow chart showing how BURA, BERC, and the city are related to one another.

    BERC “wrote off” about $3 Million in loans to the Arcade Cinema Group (who are they?) and BURA owns the property known as the Market Arcade Complex. Are these the same? What’s that all about? I’m no accountant and there are not enough facts here to know for sure, but at first glance… Kind of looks like BERC “giving” money and buildings to the city for the purpose of removing buildings from the tax rolls. We need someone to follow all these dollars to see who is making out at the expense of Buffalo’s Poor. Oh, and what’s the deal with with all the loans that have been “written off” in the name of businesses still in business? For example, Father Sam’s Syrian Bread, Inc. and Spot Coffee!?

  • mr.justice

    Wilbur Trammell defaulted on $800,000 what would an ex politician with a pension need such a massive loan?

  • Mike

    Shadow Government agencies that don’t work very hard. No wonder Byron didn’t want to release this pile of junk. Great Job ArtVoice! Keep the info coming, we are eating it up like hungry peasants!!!!!