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May 27, 2016 - 3:00pm

Free sunglasses when you rent your prom tuxedo at Charles Men's Shop -- Downtown Batavia. Click here to visit our Facebook page.

May 27, 2016 - 2:59pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in spray park, batavia, news, weather.

waterparkmay272016.jpg

It's looking like Memorial Day Weekend is going to be a great weekend to make use of the spray park in Austin Park, as Darien Rhodes did this afternoon with Faith Rhodes.

Temperatures will reach as high as 92 degrees over the weekend with ample humidity.

May 27, 2016 - 2:46pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Tompkins Bank of Castile, batavia, business.

castileraffle2016.jpg

Mark Williams, with the Tompkins Bank of Castile, holds one of the baskets available in a charity raffle at the Batavia branch on East Main Street.

Funds from the raffle of the two baskets of wine and other gifts will benefit Relay for Life in Wyoming County.  

Raffle tickets are available through the drive-up or when you walk into the branch.

May 27, 2016 - 12:33pm
posted by Billie Owens in accident, batavia, news.

An accident with unknown injuries, blocking traffic, is reported at Jackson and Ellicott streets. City fire and Mercy medics are responding.

UPDATE 12:49 p.m.: No injuries. Two pickup trucks involved, both moved out of way and clear of traffic.

May 27, 2016 - 12:08pm
posted by Billie Owens in Milestones, byron, bergen, batavia, corfu, east bethany, Pavilion.

ROCHESTER, NY (05/26/2016)-- Nazareth College announces its Dean's List for the Spring of 2016 semester.

Kelsey Hill, of Batavia, is majoring in Health Sciences.

Lauryn Krebs, of Corfu, is majoring in International Studies.

Jessica Meyers, of East Bethany, is majoring in Occupational Science.

Kelsey Milligan, of Pavilion, is majoring in Health Sciences.

Kathleen O'Donnell, of Batavia, is majoring in Biology.

Andrea Raphael, of Batavia, is majoring in Occupational Science.

Courtney Taylor, of Bergen, is majoring in Biology.

Alexandra Walker, of Byron, is majoring in Communication Science & Disorders.

May 27, 2016 - 12:01pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in roundabout, accident, batavia.

Debris from an accident in the Oak Street Roundabout is causing some havoc, with popped tires and slowed traffic.

Earlier, Batavia PD had responded to a fender-bender in the roundabout and after this current incident was reported, he confirmed there was very little debris from that accident and it was cleaned up, so this debris is apparently from a later, unreported accident.

A Sheriff's patrol came through and reported a good deal of debris in the roundabout and "people are popping their tires."

There's a disabled semi-truck and two passenger vehicles have pulled into a nearby parking lot, coincidentally, perhaps, a tire shop.

May 27, 2016 - 11:52am
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, batavia, byron, pembroke.

Christopher Tyler Sprague (pictured left), 22, of Dellinger Avenue, Batavia, is charged with third-degree burglary, second-degree criminal mischief, and petit larceny. On May 25, Sprague was transferred from Genesee County Jail to Batavia City Court where he was arraigned on these charges following an investigation into a burglary which occurred at a business at 3 Treadeasy Ave. in the city between May 7 and May 9. Sprague allegedly broke into the building and stole money while inside. He also allegedly damaged several picnic tables and pavilions behind the building. Following his arraignment before City Court Judge Durin Rogers, he was released, but due to a pending parole violation for which he was being held, he was transported back to jail. He is to be in City Court to answer the charges at 1 p.m. on June 8. The case was handled by Batavia Police Det. Richard Schauf, assisted by Det. Eric Hill.

Chase Michael Putnam, 20, of Circle Drive, Williamson, is charged with driminal possession of a weapon, 4th, criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, and unlawful possession of marijuana. At 11:57 a.m. on May 26, Putnam was stopped on Route 77 in the Town of Pembroke The defendant was allegedly found in possession of a quantity of suspected cocaine and marijuana, as well as a doubled-edge knife. Putnam was arrested and issued an appearance ticket for June 21 in Town of Pembroke Court. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Patrick Reeves.

David Alan Ornt, 24, of Hall Road, Holley, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana, speed in excess of 55 mph, and open container of alcohol in a motor vehicle. He was arrested on the charges following a traffic stop at 6:52 p.m. on May 22 on South Holley Road in the Town of Byron. He was issued appearance tickets for June 20 in Town of Byron Court. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Michael Lute, assisted by Deputy Kevin Forsyth.

Chet William Kenyon, 32, of Sandybrook Drive, Hamlin, is charged with criminal possession of marijuana in the fifth degree and open container of alcohol in a a motor vehicle. He was arrested at 6:23 p.m. on May 22 on South Holley Road in Byron following a traffic stop. He was issued appearance tickets for June 20 in Town of Byron Court. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Michael Lute, assisted by Deputy Kevin Forsyth.

May 27, 2016 - 10:56am
posted by Billie Owens in animal abuse, news, batavia.

A dog has reportedly been locked inside a red Chevy pickup truck in the Court Street plaza in the city for the last 30 minutes. Batavia PD is responding. The vehicle is in a handicapped parking space near City Slickers restaurant.

May 26, 2016 - 4:27pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, Grand Jury, Le Roy, batavia.

Jeffrey W. Scott is indicted for the crime of criminal mischief in the second degree, a Class D felony. It is alleged that on Feb. 21 at 9280 Robbins Road in the Village of Le Roy, Scott, with intent to damage property of another person and having no right to do so, damaged the property of another person in an amount exceeding $1,000. He is accused of damaging the windshield, front passenger door, console, instrument panel and steering column of a 2004 Chevy Classic Malibu in the amount of about $1,874.48.

Michael J. Elmore is indicted for the crime of burglary in the second degree, a Class C violent felony. It is alleged that on Nov. 30 Elmore knowingly entered or remained unlawfully in a dwelling on Summit Street in the City of Batavia with the intent to commit a crime.

John K. Stone is indicted for the crime of driving while intoxicated, as a Class E felony. On Dec. 7 in the Town of Batavia, it is alleged that Stone drove a 2006 Honda Ridgeline on Route 5 and in the Batavia Mobile Home Park while intoxicated. In count two, he is accused of the crime of reckless driving, a misdemeanor, for allegedly operating the vehicle in a manner which unreasonably interfered with the free and proper use of a public highway. In this case, he allegedly drove at a high rate of speed, failed to yield to an emergency vehicle, operated with headlights, and nearly struck several pedestrians in the mobile home park. In Special Information filed by the District Attorney, Morris is accused of having been convicted of DWI, per se, on April 9, 2007, in County of Orleans Court and this conviction is within 10 years of the crimes alleged in the current indictment.

Adrian P. Morris is indicted for the crime of driving while intoxicated, as a Class E felony. On Feb. 5 in the Town of Le Roy, Morris allegedly drove a 2009 Ford on West Main Street while intoxicated. In count two, Morris is accused of driving while intoxicated per se, as a CLass E felony, for having a BAC of .08 percent or greater at the time. In Special Information filed by the District Attorney, Morris is accused of having been convicted of DWI, as a misdemeanor, on Feb. 2, 2010 in the Town of Greece, which is within 10 years of the crimes alleged in the current indictment.

May 26, 2016 - 3:50pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, batavia, news.

Tylee Demetrius "Love" Gaines, 37, of Waverly Place, Rochester, was sentenced this afternoon to the maximum possible of eight years in prison after previously accepting a plea deal on a single felony charge of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.

He was arrested in January and charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell, criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, unlawful possession of marijuana, two counts of aggravated unlicensed operation, obstructed view and unlicensed operator.

His arrest was the result of a traffic stop on Ross Street in the City of Batavia for having an obstructed view. He was found to be driving on a suspended license, then at BPD headquarters was found in possesssion of marijuana and several small bags of crack cocaine. He was jailed without bail.

As part of a plea agreement with the District Attorney's Office, the other charges were dropped. The range of his potential prison term was pared from two to 12 years, to one and a half to eight years. District Attorney Lawrence Friedman argued for the maximum under the agreed upon cap of eight years, citing the defendant's lengthy criminal history.

"This defendant is a career drug dealer," Friedman said, noting Gaines has served four prison terms already and has been released on parole seven times, violating parole every single time.

His propensity for drug dealing is "persistent," with six convictions for criminal possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell.

The attorney for Gaines, Thomas Burns, told Acting Genesee County Court Judge Michael F. Pietruszka that his client is the father of two 6-year-olds and admits he has a history of "substance abuse issues." "Piggy-backing" on that are crimes of providing drugs for others to buy and having a stash so he could support his own habit.

Burns asked the judge to consider sentencing his client to the "mid to minimum range."

When asked if he had anything to say, the orange-jumpsuited and shackled Gaines, who's a big guy -- about 6'4" and 250 pounds -- said softly: "My drug use and history's been going on a long time since I was young. I apologize to the court."

Burns said his client wanted it noted for the record that "he denies having contact with Officer Richards." According to a Batavia PD report, Batavia Police Officer Chad Richards is one who pulled Gaines over at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 7, on Ross Street in the city for having an obstructed view.

The denial was duly noted.

Judge Pietruszka then said that Gaines is a second felony offender for sentencing purposes and handed down the maximum of eight years in prison, to be followed by three years of post-release supervision.

May 26, 2016 - 12:34pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, batavia, news, NET.

Press release:

On May 11, uniformed members of the City of Batavia Police Department along with members from the Genesee County Local Drug Task Force (comprised of members from the Genesee County Sheriff's Office, Le Roy Police Department and City of Batavia Police Department), Genesee County Probation Officers and uniformed members of the Genesee County Sheriff's Office conducted a N.E.T. (Neighborhood Enforcement Team) detail in the City of Batavia.

The detail focused on quality-of-life issues, drug enforcement, warrant checks and probation checks in targeted neighborhoods. The following arrest was made;

Loretta L. Baer, age 44, of School Street in Batavia – was charged with criminally using drug paraphrenalia in the second degree (Class A misdemeanor) and criminal possession of a hypodermic instrument (Class A misdemeanor)

Officers conducted 11 probation checks and five probation violations were reported as a result of those checks. All probation violations are being handled by the Genesee County Probation Office.

May 26, 2016 - 12:20pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, batavia.

An 84-year-old woman who lives on West Main Street in Batavia is charged with third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance and third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.

Laura M. Viehdeffer, pictured right, was arrested on the charges Wednesday, May 25, and arraigned in Genesee County Court, then released on her own recognizance. She is due back in court at 9:30 a.m. on June 2.

The charges stem from an incident at 12:51 p.m. on June 28 at 334 W. Main St., Apt. #4, Batavia, according to the Sheriff's Office report.

The case was investigated by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Joseph Loftus, assisted by Deputy Emily McNamara.

May 26, 2016 - 12:01pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, Le Roy, Darien, batavia, byron, Stafford.

Angelo A. Cassidy, 39, of East Main Street, Le Roy, is charged with second-degree criminal mischief and third-degree grand larceny. He was arraigned on the charges at 11:10 a.m. on May 18 and released under supervision of Genesee Justice. It is alleged that at noon on Oct. 20, Cassidy removed a home-heating system, appliances and building supplies from a residence on Washington Avenue in the City of Batavia without permission. He is to appear in City Court at 9:30 a.m. on June 16. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Jason Davis.

Kiha Samuel McNear, 18, of Walnut Street, Batavia, is charged with harassment and endangering the welfare of a child. McNear was arrested at 1:50 a.m. on May 22 on Walnut Street in Batavia after allegedly striking an individual multiple times in the face with a closed fist. The alleged victim was under the age of 17. McNear was jailed on $1,000 bail and was to return to City Court on Monday (May 23). The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Matthew Wojtaszczyk, assisted by Officer Peter Flanagan.

Twan Conway, 45, of Walden Creek Road, Batavia, is charged with second-degree harassment. Conway was arrested following a 9-1-1 call hang-up investigation. The call was made at 12:30 p.m. on May 17. Conway was arraigned at 10:30 a.m. on May 22 and jailed on $500 bail. Conway was scheduled for City Court on May 23. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Matthew Wojtaszczyk, assisted by Officer Kevin DeFelice. Then on May 23, at 7:40 p.m., Conway was arrested again following an incident wherein he allegedly pushed another person while an active order of protection was in place. He was jailed without bail and is be in City Court tomorrow, May 27. This case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Stephen Cronmiller.

Michael Patrick Sullivan, 53, of Main Road, Stafford, is charged with second-degree criminal contempt and second-degree harassment. At 7:54 p.m. on May 24, Sullivan was arrested after allegedly violating a court order by subjecting two people to physical contact by throwing a glass item at them. He was jailed on $1,000 bail and is to be in Town of Stafford Court on June 9. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy James Diehl, assisted by Sgt. Eric Seppala.

Sara Jo Likus, 30, of Townline Road, Darien, is charged with: driving while ability impaired by drugs or both alcohol and drugs; driving on the sidewalk; and moving from lane unsafely. At 9:28 p.m. on May 18, it is alleged that Likus drove a vehicle while her ability to do so was impaired, and that while driving she changed lanes unsafely and drove over the curb onto the sidewalk, striking a utility pole. She was issued several tickets and released to a third party. She is to be in City Court on June 8. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Jamie Givens.

Charles-Gus Williams, 37, of Robinson Road, Lockport, is charged with second-degree criminal contempt. At 1:49 p.m. on May 20, it is alleged that Williams violated a complete stay away order of protection at a residence on Maple Street in the City of Batavia. He was jailed on $2,500 bail and was due in City Court on May 23. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Christopher Lindsay.

Jeffrey D. Matla, 56, of Alexander Road, Batavia, is charged with: DWI -- common law; speeding; failure to signal a lane change; and DWI with a BAC greater than .08 percent. Matla was arrested at 5:18 p.m. on May 22 on West Main Street in Batavia following a traffic stop. He was stopped for traffic violations and allegedly found to be operating his motorcycle in an intoxicated condition. He was released and is to be in City Court on June 8. The case was handled by Patavia Police Officer Cowen Mitchell.

Joshua Yeomas, 31, of Lewis Place, Batavia, is charged with third-degree unlicensed operation and failure to use headlights while operating with windshield wipers. Yeomas was located during an unrelated NYS Parole investigation, assisted by Batavia PD, and taken into custody on an arrest warrant stemming from an incident on April 13 on West Main Street, Batavia. He was released and is to appear in City Court at a later date. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Marc Lawrence, assisted by Officer Jason Davis.

Bert Clifford Earl, 55, of Grandview Terrace, Batavia, is charged with harassment. He was arrested at 11:50 p.m. on May 20 following a disturbance at Batavia Downs wherein he allegedly subjected another person to unwanted physical contact. He was issued an appearance ticket and is to be in City Court on June 7. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Peter Flanagan, assisted by Officer Arick Perkins.

Lori A. Brightenfield, 56, of Maple Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. She was arrested for writing a check to a business on May 18 to buy alcohol when she allegedly knew she did not have the funds to pay for it. She was issued an appearance ticket for City Court and is to be there on June 7. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Jamie Givens.

Carol M. Pahuta, 47, of Byron Holley Road, Byron, is charged with petit larceny. Pahuta was arrested following a larceny investigation on West Main Street in Batavia. She was issued an appearance ticket and released. She is to be in City Court to answer the charge on May 31. The case was handled by Bataiva Police Officer Kevin DeFelice.

Daniel Colin Healy, 25, of North Street, Batavia, is charged with aggravated unlicensed operation in the third degree. He was taken into custody at 1:48 p.m. on May 23 by Gates PD on an active bench warrant out of City Court for failing to appear on the charge, stemming from an incident June 27 on Vine Street in the City of Batavia. He was jailed on $250 bail and was to be in City Court Wednesday (May 25). Batavia Police Officer James DeFreze handled the case.

Mark J. Zinni, 21, of Evergreen Drive, Batavia, is charged with driving without lights and unlawful possession of marijuana. Zinni was arrested following a traffic stop on Pearl Street at 11:39 p.m. on May 21 in the City of Batavia. It is alleged that Zinni was driving without lights and that he was in possession of several small bags containing marijuana. He was released on appearance tickets and is to be in City Court on June 7. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Chad Richards, assisted by Officer Matthew Lutey.

Katelyn C. Kubala, 27, of Genesee Street, Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. She was arrested on a warrant for NYS Parole. At the time she was taken into custody, at 10:59 a.m. on May 20, she allegedly had a quantity of marijuana in her purse. She was turned over the NYS PArole Officer April Fuller at BPD and is to appear in City Court on May 31. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Jason Davis.

Michael W. Funke, 21, of Vine Street, Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Funke was arrested following a traffic stop on Pearl Street at 11:52 p.m. on May 21 in the City of Batavia. He was a passenger in the vehicle and allegedly in possession of marijuana. He was released on an appearance ticket and is to be in City Court on June 7. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Chad Richards, assisted by Officer Matthew Lutey.

Julie L. Dutton, 21, of Central Avenue, Batavia, was arrested on May 23 on a bench warrant out of City Court. It is alleged that she violated the terms of her release under supervision. She was jailed on $5,000 bail and is due in City Court today. The case was handled by Batavia PoliceOfficer Christopher Lindsay.

Andrew C. Webster, 23, of Martin Road, Akron, is charged with failure to appear. At 4:05 p.m. on May 20, Batavia police took custody of Webster from NYS police on a City Court arrest warrant for failure to appear. Webster paid an undisclosed amount of bail and was released. He was to be in City Court on May 24. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Arick Perkins.

Brian J. Dorman, 32, of Bank Street, Batavia, is charged with owning an unlicensed dog in the City of Batavia. He was issued an appearance ticket and is to be in City Court on June 7. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Christopher Lindsay.

May 25, 2016 - 3:52pm
posted by Billie Owens in hollywood, batavia, thurgood marshall, news.

The magic of Hollywood will transform Batavia into rural Oklahoma in the 1940s when an independent film company takes over the Old County Courthouse at Main and Ellicott streets next Wednesday.

County Manager Jay Gsell told our news partner WBTA that a crew of about 35 key people affiliated with the company working on a bio-pic about the late Supreme Court Juctice Thurgood Marshall visited the city last week to work on the logistics for filming a courtroom scene on the third floor.

They included location manager Michael Nickodem, the director, lighting crew and support staff. 

They also want to film by the front steps outside the courthouse and they scouted for a second site for some outdoor shots, settling on property on Oak Orchard Road in the Town of Batavia. Gsell said it's near the recent house fire, which claimed the life of 90-year-old Roger Saile.

"Something about that location resonated," he said. "So they're also trying to make arrangments (to film there) -- not a massive onslaught, but as background. Again, we're substituting for rural Olkahoma."

It takes an incredible amount of coordination to get everything just right, and to nail down all the details. Yet the finished product will likely result in less than five minutes of Batavia footage.

Plans call for shooting all day on June 1 at the Old Courthouse, then at property on Route 98 (Oak Orchard Road) on Thursday, June 2 or Friday, June 3.

They are also filming at the old courthouse and other buildings in Downtown Buffalo.

For previous coverage on the film "Marshall," click here.

May 25, 2016 - 2:41pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Vibrant Batavia, batavia, business, news.

A proposal by City Councilman Adam Tabelski to spend $92,000 in funds set aside for community development on community development failed to win much support from the rest of the City Council at its Monday conference meeting.

Tabelski proposed taking the money originally intended for Vibrant Batavia, which the council scuttled two weeks ago, on a recent joint city, county, school district and Genesee County Economic Development Center initiative called Pathway to Prosperity. 

BP2, as it's known, will take a portion of fees paid in PILOT programs (payment in lieu of taxes) by property owners with economic development projects and use it to help mitigate environment issues at brownfield properties in the city. The chicken-and-egg problem is BP2 has no money until the first new PILOT is approved, and the city's brownfield area properties need to clean up as projects come on line. 

Tabelski thought $92,000 might best be used to jump start some brownfield redevelopment.

Council members had other thoughts about what to do with the money, from building a spray park on the Southside, to payment toward the new police station, to just letting it sit in the general fund.

"We need to start thinking of the kids on the south side of the city," said Councilwoman Rosemary Christian. "We need something for the child. We're always thinking of things other than the children in our community. They're our future leaders who will up her someday making these decisions."

Tabelski countered that today's children will need tomorrow's jobs.

Some council members said they thought Tabelski's timing is off, that it was only a meeting ago that Vibrant Batavia was killed off and perhaps there should be more time taken before deciding what to do with the money.

"As for timing, the reason to bring this up now is that as time goes by, the default action is that nothing happens," Tabelski said. "I'm trying to address this in a timely manner."

Molino said a spray park on the Southside would likely cost more than $92,000, with planning, engineering, possible land acquisition and the purchase of equipment. Briggs and Christian promised to push for a spray park in the 2017 budget.

May 25, 2016 - 1:34pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Deer, animals, batavia, news.

The City Council agreed by consent Monday night to move forward with a recommendation to create a task force to study what to do to with the local deer population.

There are no specific recommendations now, but council members agreed it's an issue the city needs to take a closer look at.

"I took a walk out there last fall and there is a swath of damage as wide as a street through the woods and meandering through people's property taking care of all their landscaping," said Council President Eugene Jankowski. "There's a path of dead vegetation all the way out to the edge of the city."

City Manager Jason Molino is expected to present a plan for creating a task force and providing it with directions on the scope and timing of its work.

May 25, 2016 - 1:11pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, batavia, animal abuse.

Lisa Marie Muratore, 32, of Lake Avenue, Rochester, is charged with confinement of a companion animal in a vehicle in extreme temperature. She was charged for allegedly leaving her dog in a vehicle for 45 minutes while the outside temperature was 79 degrees. This was at 5:13 p.m. on Monday, May 23, at Batavia Downs Gaming, 8315 Park Road, Batavia. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Kevin McCarthy.

May 25, 2016 - 1:06pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in BID, downtown, batavia, business, news.

After a City Council meeting where City Manager Jason Molino outlined his recommendations for city oversight of the Business Improvement District, the BID's Executive Director Laurie Oltramari told reporters that the BID is almost out of money because the city hasn't turned over the funds it is contractually obligated to release by May 1.

"Even though we're trying to be friendly, we feel like our funds are being held hostage," Oltramari said.

Reached later in the night, Molino said the only hold up with releasing the funds is a lack of a properly amended budget from BID that complies with the state's General Municipal Law.

"The city fully understands they need those funds to operate and will release those funds once the BID budget can be amended," Molino said. "Once compliance is achieved with the law and the budget is properly amended, then we will release those funds."

Oltramari said the BID can operate for about one more month with current reserves. If funds from the city aren't received by then, it would need to suspend operations until the money is released.

Earlier this year, Molino notified the BID that over the past several years the city's assessment of downtown properties to provide funding to the BID has not been in compliance with the law. Molino said he had previously brought this issue to the attention of the BID before Oltramari became director, and it was never addressed. This year, he's holding up the funds until the budget reflects the law's restrictions.

The law limits the BID assessment from exceeding 20 percent of the total levy for the properties in the district, plus an additional amount for repayment of bonds secured to pay for public improvements in the BID zone.  

There was a bond issued in 1999 for public improvements, such as new street lighting, and as those bonds have been paid off, the annual debt expense for the BID has decreased, but through all that time, the assessment hasn't been reduced to reflect the lower debt payments.

As a result, the BID has a capital improvement account with $216,000.

It would be logistically difficult to return those funds to downtown property owners since the amounts vary annually and many properties have changed hands over the years.

Molino is proposing that the $216,000 be held until the BID's next capital improvement project, which raises another point of contention for Oltramari.

Molino is proposing such a plan be developed with consultants and city officials. Oltramari said the BID should lead any effort to identify and plan for capital improvements using those funds since they were raised on behalf of the BID.

Since 2005, the BID has been receiving a flat $120,000 from the city for debt repayment and operational costs, which Oltramari admits she always found strange because it was always the same without any variance for a cost of living adjustments.

"We have gone above it (the GML limit) in order to continue operations because property values are so low in Batavia," Oltramari said.

Under the terms of the GML, the BID's budget for this year is being reduced to $55,000 for operations and $15,000 for debt service, which is the last debt payment from the 1999 bonds. 

That's a severe cut in operational expenses, Oltramari said. In addition to canceling Summer in the City, Oltramari doubts she will be able to keep her assistant on payroll and the BID is looking for new, lower-cost office space downtown.

The current office is on the second floor of the Masonic Temple building at Main and Center streets.

Molino's recommendations provided to the City Council last night include:

  • Ensuring the BID amends its budget to comply with the General Municipal Law;
  • Identify commingled funds that need to be separated from the BID account, which includes capital improvement funds, operational funds and money generated by BID events;
  • Ensure the City Council adopts the proper local laws each year for governance of the BID;
  • As part of the local law amendments, require that the BID's board of directors comply with the state's open meetings law and freedom of information law;
  • Require the BID to update its district plan in cooperation with residents, businesses within the BID and the city to ensure future budgets and excess capital funds are used in a manner that best represent the business and property owners needs to achieve the organizational mission.

Oltramari thinks there is some overreach by the city in these recommendations.

First, BID board meetings are open to the public, though they're not announced on the BID's Web site, Oltramari said, and approved budgets are available to the public.

The district plan is essentially a business plan and Oltramari contends that's entirely the purview of the BID's board.

"The role of the city is to figure out the assessment and what the BID gets and to assign people to our board, that's about it," Oltramari said. "From there, it is our money to spend, and if we spend it wrong, then it's up to the state comptroller say, 'slap on the hand to you.' "

May 25, 2016 - 12:07pm
posted by Billie Owens in STOP-DWI, news, law enforcement, Le Roy, batavia, genesee county.

Press release:

Genesee County STOP-DWI Coordinator Matt Landers has announced that the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office, City of Batavia Police Department and the Village of Le Roy Police Department will participate in a special enforcement effort to crackdown on impaired driving. The statewide STOP-DWI Crackdown efforts start on Friday, May 27th and will end on Tuesday, May 31st.

Memorial Day week is historically a deadly period for impaired driving. Memorial Day weekend is the traditional beginning of summer. In addition there will be thousands of parties and barbeques to celebrate graduations, proms, communions, confirmations and the fact that the better weather has arrived. This combination of factors equates to more people on the road in general and more people specifically driving impaired with 13 percent more fatalities than on a non-holiday weekend.

The New York State Police, County Sheriff and municipal law enforcement agencies will collaborate across the state and will be out in force in this coordinated effort to reduce the number of alcohol related injuries and deaths during this period.

“Memorial Day marks the beginning of the summer season. Traffic will increase making it more important than ever to drive defensively. The Genesee County Sheriff’s Office will have extra patrols out to help keep the roads safe for all travelers” said Undersheriff William Sheron. “The City of Batavia Police Department will be out aggressively enforcing DWI laws over the Memorial Day Week in an effort to ensure that all have a safe and happy holiday week. Make sure to have a plan to get home safely and ensure that all in your party do the same.”

The Memorial Day Weekend Crackdown is one of many statewide enforcement initiatives promoted by the New York State STOP-DWI Association with additional funding from the STOP-DWI Foundation with a grant from the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee. The Statewide STOP-DWI Crackdown Campaign also targets 4th of July and Labor Day Weekend, Halloween and the national Holiday Season in December.

While STOP-DWI efforts across New York have led to significant reductions in the numbers of alcohol and drug related fatalities, still too many lives are being lost because of crashes caused by drunk or impaired drivers. Highly visible, highly publicized efforts like the STOP-DWI Crackdown Campaign aim to further reduce the incidence of drunk and impaired driving.

May 25, 2016 - 9:54am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Ladder 15, City Fire, batavia, news.

ladder15atnightmay242016.jpg

City firefighters were out at about 8:30 last night training with the new truck that will become Ladder 15 early next month and with all the lights on, it was a great chance to get some pictures of what it looks like at night.

ladder15atnightmay242016-2.jpg

ladder15atnightmay242016-3.jpg

ladder15atnightmay242016-4.jpg

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