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October 27, 2015 - 12:08pm
posted by Billie Owens in zombie properties, batavia, steve hawley.

Statement from Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia):

“I am proud to announce that Gov. Cuomo today signed into law legislation that will provide a property-tax exemption for residents who purchase and renovate dilapidated homes and zombie properties," Assemblyman Steve Hawley said. "This ensures that renovation costs do not exceed property values for homeowners and provide an incentive for residents to purchase these abandoned properties and revitalize our communities.

"This is a revolutionary program that has the potential to work in other cities and is the first of its kind in Batavia. Zombie properties have plagued our city for several years dating back to the housing collapse of 2007. This law will increase the number of properties on the tax rolls, thereby reducing our tax burden and increasing property values.

"My colleagues and I in the Assembly and Senate worked diligently at the end of session to pass this bill through both houses and I applaud the governor’s efforts to make this bill a reality for Batavia.”

October 26, 2015 - 7:49pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, Halloween.
Press release:

The Batavia Police Department would like to remind all parents, grandparents or guardians of the following Halloween Safety Tips to ensure a safe and enjoyable time.

  • If you plan on going door to door make sure you are properly supervised by a parent or responsible adult.
  • Do not go to homes where the porch lights are off.
  • Use a flashlight to let drivers see you, and see where you are going.
  • To avoid tripping or injury don't wear costumes that are loose fitting and too long.
  • Don't wear masks that obscure your vision, make up is a good alternative to masks.
  • Wear reflective, bright colors to be seen by drivers after dark.
  • Walk on the sidewalks, or as near to the curb as possible if there are no sidewalks
  • Observe safety rules when crossing or walking on the streets, and stay clear of traffic.
  • Parents should inspect any treats before you eat them.
  • The Batavia Police HIGHLY RECOMMEND as an alternative to going door to door, attend one of the Halloween events sponsored by local businesses.
  • Choose costumes that are marked flame retardant.
  • Make props such as magic wands and swords out of cardboard, rather than metal or wood.
  • Give and accept wrapped or packaged candy only.
  • Go out in daylight and carry a flashlight in case of delay.
  • Have children stay within their neighborhood; only visit homes you know.
  • All “Trick or Treating” shall be completed by 9 p.m.


Any further questions please contact officer Marc W. Lawrence.

Batavia Police Department:
Dispatch – (585) 345-6350
Confidential Tip Line – (585) 345-6370
Report Suspicious Activity - drug-or-criminal-activity

October 26, 2015 - 3:32pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, Milestones.

Press release:

Chicago--The Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) is pleased to announce that the City of Batavia, NY, has received the GFOA's Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for its 2014/15 budget.

The award represents a significant achievement by the City of Batavia. It reflects the commitment of the governing body and staff to meeting the highest principles of governmental budgeting. In order to receive the budget award, the entity had to satisfy nationally recognized guidelines for effective budget presentation. These guidelines are designed to assess how well an entity's budget serves as a policy document, a financial plan, an operations guide and a communications device.

Budget documents must be rated "proficient" in all four categories, and the fourteen mandatory criteria within those categories, to receive the award. The award was presented yesterday to City Manager Jason Molino whose leadership in budgeting has resulted in an increasingly improved bond rating and financial position for the City of Batavia.

City Council President Brooks Hawley said, “This is an important accomplishment for the City of Batavia. It marks a high point in our efforts over the past decade to make our budgeting process effective, efficient and transparent. I commend the City Council, Manager and Staff for setting and accomplishing such high expectations for our City.”

For budgets beginning in 2013, 1,424 participants received the Award; although Batavia marks one of only three cities in New York among the recipients. Award recipients have pioneered efforts to improve the quality of budgeting and provide an excellent example for other governments throughout North America.

“We will continue to strive to excel in our budgeting process” commented Lisa Neary, deputy director of Finance for the City who shared project management with Assistant City Manager Gretchen DiFante. “It’s important that the taxpayers are assured of our commitment to excellence and transparency in budgeting.”

The Government Finance Officers Association is a major professional association servicing the needs of more than 18,000 appointed and elected local, state, and provincial-level government officials and other finance practitioners. It provides top quality publications, training programs, services, and products designed to enhance the skills and performance of those responsible for government finance policy and management.

The association is headquartered in Chicago, with offices in Washington, D.C. The GFOA's Distinguished Budget Presentation Awards Program is the only national awards program in governmental budgeting.

October 26, 2015 - 10:37am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, alexander, corfu, bergen.

Tesla Renee Greck, 23, of Holland Avenue, Batavia, is charged with endangering the welfare of a child. Greck was arrested after patrols responded to her residence on an unrelated matter. Officers Jame DeFreze and Marc Lawrence allegedly found living conditions there "deplorable." Greck's three children lived at the residence.

Clarence Arthur Johnson, 57, of Rose Road, Batavia, is charged with forcible touching and resisting arrest. Johnson is accused of touching the buttocks of a child at a location on Lewiston Road, Batavia. Following an interview, when Johnson learned he was going to be arrested, he allegedly resisted arrest verbally and physically. He was jailed on $5,000 bail.

Steven Erwin Crowell, 21, of Emily Court, Bergen, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, aggravated unlicensed operation, 3rd, leaving the scene of a property damage accident and drinking in a motor vehicle. Crowell's vehicle allegedly left the roadway and struck another vehicle at 1:41 a.m. Sunday on Trisha Lane, Bergen. The accident was investigated by Deputy Joseph Corona.

Joshua Michael Pierce, 20, of Meadowbrook Terrace, Corfu, is charged with petit larceny. Pierce is accused of shoplifting from Walmart.

A 16-year-old resident of Broadway Road, Alexander, is charged with criminal mischief, 4th. The youth is accused of doing donuts in a vehicle on the soccer fields of Alexander School and damaging the fields. A 17-year-old resident of Pike Road, Batavia, was also charged.

Jared M. Wendt, 33, of County Road, Angelica, is charged with criminal contempt, 1st, and aggravated family offense. Wendt was allegedly involved in a domestic incident in the Town of Bethany on Oct. 17 that involved damage to a vehicle and a violation of an order of protection.

Adama William David Brown, 31, of Wilder Road, Warsaw, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, leaving the scene of a property damage accident, moving from lane unsafely and open container. Brown allegedly was driving when his vehicle stuck a parked car at GCC at 9:50 a.m., Oct. 22.

Samuel C. Longhini, 22, of South Spruce Street, Batavia, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and failure to use headlights. Longhini was stopped at 2:40 a.m. Oct. 20 on Alexander Road, Attica, by an Attica PD patrol.

Jordan Matthew Brown, 23, of Central Avenue, Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt, 1st. Brown allegedly violated a stay away order of protection.

Kristen M. Meeder, 30, of Rose Road, Batavia, is charged with grand larceny, 4th, and three counts of falsifying business records. Meeder is accused of stealing from her employer.

Michael T. Phelps, 44, of North Spruce Street, Batavia, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .18 or greater. Phelps was arrested following an investigation into a complaint of two males drinking alcohol in a vehicle on Harvester Avenue at 7:03 p.m., Oct. 21. The vehicle was located on North Spruce Street by Officer Christopher Lindsay and Phelps was arrested.

Brian K. Laird, 21, of State Street, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant following a tip that he was located at a residence on State Street. Laird was jailed without bail.

Jessalyn A. Gates, 24, of Seneca Avenue, Batavia, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .18 or greater. Employees of McDonald's reported a possible drunken driver in the parking lot at 1 a.m., Oct. 22. Following an investigation by Officer Chad Richards, Gates was arrested.

Amy M. Carpenter, 40, of Exchange Street, Attica, is charged with felony DWI, aggravated unlicensed operation, 1st, refusal to take breath test and inadequate stop lights. Carpenter was stopped at 2:43 a.m. Oct. 18 on State Street by Officer Matthew Wojtaszczyk.

October 25, 2015 - 7:48am
posted by Howard B. Owens in John Gardner, John Gardner Society, Literature, batavia, Pok-A-Dot.


Batavia's literary legend John Gardner was honored Saturday night by the John Gardner Society with the annual reading from passages of his work at his favorite restaurant, the Pok-A-Dot.









October 25, 2015 - 7:39am


The Batavia Cemetery Association hosted its annual ghost walk last night, with local actors playing the roles of historic figures who are buried in (with the exception of William Morgan) the cemetery on Harvester Avenue.


Gen. John Martindale, played by Derek Maxfield.


Philemon Tracy, played Tim Buckman.


Mary Elizabeth Wood, played by Anne Marie Starowitz.


Dean and Mary Richmond, played by Charley and Connie Boyd.


Patrick Weissend as Joseph Ellicott.

October 24, 2015 - 12:16pm
posted by Billie Owens in accident, batavia.

An accident with minor injuries is reported 5264 Clinton Street Road at the intersection of Seven Springs Road. Town of Batavia fire is responding and Bethany's ambulance.

October 24, 2015 - 10:14am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia Kiwanis Club.

Members of the Kiwanis Club of Batavia are serving pancakes this morning at the Community Center of ARC on Woodward Road, Batavia. The annual fundraiser continues until 2 p.m.





October 24, 2015 - 7:42am
posted by Howard B. Owens in football, sports, Batavia HS, batavia.


Jim Nigro remembers well the night the Batavia Blue Devils scored 63 points. In was 1962 and he was a freshman on the squad that squared off against a team from the Syracuse area. The fans came into town with banners and shouting about beating the farmers, and the Blue Devils buried them 63-20.

The 2015 Blue Devils came two points shy Friday night of tying that school record in a 61-0 victory over Midlakes in the first round of the Section V Class B playoffs.

Batavia advances to the semi-finals against Hornell at 1:30 p.m., Saturday, at Cal-Mum.

QB Greg Mruczek was a perfect 10 for 10 passing for 144 yards and three touchdowns.  Dominick Mogavero ran for 79 yards and two TDs on four carries. Ryan Hogan had three TD receptions, gaining 60 yards. Malachi Chenault caught four passes for 44 yards.  Ray Leach gained 97 yards, returning two punts for touchdowns. John Garlock and Cody Dioguardi each scored. Terren Lovria and Leach had seven tackles, Mogavero six and Trenton McGraw, six with two sacks.








To purchase prints of photos, click here.

October 23, 2015 - 6:17pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business.


Dave and Robyn Tufts held an open house today in the former WBTA building on East Main Street that they are renovating into apartments and office space.  The restoration preserves and enhances the mid-century modern architecture and when completed will contain four apartments and office space. The exterior and one apartment are completed and a second apartment will be done soon. The downstairs office space is build-to-suit ready for a tenant.

Previously: Local developer announces plans to restore and preserve Mid-century building in city's central corridor



October 23, 2015 - 12:43pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Empire Tractor, batavia, business.


Pete Colantonio, of Empire Tractor, goes over some of the controls of a New Holland Skid Loader with Pete Kingston, of Geneseo, during Empire Tractor's Skid Loader Rodeo.

The most skilled entrants can win prizes.

The rodeo involves driving the skid loader through a timed obstacle course.

Empire Tractor, on East Main Street Road, Batavia, is hosting the event through this afternoon and then again tomorrow starting at 9 a.m.

Lunch is being served both days.




October 23, 2015 - 8:16am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, Buffalo Federal Detention Facility.

Kayode Ayodeji Animashaun, 30, no address provided, is charged with strangulation, 2nd. Animashaun is a detainee at the Buffalo Federal Detention Center on Federal Drive, Batavia, and was allegedly involved in an altercation with another detainee, which was reported Oct. 12. Animashaun allegedly struck the victim and placed the victim in a choke hold causing injury. Animashaun is scheduled to appear in Town of Batavia Court Nov. 30.

October 22, 2015 - 5:47pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, missing cat, pets, animal rescue.

This little feline funny face is "Kitler." He was last seen Oct. 12 around the North Spruce Apartments, his home in the City of Batavia. He is very skittish and spooks easily.

If he's in a captive space, please keep him there and contact his mom. If you see him, try to keep an eye on him and contact his mom. He's a big boy. He weighs just over 20 pounds. Zounds! Please help get him home!

Jeanine Messinger is desperately hoping that someone will recognize him. Please call 585-455-0560 if you can help.

October 22, 2015 - 4:21pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Brach Machine Inc., batavia, business.


Bill and Nancy Brach clearly love their business, Brach Machine, Inc., which is now in its 30th year in Batavia. Yesterday, the Brachs showed a visitor around their shop with verve and eagerness to share the details of what they do, how they do it and why it's important. 

Going through the stockroom of completed parts, Nancy stops and remarks, "These are parts that most people wouldn't have a clue as to what they are."

"I have no idea," the visitor admits.

"Right, exactly," said Nancy, "but there's someone for whom these are a vital part of their business."

Making vital parts for business is what Bill Brach set out to do when he started his business in 1985. Brach machine makes the tools that make it possible for other manufacturers all over the world to make the parts that make our daily lives a little bit easier.

The ignition on your car, die cast. Your refrigerator handle, probably die cast. The sprinkler head on your hose, die cast.

"You've had your hands on hundreds of die castings," Bill said.

When asked to describe his business, Bill has a ready answer that he enunciates clearly in a voice of good cheer that tells you it's a well-rehearsed line intended to precisely describe the business he's in, as precisely as the tools his employees make.

"We manufacture consumable tooling for the high-pressure die-casting industry."

That's it. That's what Brach Machine does. In a nutshell.

High-pressure die casting involves injecting metal in liquid form -- zinc, aluminum, magnesium, copper, lead, and tin -- into molds to make parts, tools and pieces. Brach Machine makes the parts that make the injection possible.

It's no wonder Bill chooses his words carefully. What he does isn't easy and mistakes are measured in fractions of a millimeter. After showing a visitor a tool that can measure a gap that is a quarter of the width of a human hair, Nancy explains such exacting specifications are necessary for their customers to achieve the quality their customers expect.

A tool that comes out of Brach Machine, cut and crafted from a piece of iron with no do-overs, might be worth $4,500 or more. It needs to be cut and shaved and polished to exact specifications. 

That means the people Bill and Nancy hire need to be able to do quality work and have some level of experience suitable to the task. Such employees are hard to find, especially in a tight job market with the unemployment rate hovering near 4 percent.

Brach Machine is advertising for employees more than they ever have and is hosting a pair of open houses to celebrate both 30 years in business and to commemorate Manufacturing Day.

The open houses are Tuesday Oct. 27 and Thursday Nov. 5 with three times available for tours each date: 8 a.m., 11:30 a.m., or 2:30 p.m. Spots are limited, so the open house will be on a first-come-first-serve basis. RSVP to: Tim Gleba, production supervisor, via e-mail [email protected] or phone 343-9134.

Prospective employees are welcome as well as anybody interested in one of Batavia's world-class businesses and manufacturing sites in general.

"The thing we want to share with people is this is a place where you can get a job, and it's a good job and it's a stable job and it's a fair-paying job," Nancy said. "It has benefits and we'll keep you here as long as you will stay."


Brian Doktor


Dave Beedham


Al Bailey





October 22, 2015 - 2:26pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Zonta Club, batavia, domestic violence.


Dozens of members of Zonta Club of Genesee County gathered at the Dibble Family Center on Wednesday to stuff care packages with food and household items to give to victims of domestic violence.

Pictured are members of the committee, Ann Marie Brade, Mary Barnard, Beth Kemp, Heather Parker, Rhiannon Hawley, Patti Pacino, Kristen Elkins, and Karen Crittenden.

October 22, 2015 - 10:56am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, town of batavia.

The time has come, says Town of Batavia Supervisor Greg Post, for town property owners to start paying the piper.

They've enjoyed the benefit, as well they should, Post said, of a zero-rate property tax for 35 years, and over the last 12 or 15 years, gotten that benefit while the town has spent cash reserves to keep its budget balanced.

With a drop in sales tax, increased costs for employee benefits, greater expenses in the highway department, and loss of income on certificates of deposits, the town needs to institute a property tax, Post said.

With only $2 million left in the fund balance, Post said it's time to slow the rate of deficit budgets.

"I don't want to risk our bond rating and the security and the financial future of my successor, and I don't think it's fair," Post said. "To be quite honest with you, it's possible to stretch it right down to the wire and leave and let somebody else figure it out, but I'm not wired that way."

The proposed property tax rate is $1.42 per thousand of assessed value. That will raise approximately $500,000 to help cover town expenses, but Post still projects spending more than $600,000 from cash reserves, leaving a projected fund balance at the end of 2016 of $1.4 million.

The total anticipated general fund expenditure for the Town of Batavia is $4.64 million, down from $4.92 million in 2015. Even with the $300,000 cut in spending, there isn't enough money to go around, Post said.

For the past several years, town revenue has remained flat and in some years decreased, Post said. A big portion of the sales tax that flows into the county (shared by the county government with the various towns, villages and the city) comes from the sales tax on fuel sales. With gas prices dropping from roughly $4 a gallon to nearly $2 a gallon, and the expectation that gas prices won't increase anytime soon, Post is projecting a drop in sales tax revenue for the town of $150,000.

"It's like running a business without no receipts," Post said. "You put a donation in and have a Santa Claus in the front ringing a bell hoping someone will throw enough money in to make payroll every week. That's kind of what it's been like here. You have to really work hard to leverage as many dollars as you can from every funding agency that allocates funds, make grant applications and sustain a model that supports success."

Building a sustainable local economy has been a big focus of the town board for decades, Post said, and those efforts have led to Gateway II with Ashley Furniture, Milton Caterpillar, Sanitary Sewer, and more recently Med-Tech Park and the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park.

But those efforts haven't come cheap. The town invested $1 million in infrastructure to support such projects and has had to forgo revenue on construction sales tax and mortgage tax, given away in the form of incentives for developers and business owners. While Post doesn't begrudge those incentives, he says he has to budget with the reality he faces, which means he can't forecast those revenues on any potential new projects in the town, no matter how big.

"If we're not in that market (of tax incentives), then we don't get those projects," Post said.

Those projects have brought into the town tens of thousands of dollars in permitting and zoning fees, Post said.

Also, those projects have increased the total assessed value of property in the town by $128 million, with some $64 million of that increase already out of PILOT exemptions and taxable with the new property tax.

Without that increase in taxable assessed value, local property owners would likely be looking at a property tax of $1.75 per thousand rather than $1.42 per thousand, Post said.

Post praised town employees for doing a great job of finding ways to cut spending and gave employees credit for saving the town about $600,000 in expenditures in 2015, but there's only so much that can be cut, he said. There's a public hearing on the proposed budget Nov. 4 and he invites residents to make alternate proposals to the proffered spending plan.

October 22, 2015 - 7:05am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia.

If board members approve the Town of Batavia's budget for 2016, property owners there will find themselves paying a municipal tax on assessed value for the first time since the 1970s, Supervisor Greg Post said last night after the board passed a resolution moving the proposed budget forward in the approval process.

There will be a public hearing on the budget Nov. 4.

The tax rate would be $1.42 per thousand, creating a levy of $500,000, which would still leave the town's budget with a spending deficit of $600,000.

That's nothing new in the Town of Batavia.

Post, who has been in office for 12 years, said the town has been using its fund balance to avoid a tax levy for 15 years.

With sales tax lagging, income on investments of the fund balance nonexistent, increased pension and health-care costs, and dwindling reserves, the town has little choice but to institute a property tax, Post said.

Post spoke with reporters at length last night about the proposed budget and we will have a more complete on the budget story later this morning.

We will also have stories on the county's proposed budget and the plan to create a new position in the IT department to manage the county's Web site and social media presence, as well as a story about a local manufacturer who is finding it difficult in this tight job market to find qualified employees.

UPDATE: Here's the town tax story: After years of operating at a deficit, Town of Batavia asking land owners to pony up property tax

October 22, 2015 - 6:53am
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, Notre Dame, basketball, batavia.

Christina Volpe, who scored 23.5 points and 15.8 rebounds per game to help lead the 1999 Lady Irish to a 25-1 season and a state championship in 1999, has died at age 34 at home in South Carolina.

Volpe apparently succombed to cardiac arrest. The cause of her heart attack is unknown.

James Johnson, high school sports reporter for the D&C, has a lengthy and well-done story about Volpe posted this morning.

October 21, 2015 - 6:12pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia.

A female employee at Aldi's is trapped inside a freezer. City fire is responding and, as a precaution, Mercy medics. The grocery store is located in Eastown Plaza, 587 E. Main St., Batavia.




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