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February 1, 2013 - 11:24am
posted by Howard B. Owens in water, Bethany.

Town board members in Bethany need to hear from town residents on an important topic: Do you want public water?

Eric Wies, senior associate for Clark Patterson Lee, repeated that message several times last night at a public meeting in Bethany attended by nearly 100 residents.

The town board won't go forward with a public water project unless enough residents express interest because there's no point in going forward if property owners won't eventually sign a petition in support of creating a water district.

To that end, Wies (a water project consultant) said there are a number of factors property owners must consider, beginning with the fact their annual expected cost for public water could be as much as $1,600.

The final cost won't be determined until after the town board takes the next step toward setting up one or more water districts.

Wies explained in detail how water districts are formed and funded.

There is grant money available either from the state or federal government, but according to census data, the median household income in Bethany is $58,200.

That's much too high to even discuss the possibility of a state grant and a tad too high for a USDA Rural Development grant.

If there's sufficient interest from residents to take a closer look at public water, the town board will commission a third-party household income survey.

The responses will be kept confidential and the aggregate data shared with the town board.

If it shows that the actual median household income is less than $58,000, then the town would have a shot at a USDA grant.

Such a grant could lower the annual cost for residential water to $1,000 a year on average.

Bringing public water to Bethany involves creating one or more water districts.

Each water district would borrow the money necessary to connect to a water main from either the Monroe County Water Authority or the Town of Batavia's water supply and install water lines down each roadway in the district.

Part of the annual cost for each property owner is repayment of the loan, which will take 38 years to pay off.

"We're not spending our money. We're spending your money," said Supervisor Louis J. Gayton. "We don't want to spend your money if this is something you don't want."

The loan payoff follows the property, not the current property owner.

Some of the water cost for property owners, of course, is for the water itself. There will also be a charge, mandated by the county for new water districts, to help pay for the big water line that brings water from Monroe County to Genesee County. 

Bethany water customers will pay the surcharge -- 60 cents per 1,000 gallons of water -- whether the new district(s) goes with Monroe County water or Town of Batavia water.

Wies encouraged property owners to really examine the cost of their well water.  Well water costs include pumps (and pump replacements), electricity, replacing plumbing and fixtures regularly if the water is too hard, filtration, chlorination and water safety tests.

Some residents may find they're already spending as much as $1,600 a year on water, Wies said. They just don't realize it.

"This is a decision each of you will have to make yourselves," Wies said.

Public water will also mean fire hydrants in the town and more effective firefighting.

If residents decide to push forward with a water project, then Hyde and other residents (board members can't do it) will bring a petition around to each resident. The petition will have the property owner's name on it, the parcel number and the exact anticipated cost of water for the property owner.

If the owner signs the petition, it's like a yes vote. No signature, it's a no.

Property owners holding at least 50 percent of the assessed value of all property in the district must sign the petition, but as a practical matter, property owners with more than 70 or 80 percent of assessed value must support the formation of a water district.

At 50 percent, it's much easier for one owner who objects to block formation of the district.

If there's enough support for the district, then the town must appeal to the Comptroller's Office to approve the formation of the district. The Comptroller can veto the formation of the district where the annual cost of water exceeds $685.

The issue of public water reached this point largely because of the work of Carl Hyde, the champion for public water in Bethany.

At the end of the meeting, Hyde said he's done all he can do to get the issue to this point.

"Now it's up to you," he said. "This is your decision."

Top photo: Eric Wies. First inset, town attorney David DiMatteo. Third inset, Carl Hyde.

January 24, 2013 - 8:56am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, Bethany.

A car has hit a tree on East Road at Route 20, Bethany, and a person has reportedly suffered a minor head injury.

Bethany fire and Mercy EMS responding.

UPDATE 9:24 a.m.: The patient will be transported to a hospital via Bethany ambulance.

UPDATE 9:31 a.m.: The patient is being taken to UMMC. Bethany units are back in service with the exception of fire police, who are told to stop traffic until the tow truck removes the car.

UPDATE 9:37 a.m.: The road is reopened.

UPDATE 9:46 p.m.: The driver is a 24-year-old female with complaints of pain in the left side of her neck and a headache.

January 22, 2013 - 11:29am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Bethany.

Charles Wayne Oshea, 35, of Clipnock Road, Bethany, is charged with criminal obstruction of breathing and harassment, 2nd. Oshea is accused of grabbing a woman around the neck and forcing her to the ground during an argument. Oshea was jailed on $2,000 bail and an order of protection was issued.

January 21, 2013 - 9:53am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Oakfield, Le Roy, Pavilion, Bethany, Stafford.

Elijah Robert Coombs, 18, of Orchard Street, Oakfield, is charged with obstruction of governmental administration 2nd, resisting arrest, criminal nuisance, 2nd, harassment, 2nd, and unlawful possession of marijuana. Coombs is accused of causing problems when deputies arrived at his residence to investigate a report of an underage drinking party at 11:43 p.m., Friday. When deputies attempted to arrest Coombs, he allegedly resisted arrest and struck a deputy. Deputies Matt Fleming and Patrick Reeves responded to the call.

Andrew Zimba Perdock, 25, of Bethany Center Road, Bethany, was arrested on a bench warrant, alleged failure to pay fine related to a petit larceny charge. Perdock was jailed on $100 bail.

Ronald James Tombari, 24, of Court Road, Pavilion, is charged with felony DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, unlicensed operation, failure to keep right and no seat belt. Tombari was stopped at 12:12 a.m. Sunday on Perry Road, Pavilion, by Deputy John Weis.

April L. McMillion, 19, and Eric M. Kleckler, 24, both of South Lake Avenue, Bergen, are charged with unlawful dealing with a child. McMillion and Kleckler were arrested following an investigation into a report of a loud gathering. McMillion and Kleckler were accused of hosting an underage drinking party.

Christopher William Fowler, 24, of Batavia, is charged with felony DWI, driving with a BAC of .18 or greater and parking on a roadway. Fowler was allegedly found in his vehicle at 10:13 p.m., Saturday, with it stopped on Stegman Road and Miller Road, Batavia, by Deputy Patrick Reeves.

A 17-year-old from Batavia has been charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. The youth was stopped at 3:28 p.m., Saturday, on Lewiston Road, Batavia, for alleged traffic violations by Deputy Patrick Reeves. During the traffic stop, the youth was allegedly found in possession of marijuana.

Lori Ann Brightenfield, 53, of Main Road, Stafford, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .08 or greater. Deputy Jason Saile responded to a report of a citizen requesting assistance because her vehicle ran out of gas in the Town of Le Roy. Following an investigation, Brightenfield was arrested for alleged DWI.

January 13, 2013 - 3:27pm
posted by Alecia Kaus in Attica, fire, alexander, Darien, Bethany.

A barn fire in the Village of Attica at 69 High St. has closed down Route 98 between Dunbar Road and Route 354. Alexander, Bethany and Darien fire departments are responding.

UPDATE 3:30 p.m.: Town of Batavia also responding.

UPDATE 7:10 p.m.: According to the property owner Gene Reding, the barn was fully engulfed when he arrived home. The two horses that are normally housed in the barn were out in the field at the time and not injured. There was some equipment and hay for bedding inside. He says he has owned the property since 1975 and the barn was built in 1919.

Attica Fire Chief Bob Willard says the wood frame barn went up in flames in five minutes. It looks like the fire started in the basement and it could have been an electrical problem that caused it. It is a total loss.

Seven companies were called to the two-alarm blaze and no one was injured.

January 9, 2013 - 10:04am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Pavilion, Bethany.

Steven Leo Decker, 62, of Francis Road, Bethany, is charged with criminal mischief, 4th. Decker is accused of breaking out the windows of a victim's vehicle with a sledgehammer. The incident was reported at 7:53 p.m., Tuesday.

Chad M. Johnston, 26, of 111 Liberty St., Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Johnston is accused of punching another person in the head at 5:15 p.m., Tuesday.

Douglas G. Bryant Jr., 41, of 1 Florence Ave., Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Bryant is accused of threatening another person and spitting on that person and throwing food at that person. Bryant was jailed on $500 bail.

Sean P. Case, 25, 47 of Washington Ave., Batavia, is charged with assault, 2nd, and assault, 3rd. Case is accused of punching a person in the face and breaking his nose during an incident at 6:50 a.m., Jan. 1, at a residence on South Main Street, Batavia. He is accused of injuring another person who attempted to intervene. Case, arrested Tuesday, was jailed without bail pending his next court appearance.

Jason Lee Perry, 18, of Telephone Road, Pavilion, is charged with sexual misconduct. Perry is accused of having sex with a 16-year-old girl.

Michael Steven Bennett, 31, of Columbus Avenue, Mt. Morris, was arrested on a bench warrant for alleged failure to pay fine. Bennett is being held on an unrelated matter in the Livingston County Jail. He was released to the custody of the Sheriff's Office for arraignment in Genesee County Court and then returned to Livingston County.

January 4, 2013 - 8:04pm
posted by Billie Owens in Bethany, Stafford, accidents.

A car vs. tractor-trailer accident, believed to be without injuries, is reported on Route 63 near Little Canada Road. The roadway is completely blocked. Bethany Fire Department is responding.

UPDATE 8:12 p.m.: A second semi-trailer is now involved. The first one "believe it or not," says the Bethany chief, was "pushed into the ditch by the wind and will need a heavy-duty tow." Stafford Fire Police are rerouting traffic. It is confirmed that there are no injuries.

UPDATE 8:32 p.m.: Bethany requests that southbound truck traffic be held at Cedar Street.

January 4, 2013 - 8:46am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, Bethany.

A motor-vehicle accident is reported on Ellicott Street Road at Little Canada Road, Bethany, with minor injuries.

A person reports not feeling well and having back pain.

Bethany Fire and Mercy EMS dispatched.

UPDATE 8:48 a.m.: A dispatcher informs a deputy responding that "the situation is deteriorating quickly." A Bethany chief requests mutual aid from Stafford and the deputy requests a trooper to respond to assist with traffic control.

UPDATE 10:02 a.m.: Roadway is reopened. It sounds like there were two accidents at this location.

December 27, 2012 - 7:05pm
posted by Billie Owens in Pavilion, Bethany, accidents.

In order to safely upright and remove a tractor-trailer that slid off the road on Wednesday on Route 20 east west of Transit Road, all westbound traffic is being shut down briefly at Route 20 at Texaco Town. The towing company estimates it will take about 15-20 minutes to accomplish the job. A fire police crew is asked to assemble in Bethany's fire hall and a fire police detail from Pavilion will handle traffic at the scene.

UPDATE 8:23 p.m.: Route 20 is reopened to westbound traffic.

December 19, 2012 - 4:04pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements, sports, Bethany.

Take a guided walk through the Genesee County Park & Forest and learn to snowshoe during a hike Saturday, Jan. 12.

Cost is $8 per session and preregistration and payment are required. Snowshoes will be provided.

Two guided hiking sessions with instructions are available: from 10 a.m. to noon, or from 1 to 3 p.m. Refreshments will be served afterwards.

Call 344-1122 to register. The park is located at 11095 Bethany Center Road, East Bethany.

December 10, 2012 - 10:46am

In a letter to the Department of Transportation, Sen. Michael Ranzenhofer has asked the agency to reconsider its delay in replacing the Bethany Center Bridge.

While the DOT has stated the bridge is safe, its visual deterioration gives the appearance of a bridge in a high degree of disrepair.

At one time, the bridge was scheduled for replacement in 2011, but it was moved down the priority list and the earliest proposed replacement is now 2015.

"I recognize that allocation of scarce resources is of particular concern, but I would urge you to reconsider the deferral of this project," Ranzenhofer wrote to Commissioner Joan McDonald. "Please consider adding this project to your list of top-priority projects and start the process that will allow this bridge to be replaced as expeditiously as possible."

Ranzenhofer said he has received numerous complaints about the bridge, both from residents and business owners. He cited the bridge as a vital link in local agriculture transportation, especially with the opening of the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park.

"Vital parts of the economy of the Genesee County would be seriously impacted by a failure of this bridge," Ranzenhofer wrote.

Download: Full letter (PDF).

November 30, 2012 - 8:22am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Bethany.

Raymond Lee Leach Jr., 55, of Montclaire Avenue, Batavia, is charged with aggravated sexual abuse 3rd. Leach is accused of jamming a toothbrush into the rectum of another Genesee County inmate while that person was sleeping. Bail on the new charge was set at $10,000.

John Thomas Jaccoud, 40, of Hutchins Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Jaccoud is accused of stealing from Darien Lake Theme Park while employed at the park.

Brad C. Doward, 23, of 10 Hall St., Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd. Doward is accused of violating a stay-away order of protection. Doward allegedly went to the residence of the protected party and called that person on the telephone.

Melissa G. Betances, 31, of 189 1/2 Pearl St., Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd. Betances is accused of violation an order of protection by contacting the protected party via text message.

Nicole E. Reilly, 19, of 10483 Bethany Center Road, Bethany, and Jennifer L. Judkins, 18, of Albion, are charged with petit larceny. Reilly and Judkins allegedly stole merchandise from Dollar General on East Main Street, Batavia.

November 20, 2012 - 8:28pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Bethany, infrastructure, Bethany Center Road.

After posting our pictures this morning of the Bethany Center Road bridge, we contacted some of the officials who might be able to provide information about potentially replacing the decaying structure. Here are the responses we received.

From Lori Maher, spokeswoman for the Department of Transportation:

The Bethany Center Road bridge over Route 20 in Bethany is open and safe for traffic despite its poor visual appearance. It is a candidate for future funding and will be competing for funds against other transportation needs in the seven-county area.

In a follow-up, Maher said no date for replacement has been scheduled.

Assemblyman Steve Hawley:

There are currently 2108 structurally deficient bridges in New York State, 214 in the Rochester Finger Lakes Region, with 123 bridges located in the 139th Assembly District. The Bethany Center Road bridge is slated for repair in 2015 once funding is approved. We are working diligently and directly with NYSDOT and our federal representatives to procure our equitable and fair share of funds to assure our motoring public and commerce are safe.

Daniel Aikin for Senator Michael Ranzenhofer:

Our district office has not been previously contacted about this specific bridge project, the decay and repair of the Bethany Center Road Bridge. Even though the bridge is located on a county road, the State Department of Transportation may have jurisdiction over the bridge since it crosses a state road, Route 20. Senator Ranzenhofer represented residents at the county level for many years, and he always makes an effort to assist with local infrastructure projects. As a state senator, he has been active in working with DOT officials -- both locally and in Albany -- on specific road and bridge projects. Our office has reached out to the State Department of Transportation for more information regarding this project.

From Grant Loomis, spokesman for Congressman-elect Chis Collins:

Upon taking office in January, Congressman-elect Collins will work hand-in-hand with local leaders to advocate for the necessary amount of federal matching funds to assist local communities in repairing and replacing aging infrastructure to ensure safety for the traveling public.

November 20, 2012 - 12:21pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Bethany, infrastructure.

In light of Highway Superintendent Tim Hens' statement to the county legislature yesterday that the state (using federal funds) has no immediate plans to replace the Bethany Center Road bridge over Route 20, I drove out there this morning to get some up-close pictures of the actual state of the bridge. Some readers may never get out there and may never see it.

November 13, 2012 - 12:57pm
posted by Billie Owens in Bethany.

A medical emergency requiring roadside attention is causing a hazardous traffic condition at the intersection of Bethany Center Road and Route 63. Law enforcement and fire police are responding to control traffic and Bethany rescue is on scene.

UPDATE 1:10 p.m.: The patient is being transported to UMMC.

November 13, 2012 - 11:12am
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, Bethany.

Approximately three acres in Bethany of trees and leaves were burned Monday night after flames jumped out of a controlled burn and raced along the hillsides of a resident's property.

A resident was burning leaves, according to Jim Bouton, with Genesee Emergency Services, which ignited leaves he didn't intend to burn. The fire, pushed on by gusting winds, spread quickly north and east.

Bethany Fire Department was initially dispatched at 3:50 p.m. to 10689 Bethany Center Road. Also responding were Alexander, Bethany, Stafford, Town of Batavia and Wyoming.

Crews were on scene for three hours.

No structures were damaged. Crews were able to keep the fire away from most of a private campground and picnic area, which included a travel trailer and pavilion. They also prevented the fire from spreading into a ravine.

(Initial Report)

November 12, 2012 - 3:51pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, Bethany.

There's a report of a portion of woods on fire in the area of 10689 Bethany Center Road, Bethany.

Bethany Fire Department dispatched.

UPDATE 4:09 p.m.: Mutual aid is called from Wyoming County, Pavilion, Stafford and Alexander, plus a crew from the Town of Batavia is asked to stand by in quarters. A chief at the scene said "We've got a pretty good large area burning. It's not going anywhere but it's going to take awhile to put it out."

UPDATE 4:18 p.m.: A tanker from the Town of Batavia is requested. One company is bringing its Gator. The fire is getting bigger. "It's spreading pretty rapidly."

UPDATE 4:27 p.m. They are going to begin drawing from ponds, one from on property just north of the incident. There's a bridge which would provide access for equipment to fight the fire from another angle, but it is not strong enough for the tankers or brush trucks to cross. The northern border of the fire is near Route 20 and it's moving rapidly in a toward the Wyoming County border. They are calling for foot crews and hand equipment.

UPDATE 4:42 p.m.: Fire command says the eastern flank is nearly knocked down. They want crews to focus on the west side. They want to stop the fire "from going over the hill."

UPDATE 4:47 p.m.: The backside of the blaze is out and they will employ "Indian guns" to put out the hot spots. They will continue to focus on the west side.

UPDATE 4:49 p.m.: "The fire is out except for hotspots. A couple of us will stay back here until we can knock down the hotspots." Although another firefighter says there is still some advancing. A tanker from Town of Batavia is asked to stand by in Bethany's quarters.

UPDATE 6 p.m.: Fire under control, some units starting to break down.

UPDATE 6:47 p.m. Bethany and Stafford back in service.

View Larger Map

November 11, 2012 - 9:46pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in history, Bethany.

Driving back from Genesee County Park this afternoon, Billie and I headed down Francis Road and spotted a man on the side of a cliff digging. It wasn't hard to guess what he was doing, so I stopped to talk with him. Yup, Bob Lann, of Spencerport, was digging for fossils.

What I didn't know is that this old railroad cut in Bethany is recognized as a good spot for fossil hunting.

Lann is a veterinarian and amateur fossil hunter. This was his first trip to Bethany.

Based on a little Google search, I came across a fossil hunting blog by James Heaney. He says Western New York -- and Lann said this, too -- is a great place for fossil hunting, especially from the pre-dinosaur ages. A guy named Robert Eaton also has information online about fossils in the Genesee region.

Below, Lann displays portions of a trilobite he found today and a bit of coral.

November 5, 2012 - 7:46am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, Bethany.

A driver says she fell asleep at the wheel Saturday afternoon leading to a one-car rollover accident on Creek Road near Putnam Road.

Linda M. Drumstra, 59, of Brookville Road, Alexander, was transported to Strong Memorial Hospital by Mercy Flight with non-life-threatening injuries.

Drumstra was driving a 2009 Toyota SUV northbound on Creek Road when her vehicle went off the roadway, struck two trees and overturned, coming to rest on the driver's side.

The accident was investigated by Deputy Chris Parker, who issued a citation to Drumstra for allegedly moving from lane unsafely.

(Initial Report)

November 3, 2012 - 12:33pm
posted by Billie Owens in alexander, Bethany, accidents.

A one-vehicle rollover accident with injury is reported at Creek and Putnam roads. A Sheriff's deputy on scene says the accident is completely blocking traffic. There is one victim with a leg injury and he will need to be extricated since the vehicle is on its side. Bethany Fire Department and Mercy medics are responding. Alexander fire police are also requested to the scene.

Southbound traffic will be stopped at Dorman and Creek roads.

UPDATE 12:42 p.m.: Mercy Flight will be responding.

UPDATE 12:54 p.m.: Mercy Flight has landed. The patient has been extricated. A flatbed tow truck is called to the scene.

UPDATE 1:05 p.m.: Mercy Flight 5 is en route to Strong. Verizon has been notified that a phone box near the accident site was destroyed.

UPDATE 1:10 p.m.: Bethany fire and Mercy medics are back in service.

UPDATE 1:35 p.m.: All responders are back in service.


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