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June 27, 2015 - 11:19am
posted by Billie Owens in Event, brisbane, richmond library, batavia.
Event Date and Time: 
July 20, 2015 -
7:00pm to 8:00pm

Sponsor: Richmond Memorial Library, 19 Ross St., Batavia

Event: Meet the Brisbanes: Talk by Larry Barnes

Place: Richmond Memorial Library

Date & Time: Monday, July 20 at 7 p.m.

City Historian Larry Barnes will present “Meet the Brisbanes,” a free talk at Richmond Memorial Library. The Brisbane Family was one of the earliest families in Batavia and was filled with interesting, although eccentric, personalities. As we “Escape the Ordinary” this summer, find out how these Batavians led extraordinary lives.

June 27, 2015 - 11:12am
posted by Billie Owens in events, batavia, richmond library.
Event Date and Time: 
July 16, 2015 -
2:30pm to 5:00pm

Event:  Children’s Room Summer Reading Club Movie -- "The Incredibles"

Place:  Richmond Memorial Library

Date & Time:  Thursday, July 16th at 2:30 p.m.

Come view the movie and join us for a group discussion afterward. The movie for this Children’s Room Summer Reading Club Movie is “The Incredibles.” An action-packed, animated adventure about the mundane and incredible lives of a house full of superheroes. For more information, call the library at 343-9550 or log onto www.batavialibrary.org

June 27, 2015 - 11:08am
posted by Billie Owens in events, batavia, richmond library.
Event Date and Time: 
July 9, 2015 -
6:00pm to 8:30pm

Sponsor:  Richmond Memorial Library, 19 Ross St., Batavia

Event:  Adult Summer Reading Club Edition of Reel Discussions

Date & Time:  Thursday, July 9th at 6 p.m.

Come view the movie and join us for a group discussion afterward. The movie for this Adult Summer Reading Club Edition of Reel Discussion is “The Avengers.” Marvel makes cinematic history as it unites the super hero team of a lifetime. For more information, call the library at 343-9550 or log onto www.batavialibrary.org

June 27, 2015 - 8:40am
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, accident.

A motorcycle accident is reported on the westbound Thruway at mile marker 387.6. The rider of the bike is conscious. Town of Batavia Fire Department and Mercy medics are responding.

June 26, 2015 - 9:37pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Stafford.

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When offered a ride in a Polaris Slingshot this evening, I accepted of course, as a matter of journalist obligation, a reportorial call of duty. 

The report: What a blast.

John G. (he didn't want to give his last name for publication) picked up his new trike in Rochester yesterday. He was parked near Tops talking with a friend when I happened by.

He took me for a spin down Main Street.

The three-wheeler is 1,500 pounds with a 180 hp engine, so it really moves. Like a mullet (business up front, party in the back), the Slingshot has the look of a sports car (if your car is a Starfighter) ahead of you as it zooms down the road with the feel of a motorcycle pushing from behind. On turns and acceleration (and, man, can it accelerate) it reminds you of a top-end sports car, but with the rumble and heft of a powerful bike pushing you along.

"It's just as much fun to drive slow as drive fast," John said.

We turned a lot of heads -- including a couple of police officers on patrol -- going down Main Street.

When we parked back at Tops he said, "If you wait around 20 minutes, we'll have 20 people here, about one arriving a minute."

The words were barely out of his mouth when two people on motorcycles pulled up beside us, and a minute later, two more people walked up, as I pulled away, I looked in my rearview mirror and saw more people walking up.

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June 26, 2015 - 6:43pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia.

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A truck bearing a wide load caused a traffic snarl on Ellicott Street shortly after 6 p.m. when the driver found it more difficult than anticipated to maneuver his rig onto Harvester Avenue. The cargo was apparently intended for a business on Harvester. The driver eventually got the load moved enough to allow traffic to pass, but no word on whether the puzzle of how to get it down Harvester was eventually solved.

June 26, 2015 - 5:34pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCEDC, Batavia Downs, business, batavia.

Dealing just with hard numbers -- setting aside speculation on hoped-for new revenue and "the multiplier effect" of jobs created -- the tax abatement plan approved Thursday by the Genesee County Economic Development Center Board for a new hotel at Batavia Downs should be profitable for taxpayers, according to data obtained by The Batavian from a GCEDC staffer.

The abatements will save developers about 11.5 percent on their $5.49 million investment, and the new taxes the project generates will be about a 100-percent return to taxpayers, if you accept the notion that the project doesn't get built at all without the tax incentives. If not, it's at least 42-percent return.

By law, the developer must certify that the project requires a tax break to be feasible, according to Rachael J. Tabelski, marketing and communications director. That is a requirement for all projects considered by the GCEDC.

"We have to trust the applicant that when they say this project won't be a viable project without the tax incentives," Tabelski said.

ADK Hospitality, the hotel's developer, will save $638,000 in taxes over the next 10 years, but it won't be getting off totally free. The hotel's owners, over the next 10 years, will pay $1.1 million in various taxes.

Tabelski was quick to point out that the $638,000 in tax breaks is not money taken from taxpayers. It's just money that isn't paid to the government; money that doesn't exist if the project isn't built. Thus, the $1.1 million in taxes ADK will pay over the next decade is all new revenue for schools, the county and the state (but not the Town of Batavia, which doesn't have its own tax on property).

That figure doesn't include sales tax generated by the hotel, or any anticipated increase in sales tax generated by the hoped-for increase in business at Batavia Downs. It also doesn't include employment taxes generated by the anticipated $600,000 in payroll for 25 full-time equivalent new hires at the hotel. 

The developers told the GCEDC Board that the project would generate a total of $2.8 million in tax revenue between now and 2025, but there isn't a breakdown available on what categories of taxes comprise that total. It likely covers fire district, property, bed tax, sales tax and payroll tax.

The $1.1 million in hard numbers we have includes:

  • $56,000 paid to the Town of Batavia Fire District;
  • $550,000 paid in county bed taxes;
  • $500,000 paid in property taxes over the life of the PILOT.

A PILOT is a tax break given to developers of projects that industrial development agencies, such as GCEDC, believe will create or retain jobs. It is a reduction in taxes on the increase in assessed value of a property.

Let's say a property is valued at $100,000. A business ads a new wing to its building and increases the assessed value to $150,000. The business continues to pay all property taxes on the initial $100,000 in assessed value, but gets a reduction in taxes on that additional $50,000. PILOT agreements vary, but typically, there would be no taxes due the first two years of the increase, and then taxes would be incrementally increased every two years until the 10th year, when the property owner is paying the full tax bill on the increase in assessed value.

In the case of the hotel property, the developers are buying land from Western OTB, which is currently tax-exempt and has no assessed value. It will be assessed next year, and its assessed value will go from zero to whatever that assessed value is, and the PILOT will be calculated based on that increase, unless the project is not yet completed, in which case there will be only a partial assessment with a full assessment to come during the next annual assessment period after the project's completion.

The PILOT on this project is worth $300,000. The remaining abatements are for the mortgage tax on the purchase and on the sales taxes due on material purchased during construction.

As for the multiplier effect, that's a controversial notion to some, but the idea is that if you create a new job and pay that person money, they will spend some amount of that money locally, and the churn of that money will help pay other people's wages, lifting everyone's boats. That $600,000 in new payroll could be worth millions in economic growth locally.

These figures also don't include wages paid to construction workers and purchases made from local vendors -- if any -- during construction.

June 26, 2015 - 5:17pm
posted by Billie Owens in fire, batavia.

An oven fire is reported at 4 Evergreen Drive. City firefighters are responding. The location is between North Spruce and Vine streets.

June 26, 2015 - 3:59pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Jackson School, batavia, City Schools, education, schools.

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It was a big day for the students at Jackson School. They moved up a grade, receiving certificates of continuation from administrators during a ceremony in the Batavia High School auditorium.

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June 26, 2015 - 12:16pm
posted by Billie Owens in fire, batavia.

A grass fire is reported behind 20 N. Spruce St. City firefighters are responding.

UPDATE 12:21 p.m.: Fire is out. City assignment is back in service.

June 26, 2015 - 11:47am
posted by Billie Owens in accident, batavia.

A car vs. bicycle accident is reported at 8400 Lewiston Road. The bicyclist "is down in the road, blocking traffic, not moving." Town of Batavia Fire Department and Mercy medics are responding. The location is in front of Tops Market.

June 26, 2015 - 11:10am
posted by Howard B. Owens in IAFF Local 896, batavia, City Fire.

fillboot2015.jpg

Members of City Fire, IAFF Local 896, are in the midst of their annual fundraising effort on behalf of the Muscular Dystrophy Association this morning, asking passing motorist to "fill the boot."  The firefighters are on Main Street and Ellicott Street around Court Street and will be in place until 1 p.m.

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June 25, 2015 - 4:46pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in picnic in the park, GO ART!, batavia.

Press release:

The Genesee-Orleans Regional Arts Council (GO ART!) presents the 37th annual “GO ART! Picnic in the Park” this Independence Day. The festivities run from noon until 5 p.m. on Saturday, July 4th, in historic Centennial Park on Richmond Avenue in Batavia. As is tradition, this year’s “Picnic in the Park” is a free, family-friendly event that will once again include all-day live musical entertainment, an arts and crafts show, folk arts programs, food vendors, children’s activities, and much more!

Introduced just last year to great response, the event will be preceded by a “Kiddie Parade” kicking off the day. Families with children ages 12 and under are invited to bring their bikes, scooters or strollers to the northwest corner of Centennial Park – between the Main Stage and Richmond Avenue - at 11 a.m. to decorate them for an old time “kiddie parade.” Decorations will be provided, and the parade will take place at 11:30 a.m. on Ellicott and Park avenues.

Live entertainment is presented on two separate stages, the Main Stage and “Stage II,” which has traditionally featured performances that engage kids and families. MAIN STAGE entertainment commences at noon with the “Picnic” staple Batavia Concert Band playing its traditional mix of Sousa-style marches and Big Band numbers.

Founded in 1924, the Band has brought musical pleasure to the region every year except during World War II. The Concert Band itself consists of 40 to 50 brass, woodwind and percussion players ranging from advanced high school musicians to 50-year veterans. Many have professional performance experience; the rest are advanced amateurs. All love to play. The Band's musical repertoire is wide-ranging in origin, style and period, and includes marches, Broadway show tunes, favorites from hit musicals and movies, pop, jazz and even rock numbers arranged for band. Join the Band for weekly concerts during the summer on Wednesday evenings in Centennial Park.

Directly following Batavia Concert Band’s performance, Vibrant Batavia’s Centennial Committee will do a short presentation honoring the City’s 100th Birthday which will include cupcakes to be distributed to all who attend. 

A wide variety of bands featuring local and traditional music will follow on the Main Stage through the rest of the afternoon:

1:30-2:30 p.m. – Henrie Brothers: Old-time music has been a family matters since the early 1970s, when Bill, the oldest, tookd up the fiddle and helped his younger brothers John (mandolin), Bob (guitar), and Doug (bass) learn their instruments. Since then they have performed at leading music festivals and venues throughout the Northeast, performing bluegrass, old time, contradance, swing and jazz, all to consistent critical acclaim. At Picnic in the Park, the brothers will return to their roots in old time, early country and Irish music that gave them their start. 

2:45-3:45 p.m. – The Niagara River Dancers combine students at the Tuscarora Indian Elementary School located at the center of the Tuscarora Nation, with members of the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) tribes from throughout NYS.  Many of the students stay after school for an extra hour to learn traditional dancing on a weekly basis. They not only learn the Haudenosaunee dances, but also dances from other Native communities around the country. The dancers wear beautifully beaded outfits, many in the Tuscarora raised-beadwork style, which are often made by their parents or other relatives. Traditional musicians accompany the dancers, who include explanations of the dance patterns, stories and history.

4-5 p.m. – Steel Alchemy Community Steel Band was formed in 2001 by Director Ted Canning as the Livingston County Community Steel Band, with assistance from the Decentralization grant program of the NYS Council on the Arts.  Several members have been playing with the band since its inception, including the Palermo family from Mt. Morris. In 2007 the band released its self-titled CD recording, which prompted them to come up with their current name, Steel Alchemy. They perform a variety of music including Caribbean traditional and popular songs, American pop, and music written especially for steel bands. The band is open to people ages 13 and older, with no prior experience required. Anyone interested in learning more can contact Ted at [email protected].

STAGE II:

12:30-1:30 p.m. -- Cut Off (A cappella Group) will perform their first performance of the day. The group was founded in the summer of 2010 by recent college graduates looking to continue performing in a contemporary a cappella setting. This co-ed group’s debut performance was in January 2011 at Lovin’ Cup in Rochester. The group participated in the first ever Boston Sings A cappella Festival (BOSS) in April 2012, where they took part in a workshop with Canadian-based group, Cadence. They were also proud to have performed at the Rochester Fringe Festival in September of 2013 at the TheatreROCS Stage at Xerox Auditorium. Cut Off just released their first CD, "Get Cut Off," in March of 2013 with Liquid 5th Productions (Raleigh, N.C.) and in 2014, the group was nominated for 2 Contemporary A cappella Recording Awards (CARAs) for Best Country Song (Good Girl) and Best CAL Song (LaserLight). 

2-2:30 p.m. -- Thai Kwon Do Demonstration by Refuse 2 Lose Martial Arts

3-4 p.m. -- Cut Off (A cappella Group) -- Second Performance

THROUGHOUT THE DAY in Centennial Park, other activities include horse-drawn wagon rides by Hartland Carriages, pony rides and petting zoo by North Forty Pony Express and the Wildlife Educators Coalition returning with its wide assortment of animals. Geoffrey Clough offers his popular interactive program of children’s songs called “Cookie Songwriting,” and of course juggling and other roving entertainment in the park.

The GLOW Area YMCA will have its bounce house and inflatable obstacle course on site, and the Explore Art! Tent invites kids and families to do their own hands-on art activity, all materials provided, and free caricatures will be available near the tent. The Genesee County Park will be featuring a larger display this year with interactive activities and they will also have their resident turtle on hand to visit. The Park is celebrating its 100th Anniversary this year!

Along the Richmond Avenue side of Centennial Park, artists and crafters representing an amazing diversity of arts and crafts are featured in an ARTS AND CRAFTS SHOW AND SALE. Additional attractions consist of booths by community nonprofit organizations, including Genesee County ARC information & recycling education, Genesee County Historians Association, Batavia Assembly of God dunk tank and sand art, Batavia Players pizza & show info, GO ART!’s Picnic in the Park 50/50 Raffle and many others.

“Picnic” always offers up tantalizing food by a variety of vendors, such as Abbott’s cones, sundaes, milkshakes and root beer floats, Lonsberry fresh-squeezed lemonade and soft pretzels, and, of course, the Batavia Jaycees’ famous ‘dog and burger stand in its traditional location.

The event is funded, in part, by the New York State Council on the Arts Folk Arts Program with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. Picnic Level sponsors ($500 and up) include Batavia Rotary Club, Turnbull Heating & Air, Batavia Jaycees, Steve Hawley, CY Farms, The Batavian, and The Daily News.

Admission is free to the “Picnic in the Park.” Please call GO ART! at 585-343-9313, e-mail [email protected] or visitwww.goart.org for more information.

June 24, 2015 - 5:13pm
posted by Traci Turner in batavia, volunteers of america.

The Volunteers of America Thrift Store in Batavia's Eastown Plaza is one of 11 thrift stores closing in the region.

Volunteers of America Upstate New York announced the closings yesterday. All of the stores will be closed by the end of September.

Six employees currently work at the Batavia store. The organization is working with local employment agencies to assist them with finding another job.

JoAnne Ryan, president and CEO, said increased competition in the resale industry is one of the main reasons for closing the thrift stores.

"The competition in this arena has gotten extremely expansive and that has created a huge challenge for us to maintain at that level of competition," Ryan said. "Mainstream resale companies have a greater latitude with discounting. Their prices would press against our prices and that compression factor really made it hard to compete."

The harsh winter also led to a steady decline in sales.

With the closing of its thrift stores, Volunteers of America is looking to expand their programs that help families, children and the homeless. The organization doesn't offer child care or housing services for Genesee County residents. But according to Ryan, Genesee County residents can take part in their residential re-entry program, a program that helps individuals completing a federal prison sentence transition back into their community.

June 24, 2015 - 3:08pm
posted by Traci Turner in crime, batavia, alexander.

James R. Cooper, 32, of State Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation, endangering the welfare of a child and harassment, 2nd. The domestic incident occurred at a residence on State Street, Batavia. Cooper allegedly punched his girlfriend repeatedly and choked her. The dispute happened in front of their three children.

Christina A. Deluna, 35, of Central Avenue, Batavia, is charged with conspiracy, 4th, and criminal nuisance, 1st. Batavia police found Deluna walking in the area of Liberty Street and Ellicott Street. She was turned over to the Genesee County Sheriff's Office and held without bail.

Jeffrey M. Currier, 33, of Knowlesville Road, Alabama, is charged with criminal contempt, 1st, assault, 3rd, and criminal obstruction of breathing. The incident occurred on Knowlesville Road. Currier is accused of causing physical injury to another person in violation of an order of protection.

Faye Lone, 56, of Basom, is charged with DWI and resisting arrest, class A misdemeanors, following a traffic stop. Troopers located Lone on Route 5 in Batavia traveling at a slow speed and partially driving on the roadway. After Lone was pulled over, she allegedly refused to cooperate with police. She was put in Genesee County Jail on $250 bail.

Tiffany A. Reed, 20, of State Street, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd, and criminal mischief, 4th, following a domestic incident on Walnut Street in Batavia. Reed is accused of pushing a person and prevented the person from calling 9-1-1. She also allegedly made verbal threats to physically harm another person.

Christopher G. Landry, 41, of Ross Street, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd, following a domestic incident on Ross Street. Landry allegedly shoved an individual during an argument.

David M. Schmeider, 21, of Highland Park, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Schmeider is accused of taking 24 cans of Budweiser beer off of a beverage truck when it was making a delivery to the Kwik Fill on Jackson Street in Batavia. Shortly after the incident, he was located at his residence drinking one of the beers and arrested. 

Felicia D. Ricks, 43, of Whitesboro Street, Utica, is charged with aggravated unlicensed operation, 2nd, speeding and insufficient tail lamp following a traffic stop by Officer Stephen Cronmiller on Walnut Street, Batavia. Ricks was put in the Genesee County Jail.

Amanda R. Jurewicz, 29, of East Main Street, Batavia, is charged with endangering the welfare of a child. Jurewicz's 2-year-old son was allegedly found walking alone on the sidewalk of East Main Street in Batavia wearing only a soiled diaper.

Dahana D. Armstrong, 21, of Fisher Park, Batavia, is charged with aggravated unlicensed operation, 2nd, criminal possession of marijuana, 5th, operating without insurance and operating without inspection. Armstrong was arrested following an investigation into a traffic stop by Officer Steven Cronmiller on Jackson Street in Batavia,.

Sergio E. Morales, 20, of Rochester, was arrested for unlawful possession of marijuana. Troopers allegedly detected the smell of marijuana after pulling over the vehicle for a traffic stop on Route 98 in Alexander. Morales was a passenger in the vehicle.

Robert E. Saari, 33, of Alleghany Road, Attica, was arrested on a bench warrant issued by the City of Batavia following a traffic stop on Main Street in Batavia. Saari allegedly failed to appear for an aggravated unlicensed operation ticket.

Patrick J. Woodrich, 44, of West Main Street Road, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant issued by the City of Batavia for allegedly failing to appear for a third-degree aggravated unlicensed operation charge. Woodrich was located following a traffic stop on Clinton Street Road, Batavia, by Officer James DeFreze. 

Ted E. Kingsley, 42, of Sandpit Road, Alexander, was arrested on a bench warrant in the parking lot behind the City of Batavia Police Department. Kingsley allegedly failed to pay a fine.

Allen M. Barlow, 28, of Glenhaven Drive, Amherst, was issued an appearance ticket for allegedly leaving a dog in a vehicle in extreme heat for at least one hour on Route 77 in Darien.

June 24, 2015 - 2:36pm
posted by Traci Turner in batavia, road closures.

Press release:

South Lyon Street, Raymond Place, Allen Street, Olyn Avenue and North Street from Naramore Drive to dead end will experience traffic closures for roadway resurfacing on Wednesday June 24 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.  

Residents are asked not to park on the road. 

Residents of these streets will have limited access to their properties during paving operations.  

Paving will begin on South Lyon Street, then over to Raymond Place, Allen Street, Olyn Avenue, and then to North Street.

All other traffic is asked to avoid these areas.

June 24, 2015 - 1:24pm
posted by Traci Turner in batavia, Police Facility.

Community members provided their input on the final sites selected for the new location of the City's police station at the Police Facility Task Force's public meeting Tuesday night.

Businessman Vito Gautieri favored the Alva Place parking lot location, one of the final sites for the new police station.

"Alva can be made into a beautiful site," Gautieri said. "You could combine that site with the mall site. Alva should be your first consideration because you own it."

In response to Gautieri, Marc Staley, chairperson of the Task Force, said you have to consider the businesses that share the lot and the disruption the police station may cause. If the police station was built there, Staley feared businesses would relocate. 

Rose Mary Christian, city council member, preferred the 35 Swan St. location, the other final site for the new police station. Christian stated the site would be the best location because it's larger and has the possibility of commercial development.

Other community members had concerns not directly related to the two final sites.

Charles Ruffino, former county legislature member, expressed his concern for the future of the new police station as a whole and its cost effectiveness. Ruffino believed the task force should consider a location where the City of Batavia Police Department could share services with the Genesee County Sheriff's Office. 

"If you wanted a police station stand-alone, you could design a building adjacent, nearby or connected in some way with the County Sheriff," Ruffino said. "If in the future you want to have a combined public safety type of operation that serves the whole county, then you're in business. However, if you build something far away and it costs $12 to $14 million then you're out of luck."

Diane Kastenbaum, vice president of the Genesee County Landmark Society, was interested in the future of the current police station. Kastenbaum wanted to make sure the facility wouldn't be destroyed if it was sold. In response, the Task force agreed to include her concern when they submit their recommendation to City Council.

The Task Force, composed of eight committee members, has been meeting monthly since December to evaluate potential sites for the new police station. The committee developed a set of criteria to rank each site. Some of the criteria included if the location provided good proximity to Downtown, adequate parking and sufficient security for police vehicles. They started out analyzing 12 possible locations and have narrowed it down to Alva Place and Swan Street. 

The cost for a new station is approximately $10 to $12 million. Due to the poor condition of the current station, it would cost less money to build a new station than to renovate the current one.

Moving forward, the Task Force will meet one more time before submitting its recommendation for the new police station site to City Council.

June 23, 2015 - 7:13pm
posted by Traci Turner in GCEDC, Batavia Downs, batavia, business.

An attorney representing the Clarion Hotel and members of the community voiced concerns regarding the application submitted by ADK Hospitality, LLC, to Genesee County Economic Development Center for incentives to build a hotel at Batavia Downs.

A public hearing was held Monday night by the GCEDC to gain input from the community on the application they received from ADK, a private developer seeking to build a hotel at Batavia Downs, requesting approximately $630,000 in incentives.

Vivek Thiagarajan, attorney representing Clarion owner Chat Patel, argued that when his client looked into applying for GCEDC incentives to build the Palm Island Indoor Waterpark in 2012 he was told the project would be denied funding because it was not considered a tourist destination. Thiagarajan argued that ADK's hotel is not a tourist destination and Batavia Downs should not receive tax incentives either. 

"There is no tourist destination about the hotel itself," Thiagarajan said. "Maybe the name makes it look like it's affiliated with Batavia Downs but the hotel is merely just like any other hotel. As a result, the public shouldn't be forced to fund something that only benefits the private owners of that hotel."

Thiagarajan also argued that the purchase price of $600,000 is less than the $630,000 in incentives the project would receive from the GCEDC.

In addition to Thiagarajan's opposition, John Sackett, a past county legislator, questioned whether the hotel would create full-time jobs and believed the hotel should be built without incentives.

A representative from the Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters expressed concern over whether Batavia Downs and ADK would use union construction workers to build the hotel. The union agreed it would support the hotel project if union construction workers were used.

A variety of local businesses wrote letters in support of the proposal. The businesses included Sport of Kings Restaurant, Harness Horse Breeders of New York State, Sloat Tire Shop, Genesee Feeds, Nothnagle Realtors, Genesee County Chamber of Commerce, WNY Harness Horsemen's Association and U.S. Foods. The businesses stated that Batavia Downs is a primary asset for attracting tourism and the addition of the hotel would bring more people and business to the community.

Anthony Baynes, managing member of ADK, provided details on the hotel project and the economic impact it would have on Genesee County. In the presentation, Baynes stated the $5.5-million hotel will be a four-story structure with 84 rooms. Itl will also be connected to Batavia Downs Gaming and complement the design elements of the new gaming entrance. There will be no restaurant or bar in the hotel.

"The hotel will positively impact Batavia Downs and local tourism on a permanent basis," Baynes said. "It will generate incremental gaming, banquet, food and beverage revenue at Batavia Downs, which will result in increases in tax collection, jobs preserved and additional jobs created."

According to Michael Nolan, vice president of Western Regional Off-Track Betting, the corporation that owns Batavia Downs, the hotel will help the gaming industry expand and allow them to compete with other casinos that are building hotels.

The hotel will result in the creation of 23 jobs. There also will be more job growth due to the number of wedding and conventions Batavia Downs will host because of the hotel.

"We think our banquet facility is going to multiple 10 times due to the hotel," Nolan said. "It's well within reason that there will be 50 jobs coming with the addition of the hotel."

According to statistics provided by Hotel & Leisure Advisors, a national hospitality consultant firm, the total impact of the new gaming revenue, new food and beverage sale and increased banquet business will be $2.6 million for the first year of operation. In the first 10 years of operation, the impact will be $31 million.

The GCEDC Board of Directors is having a special public meeting to consider a final resolution for the project. The meeting will be held at 11:15 a.m. on Thursday at the Innovation Zone Conference Room at MedTech Centre.

June 23, 2015 - 3:06pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia.

A woman who played a business role in a shop on Ellicott Street that became a flash point for a local spike in synthetic drug use in summer of 2012 received a probationary sentence from a federal district judge today. Amber Snover had entered a guilty plea stemming from her arrest three years ago.

The 24-year-old Rochester resident was an associate of Charles Fitzgerald, who was identified by authorities as the owner of the 420 Emporium, at 400 Ellicott St., Batavia.

Snover admitted previously to using a communication facility to facilitate a controlled substance. She was sentenced to five years probation and must forfeit her share of $771,109 seized in a raid July 25, 2012, of the residence in Greece she shared with Fitzgerald.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Noto, who handled the case, said that Snover used a telephone to order various synthetic controlled substance analogues for delivery and sale at the Batavia location of the chain of head shops.

Fitzgerald was convicted and sentenced to 30 months in prison. Three employees of Fitzgerald’s who worked at the 420 Emporium stores located in Batavia and Henrietta have also been convicted and sentenced.

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