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July 21, 2016 - 10:31am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, news, Buffalo Federal Detention Facility.

A pair of kitchen personnel and a corrections officer at the Buffalo Federal Detention Facility in Batavia have been placed on leave after they were accused of feeding chicken picked from the garbage to Muslim detainees for their Ramadan meals.

The three workers are facing possible termination and the case has been referred to the Inspector General of Homeland Security.

In a statement, a spokesman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement said, “The agency takes all allegations of employee misconduct very seriously and will respond appropriately based on the investigative findings.”

The investigation is ongoing and no conclusive findings have been released. The names of the employees have not been released.

Via our news partner WBTA.

July 20, 2016 - 8:27pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in Batavia Town Board, news, WROTB, water project.

The Batavia Town Board on Wednesday night approved payment of additional expenses for work on the Townline Water Project and for engineering services for the Townline and Pratt Road water districts and the West Main Street Road Sewer District.

In unanimous votes, the board:

-- Agreed to pay a $47,680 change order submitted by Sergi Construction of East Aurora, which previously had won a bid for a $2.4 million contract for the construction of approximately 107,000 linear feet of 8-inch and 12-inch water main, valves, hydrants and related equipment along various roads in the towns of Batavia, Oakfield, Elba and Stafford.

The added funds were needed to cover the cost of furnishing and installing new 8-inch waterline with two hydrants and service, and the installation of 2-inch PVC at the Genesee County Fire Training Center on State Street Road.

-- Authorized payment of $16,061 to Visone Construction of Depew, which previously was awarded a $3 million contract for the same Townline Water Project. The increase was needed to cover the cost for new connections along Oak Orchard Road to the Village of Elba, and for an emergency water main break in Elba two months ago.

-- Approved payments to Clark Patterson Lee for additional design and construction inspection services for the Townline Water District ($66,900), the Pratt Road Water District ($9,600), and the West Main Street Road Sewer District ($21,000).

The board also OK'd a couple of resolutions in connection with sanitary sewer service with Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corp.

One of them was an amendment to a sewer service agreement that calls for WROTB to pay for construction of an extension of a sanitary sewer service line if requested by the Town, based upon requirements of future need or development; and the other was a resolution granting the Town of Batavia an easement from WROTB to maintain the sanitary sewer located on the east side of Batavia Downs Gaming and any future extension up to the south end of Richmond Avenue.

July 20, 2016 - 3:58pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, fitness, YMCA, news.

ymcanewequipment2016.jpg

Today, the YMCA replaced all of its treadmills as part of a plan that rotates in new machines every year.

Since the treadmills tend to wear faster, its more cost effective to lease, rather than own, the treadmills, explained CEO Rob Walker.  

The Y will make approximately $100,000 in lease payments on the machines over the next three years.

July 20, 2016 - 3:51pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in hlom, history heroes, batavia, news, Batavia Cemetery.

hlomhistoryheros2016.jpg

The Holland Land Office Museum's annual summer program, History Heroes, is in its second day of the eight-day schedule and today the children participating walked from the museum to Ken's Charcoal Pits for lunch and then to the Batavia Cemetery.

According to Anne Marie Starowitz, the students learned about some of the famous people buried at the cemetery, including members of the Richmond family, Joesph Ellicott and Philemon Tracy, and also visited the William Morgan monument.

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July 20, 2016 - 3:18pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, batavia, elba.

Keith A. Wilkinson Jr., 61, of Quarry Hill Estates, Akron, is charged with: second-degree reckless endangerment; fourth-degree criminal mischief; and discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a dwelling. He was arrested after a joint investigation was completed concerning an incident which occurred at 7:35 p.m. on Nov. 21 at 315 Bank St., Batavia. Investigators from the Batavia Police Department and the NYS Environmental Conservation Police determined that Wilkinson did discharge a firearm within 500 feet of an occupied dwelling at that time. They determined the bullet did strike a home located within the City of Batavia. Wilkinson was due in City Court July 19 to answer the charges. PO Ivison and ECO Wilson were the primary investigating officers in the case, according to the report of Batavia Police Officer Frank Klimjack.

Ronnie W. Engelhardt, 27, of Liberty Street, Batavia, is charged with fourth-degree criminal facilitation, sixth-degree conspiracy, and third-degree false report of an incident. Engelhardt was arrested at 7 p.m. on June 1 and charged due to his alleged part in the false report of a motor-vehicle theft on East Main Street in Batavia in 2014. He was issued an appearance ticket for City Court on July 12 and then released. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Thad Mart.

David T. Neuhaus, 29, of Willow Street, Batavia, is charged with fourth-degree criminal facilitation, sixth-degree conspiracy, and third-degree false report of an incident. Engelhardt was arrested at 7 p.m. on June 1 and charged due to his alleged part in the false report of a motor-vehicle theft on East Main Street in Batavia in 2014. He was issued an appearance ticket for City Court on July 12 and then released. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Thad Mart.

Justin R. Shaffer, 29, of Gardeau Road, Perry, is charged with fourth-degree criminal facilitation, sixth-degree conspiracy, and third-degree false report of an incident. Engelhardt was arrested at 7 p.m. on June 1 and charged due to his alleged part in the false report of a motor-vehicle theft on East Main Street in Batavia in 2014. He was issued an appearance ticket for City Court on July 12 and then released. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Thad Mart.

Paul M. Wieclaw II, 27, of Norton Road, Elba, is charged with first-degree criminal contempt and second-degree burglary. He was arrested on a Batavia City Court Arrest Warrant and jailed without bail. The case stems from an incident which occurred at 1 a.m. July 8 on Ellicott Street, Batavia. He is was due in court today. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Stephen Cronmiller.

Jon N. Roblee, 40, of Pearl Street, Batavia, is charged with second-degree harassment. He was arrested after he allegedly had an argument with a coworker at Bob Evans Restaurant on Oak Street in Batavia and threw an item at her. The incident was reported at 7:30 p.m. on July 7. He is due in City Court on July 26. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Christopher Lindsay.

John R. Sherman Sr., 38, of Elm Street, Batavia, is charged with second-degree harassment -- physical contact. He was arrested at 5:45 a.m. on July 11 on Elm Street after allegedly pushing another person during a domestic incident. He was jailed on $750 bail. He was due back in court later that afternoon (July 11). The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Matthew Wojtaszczyk, assisted by Officer Matthew Lutey.

Gina Lynn Avino, 41, of Haven Lane, Batavia, is charged with second-degree obstructing governmental adminstration and second-degree harassment. At 2:09 a.m. on July 19 Avion was arrested on Haven Lane on these charges. It is alleged that during the investigation of a domestic incident, she pushed a City Police Officer who was assisting a Sheriff's Deputy on the call. She was arraigned in Town of Batavia Court and released under supervision of Genesee Justice. She is due in Batavia Town Court on Aug. 22. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Chad Cummings.

Rachellyn G. Burek, 34, of Main Street, Attica, is charged with second-degree criminal contempt. She was arrested due to an incident at 9:30 a.m. on June 9 on Summit Street in Batavia wherein she allegedly had contact with a party protected by an order of protection. She was issued an appearance ticket and is due in City Court Aug. 2 to answer the charge. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer James DeFreze, assisted by Officer Christopher Lindsay.

Nicole A. Mickey, 26, of Colonial Boulevard, Batavia, is charged with felony DWI and speeding. At about 12:47 a.m. on July 10, Mickey was arrested on Richmond Avenue in Batavia as the result of a traffic stop. She was processed at BPD headquarters, fingerprinted and photographed at the jail and then issued itckets. She was due in City Court this morning. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Eric Foels, assisted by Officer Matthew Lutey.

Benjamin G. Evans IV, 27, of Dellinger Avenue, Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of stolen property in the fifth degree. He was arrested on July 11. It is alleged that Evans possessed a bicycle that he knew to be stolen. It was reported stolen at 9 p.m. July 6 on School Street in the city. Evans was issued an appearance ticket for City Court on July 19. The case was handled by Batavia Police Sgt. Christopher Camp, assisted by Officer Christopher Lindsay.

Jeremy M. Fairbanks, 38, of Maple Street, Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana, criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, and inadequate headlamps. He was arrested at 11:28 p.m. on July 4 on East Main Street in Batavia following a traffic stop. It is alleged that Fairbanks, who was the driver, possessed a quantity of marijuana and another controlled substance in the vehicle. He was due in City Court on July 19. The case has handled by Batavia Police Officer Matthew Wojtaszczyk, assisted by Officer Felicia DeGroot.

Jonathan C. Hoges, 34, of Liberty Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th. He was arrested at 11:29 p.m. on July 4 on East Main Street in Batavia following a traffic stop. It is alleged that Hoges, who was a passenger, possessed a controlled substance while in the vehicle. He was due in City Court on July 19. The case has handled by Batavia Police Officer Matthew Wojtaszczyk, assisted by Officer Felicia DeGroot.

Lonnie J. Ford III, 45, homeless, Batavia, is charged with public lewdness. He was arrested following an incident in Centennial Park at 6:06 p.m. on July 12 wherein he allegedly exposed himself and "urinated approximately on a tree." He was issued an appearance ticket for Aug. 2 in City Court. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Arick Perkins, assisted by Officer Chad Richards.

Melissa R. Piazza, 27, of State Street, Batavia, is charged with being in a public park after hours. She was arrested at 12:10 a.m. on July 14 for allegedly entering and remaining in Austin Park after the park was closed. Piazza allegedly remained in the park after being afford the opportunity to leave with only a warning. She was released on an appearance ticket for City Court on July 19. The case has handled by Batavia Police Officer Matthew Wojtaszczyk.

Priscilla M. Donahue, 38, of East Avenue, Albion, is charged with petit larceny. She was arrested after allegedly stealing property from Dollar General on East Main Street in Batavia at 4:09 p.m. on July 11. She was issued a computer-generated appearance ticket for City Court on Aug. 2. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer James DeFreze, assisted by Officer Arick Perkins.

Benjamin Gove Evans IV, 27, of Dellinger Avenue, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. He was arrested following the investigation into a bicycle that was stolen from outside the Richmond Memorial Library and was reported at 12:30 p.m. on July 9. He was due in City Court on July 19. The bicycle was recovered and returned to the rightful owner. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Jason Ivison. 

Michelle L. Misiak, 51, of Union Street, Batavia, is charged with second-degree criminal use of drug paraphernalia. She was arrested at 9:21 p.m. on June 14 following a NYS Parole home visit wherein she allegedly possessed drug paraphernalia. She was due in City Court on July 19. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Stephen Cronmiller.

A 17-year-old resident of Batavia was arrested on July 18 for allegedly stealing food and liquor out of a freezer on the front porch of a residence on Manhatten Avenue in the city at 5:40 p.m. on July 16. The youth is due in City Court on Aug. 2. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Christopher Lindsay.

A 17-year-old resident of Batavia was arrested at 1 p.m. on July 11 after allegedly found to be in possession of a marijuana pipe. The youth is due in City Court on Aug. 2. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer James DeFreze.

Robert L. Carney, 24, of Walter Street, Buffalo, was arrested on July 15 after being located by the Genesee County Sheriff's Office at Darien Lake. He was found to have a bench warrant for failure to pay a fine out of City of Batavia and turned over to Batavia Police.. At the direction of City Court Judge Balbick, Carney was released and was due back in court on July 19. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Arick Perkins.

July 20, 2016 - 1:45pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, Announcements, batavia, Board of Assessment Review.

Press release:

The City of Batavia Board of Assessment Review currently has one position to fill. The term is a five-year term and will begin in October. The Batavia City Council is seeking a City resident who is interested in volunteering as a member of this committee and has knowledge of property values.

Residents interested in applying for this position can obtain a Committee/Board Volunteer Application from either the City Clerk’s Office or on the website at www.batavianewyork.com under Documents. The deadline to submit applications to the City Clerk’s Office is Aug. 15.

For further information, please contact the City Bureau of Assessment at 345-6301.

July 20, 2016 - 10:14am
posted by Howard B. Owens in 4-H, Livestock Auction, Genesee County Fair, agriculture, news.

Photo (by Howard Owens): Tyler Jirovec with his Champion Market Steer.

Press release:

Thank you to everyone who supported 4-H at the 46th Annual Genesee County 4-H Market Animal Auction! On Thursday, July 14, market goats, lambs, steers and hogs which were raised and shown by local 4-H members were auctioned by William Kent, Inc., at the Genesee County Fair.

The Champion Market Goat was exhibited by Michael Ehrmentraut and purchased by HLW Acres of Attica. The Reserve Champion Market Goat was exhibited by Cody Ehrmentraut and purchased by Crossen’s Christmas Tree Farm of Basom.

The Champion Market Lamb was exhibited by Maisy Ross and purchased by Dave Reisdorf, Inc., of Batavia. The Reserve Champion Market Lamb was also exhibited by Maisy Ross and purchased by Ed Roggen of Basom.

The Champion Market Steer was exhibited by Tyler Jirovec and was purchased by Turnbull Heating and Air Conditioning of Batavia. The Reserve Champion Market Steer was exhibited by Becky Kron and purchased by Clyde’s Feed & Animal Center of Hamburg.

The Champion Market Hog was exhibited by Cole Carlson and was purchased by The Red Osier Landmark Restaurant of Stafford. The Reserve Champion Market Hog was exhibited by Caleb Carlson and was purchased by Dave Reisdorf, Inc., of Batavia.

The objective of the Genesee County 4-H Market Animal Program is for engaged 4-H youth to gain valuable life skills such as responsibility, goal setting, decision making, communication, record keeping and community service through learning the basic principles of research-based animal science/husbandry practices, quality assurance and marketing of their project through hands-on learning opportunities in a positive youth development environment.

Thank you to all bidders and buyers! The Genesee County 4-H Livestock Committee and 4-H club leaders would also like to extend a special thank you to William Kent and Family for 46 years of continued services and outstanding support of the 4-H Market Animal Program.

Previously: 4-H'ers display their hard work at Genesee County livestock auction

July 19, 2016 - 9:27pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in town of batavia planning board, news, Batavia Downs Gaming.

Three parcels of land situated west and north of the NYS Thruway are keys to the Town of Batavia's future development, Town Planning Board members said Tuesday night as they forwarded a recommendation to the Town Board to place them in the "priority" category of Genesee County's Smart Growth Plan.

Town planners unanimously voted in a favor of a motion by Paul Marchese to move these parcels which had been "reserved for development" -- 500 acres behind the current Town Hall on West Main Street Road, 100 acres near Wal-Mart on Veterans Memorial Drive, and 600 acres owned by Gordon Offhaus west of Route 98 and north of Federal Drive -- to "priority development area" status for Smart Growth.

"These areas meet the comprehensive plan and our outlook on development, and being part of the Smart Growth Plan eliminates obstacles (to potential developers) and streamlines the process," said Town Building Inspector Daniel Lang.

Lang provided details about the three parcels as follows:

-- Called "Townville" by the planning board as they work through their meetings, the parcel behind the Town Hall is earmarked for a "Town Center" -- a mixed-use, high-density development featuring commercial and residential structures, including town houses. Form-based building codes are being used and a design is already in place.

-- The area near Wal-Mart already has generated a "high volume" of interest from commercial developers, and is enhanced by the fact that a portion of that site is part of the Smart Growth Plan.

-- The Offhaus property has been designated as a Planned Business Development (PBD) area reserved for a large-scale project.

In other aciton, planners:

-- Approved a site plan review for a 3,000-square-foot addition to the transfer station operated by the Genesee ARC at 3785 West Main Street Road.

According to Paul Saskowski, ARC director of operations, the facility -- to be called The One-Stop -- will be modified to feature drive-thru service and will offer trash drop-off, recycling and a redemption center, as well as secure shredding. He said the work will be done by D.A. Tufts Construction of Batavia.

-- Set a public hearing for Aug. 16 for a proposed Fairfield Inn on Federal Drive. The public hearing is needed since the developer, Oakfield Hospitality, LLC, is seeking to build the hotel in an industrial park. The final determination will be made by the Town Zoning Board of Appeals.

-- Approved a 42-inch wide by 60-foot long backlit sign for the new hotel at Batavia Downs Gaming. The sign will read "Hotel at Batavia Downs."

July 19, 2016 - 8:42pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, Pavilion, news.

A car vs. tractor-trailer accident is reported at Route 63 and Route 20, but only minor injuries are reported. 

Pavilion fire and Mercy EMS responding.

July 19, 2016 - 7:40pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, crime, news.

City police are responding to Dellinger Avenue for a report of several youths fighting. They are said to be heading north. This is one of several fighting incidents reported there today, says a dispatcher. Sometime after 4 p.m., a two-vehicle accident was reported on Dellinger. Injuries were minor, if any.

July 19, 2016 - 7:10pm

The Batavia Planning & Development Committee on Tuesday night approved a slightly modified plan to enclose a 1,700-square-foot patio on the west side of City Slickers Bar & Grill at 59 Main St.

Owner Ken Mistler's request focused on making the patio a bit smaller than what had been previously approved (in July 2014), reducing the size from 99 feet to 64 feet, and adding a small awning over the structure, which will feature six 12-foot, 6-inch retractable overhead doors -- four on the west side and one each on the south and north sides. The patio is located in an area next to M&T Bank.

"Patrons will be able to access (the patio) from the restaurant and also from the side and front of the patio," Mistler said, noting that the project will cost around $60,000. "(By enclosing it), we hope to utilize it more, especially in inclement weather."

Last week, Mistler's proposal was approved by the Genesee County Planning Board.

The patio will be able to seat 61 people, said Mistler, who added that he hopes to complete the project within the next several weeks.

In other action, the committee:

-- Approved a request by Michael Mammano, sign company agent, to place two lighted signs on the building at 69-71 Main St., which is being transitioned from First Niagara Bank to Key Bank. One sign will measure 2 feet, 8 inches by 17 feet, 10 inches and will go on the north elevation of the building and the other will measure 2 feet by 13 feet, 5 inches and will be placed on the south side of the building.

-- Approved a request by Batavian David Pero to subdivide property on Webster Avenue, the site of his sons' disposal business, Trash Away, LLC.  The larger parcel, consisting of vacant land, will not be used for any commercial venture at this time, Pero said.

-- Recommended that the City Zoning Board of Appeals denial a request by Randy White to create a second driveway -- measuring 16 feet wide by 60 feet long -- on his Lyon Street property. The board was not in favor of the additional overage and the fact that the applicant would be turning a larger portion of his yard into a second driveway.

July 19, 2016 - 5:46pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Diana Kastenbaum chris collins, NY-27.

Press release:

Tonight, Rep. Chris Collins will address the Republican National Convention and will “second” Donald Trump’s Republican Party nomination for President. Pinnacle Manufacturing CEO Diana Kastenbaum, Collins’s Democratic Party opponent for Congress, issued the following statement:

“At the RNC Convention tonight, Rep. Chris Collins, the first Congressman to endorse Donald Trump, will address millions of Americans with more empty political rhetoric. I can guarantee that Collins won’t speak about his vote to underfund Veterans Affairs by $1.4 billion or his pledge to have a 100% pro-life voting record. I’m offended that Collins does not support our Vets, and I’m equally offended that Collins has not stood up to Trump for his outlandish remarks against women made over the course of the Republican Party Primary. We can do better.”

July 19, 2016 - 3:46pm

Press release:

Following a string of deadly shootings against law enforcement in Dallas and Baton Rouge, La., in recent weeks, Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) has reiterated his full support of law enforcement and is encouraging New Yorkers to wear blue on Friday in a massive wave of support for police officers.

Hawley emphasized the need for unity in these frightening times and inspired constituents to stand behind those who put their lives on the line to protect us each day.

“The recent attacks against police officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge have been nothing short of tragic and a painful reflection of the evil that still exists in society,” Hawley said. “In these tumultuous times, the best solution is to come together and show our support for the men and women who put on their uniform every day not knowing what dangers they will inevitably face.

"They are the frontline protectors of justice and order in our community and deserve nothing short of our utmost gratitude and respect. Please join me in recognizing the heroism of our police officers and participate in ‘Our Blue Day’ on Friday by wearing blue in support of our friends fighting crime. They need our encouragement and backing now more than ever.”

July 19, 2016 - 3:40pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, Le Roy, news.

Ronald D. Stives, 34, of 61 Myrtle St. in Le Roy, was arrested by the Le Roy Police Department and charged with one count each of sexual abuse in the first degree, a Class D felony, and endangering the welfare of a child, a Class A misdemeanor.

It is alleged that during the morning hours of July 18, Stives subjected the victim to sexual contact when the victim was incapable of consent by reason of being physically helpless. Further it is alleged that when he did so, Stives knowingly acted in a manner likely to be injurious to the physical, mental or moral welfare of a child less than 17 years of age.

Stives was arraigned before the Judge Daryl Sehm of the Le Roy Town Court and put in Genesee County jail in lieu of $10,000 bail.

July 19, 2016 - 3:33pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, batavia.

​Batavia PD announced today that a 40-year-old Batavia man was arrested for allegedly having sexual contact with a family member. Eric Watson is in Genesee County Jail with bail set at $20,000.

He is accused of engaging in sexual conduct with a mentally disabled family member who is incapable of consenting to such activity. The allegations date back three years, but were just reported this year.

Watson is charged with second-degree rape, second-degree criminal sexual act, and second-degree incest.

He is due to appear in Genesee County Court at 11 a.m. on Thursday, July 21.

Det. Sgt. Todd Crossett and Det. Kevin Czora are the city Police Department investigating officers.

July 19, 2016 - 1:44pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in football, sports, batavia, Batavia HS.

youthfootballcampjuly192015.jpg

Head Coach Brennan Briggs submitted this photo of youths who participated in a two-day football camp at Batavia High School.

July 19, 2016 - 1:01pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in solar farms, land use, solar energy, agriculture, news.

Local municipalities with farmland should consider whether they want to address the issue of a zoning code for solar farms, Genesee County Planning Director Felipe Oltramari told members of the Agricultural and Farmland Protection Board at last night's meeting.

There are a couple of companies who have approached local landowners, Oltramari said, and if towns in the area want solar farms within their borders, they need to address it with a zoning code change and then decide how to regulate the farms.

Towns that do nothing, that currently have no permitted use for solar farms, will be deciding by default not to allow solar farms in those jurisdictions, Oltramari said.

If a land use isn't expressly mentioned in the local zoning code than it is completely prohibited.

Only the Town of Batavia has created provisions for solar farms, and it's a pretty bare-bones code at this point, Oltramari said.

The Town of Batavia took the action after SunEdison approached a local landowner about building a solar farm. An attorney representing SunEdison attended a couple of town meetings, but there's been no apparent progress with SunEdison since then and currently SunEdison is going through a Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization.

Since then, no other town has moved forward with solar farm zoning, but the Town of Oakfield is considering a solar farm on its land adjacent to its wastewater treatment plan and the Town of Alabama is considering a solar farm for the retired quarry in the town. 

"I think that’s a perfect use for that, too," Oltramari said.

The Town of Batavia is also looking into a solar farm on its former landfill.

The big issue for agricultural land, however, is that a solar farm would take the land out of crop production.

Agriculture average typically leases for about $60 a year and solar companies will pay $1,500 per acre per year for 20 years.

"This has alarmed farmers that rely on rented land for their operations," Oltramari said.

Companies looking to set up solar farms are typically looking for 20-acre parcels and they must be within two miles of a power substation.

Donn Branton, chairman of the Farmland Protection Board, thinks landowners should look carefully at any deal offered by a solar company.

"The frosting sounds pretty good, but the cake batter seems to get pretty messy," Branton said. 

There's a two-year planning process and the company decides what part of your farm it wants, he said, and then during construction they decide where the roads go.

"They pretty much have the run of your farm," he said. 

And taking the land out of production could cause it to be reclassified as commercial property rather than farmland, increasing the property tax rate. 

'It's something you want to investigate thoroughly with a legal service," Branton said. "$1,500 sounds great, but then you've got all the stipulations that go with it."

Oltramari recommended that towns -- and potentially landowners -- address issues such as preserving topsoil and herbicide use (in the event the land ever reverts to food production).

Zoning could also be used to limit the location and size of solar farms, buffer zones and visual screening.

Typically, in this area, solar companies are looking for 20-acre farms that produce two to four megawatts of energy.

One megawatt of solar energy could power 165 homes.

An energy generation facility (solar or wind) that produces more than 25 megawatts is exempt from local zoning laws, but such a farm in Western New York would need 125 to 200 acres of land, so Oltramari doesn't foresee such a farm coming to Genesee County.

July 18, 2016 - 4:50pm
posted by Billie Owens in city, water department, news.

From Jim Ficarella, city superintendent of water and wastewater:

The City of Batavia Water Department will be repairing the fire hydrant on the corner of Tracy Avenue and North Street on Wednesday, July 20.

The water will be turned off on Tracy Avenue From Washington Avenue to North Street around 9 a.m. on Wednesday morning. And the water should be back on around 3 p.m.

Homes in the Tracy Avenue area may have discolored water from the repair. The Water Department will make every effort to have the water back on as soon as possible.

July 18, 2016 - 1:41pm
posted by Billie Owens in GCC, news.

Press release:

Genesee Community College announced today that Laura J. Bohm was elected chair of the Genesee Community College Board of Trustees for 2016-2017. Her appointment as chair begins at the first meeting of the 2016 -2017 year at the August board meeting.

The other Board of Trustees appointments at the monthly meeting July 11 included Donna M. Ferry as vice chair, and Peter R. Call as secretary.

Bohm has most recently served two one-year terms as vice chair and succeeds two-term chair, Diane D. Torcello.

Bohm was originally appointed to the College's Board of Trustees by Gov. Mario M. Cuomo serving a nine-year term from 1986 until 1995. During that time she served as board chair from 1992 to 1995. Her more recent gubernatorial appointment was made by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo in 2008 for a seven-year term, and she was reappointed for a second seven-year term running from 2015 until 2022.

Bohm demonstrates a history of leadership, having recently begun a two-year term as chair of the New York Community College Trustees (NYCCT). As a voluntary nonprofit consortium of community college trustees, NYCCT was established to strengthen the effectiveness of New York community college trustees and helps shape public policy impacting community colleges. The organization represents the appointed board members who govern the 30 community colleges in the State University of New York (SUNY) system. Bohm was recognized in 1999 with an award for Distinguished Service from the Association of Boards of Community Colleges, the predecessor to the current NYCCT.

Her service goes well beyond community colleges as she has supported the local community through extensive volunteer work and leadership by serving as chair or a member of the United Way Board of Directors, the Batavia City Youth Bureau, Habitat for Humanity, The Paolo Busti Italian Cultural Foundation, the Franciscan Sisters of the Divine Child, the Board of Directors of Birchwood Village in Batavia and the Batavia City School Board. Bohm also was a commissioner for the Batavia Housing Authority.

As a Genesee Community College trustee, she is currently a member of the College's Buildings and Grounds and Finance committees, and is a representative to the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT), a national organization representing community college trustees.

July 18, 2016 - 8:12am
posted by Billie Owens in accident, batavia, news.

A silver sedan struck a pole on Bank Street near the Northgate Free Methodist Church in Batavia. There is heavy front-end damage but the driver is not injured. Mercy medics and firefighters responded.

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