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May 22, 2015 - 1:43pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCEDC, business.

Press release:

As part of the 2015 agency performance goals, the Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) announced the first of a series of outreach meetings to engage local taxing jurisdictions throughout the County about the various activities and programs and incentives offered by the GCEDC. 

On Tuesday, May 26, GCEDC President and CEO Steve Hyde will make a presentation at a joint meeting of the Town and Village of Bergen at the Bergen Town Hall on 10 Hunter St. in Bergen at 6:30 p.m. 

Among the topics for discussion will include development and business recruitment and expansion activities at the Apple Tree Acres. Among the businesses that currently operate out of Apple Tree Acres include Liberty Pumps, Leonard Bus Co. and Ad Tech. Hyde also will provide information about how payments in lieu of taxes (PILOT) impact the tax base among other topics.

“As part of the 2015 goals the GCEDC Board of Directors identified at the beginning of this year, we will enhance our outreach efforts to taxing jurisdictions and stakeholders throughout Genesee County about our economic development activities,” Hyde said. “We are always striving to increase outreach to the stakeholders we serve and identity new ways in which we can expand the quality of our economic development programs and incentives.”

May 21, 2015 - 10:32am
posted by Howard B. Owens in career center, jobs bureau, jobs, economy, business.

Scott Gage, director of the Genesee County Job Development Center, has a simple message for anybody looking for a job or a better job: come on down.

There are currently 400 job openings listed with the career center and not nearly enough applicants to fill them, Gage said.

"If anybody is interested in work, definitely come down and see us at the career center, because there are a lot of openings," Gage said.

Yes, many of the jobs are entry-level production jobs, but they're good paying jobs, Gage said. There's also a number of professional-level jobs available.

The recession-era fear people had about taking a stab at a new job at a chance for career advancement or higher pay has disappeared, Gage said. More people are looking to move up, which helps create openings for other workers and it's also the sign of a strong local job market.

"There are not a lot of job seekers coming through our doors," Gage said.

May 20, 2015 - 3:02pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, visitors booth, chamber of commerce, tourism, business.

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Press release:

Here is a fun and interesting way that you can assist your community -- by volunteering a few hours at the Genesee County Visitor Information Center. If you love our surrounding communities, enjoy helping people, and feel that you could be great ambassador for Genesee County, the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce is looking you.

The Genesee County Chamber of Commerce will reopen the seasonal Visitor Information Center on Friday, June 5th. The center is located at 131 W. Main St. in Batavia and operates in the summer months to assist summer visitors.

The Chamber is currently looking for a few helpful residents to greet visitors and provide directions and area information to travelers at our visitor “booth,” which is located in the parking lot of the Holland Land Office Museum.  Our volunteers greet visitors, hand out maps, dining guides, provide directions, recommendations and more. 

Available shifts are:

  • Saturdays from 1 to 3 p.m. and 3 to 5 p.m.
  • Sundays: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., as well as every other Sunday 3 to 5 p.m.

If you are interested in a two- or three-hour shift, weekly or biweekly, please call Kelly Rapone (585) 343-7440, ext. 23, at the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce.

Photo by Howard Owens.

May 19, 2015 - 1:43pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCEDC, business, Falcone Electric.

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Press release:

Genesee County Economic Development Center officials announced today that the new owners of Falcone Electric, an electrical supply provider in Batavia, have completed repayment of a $100,000 revolving business loan issued by the GCEDC in 2010.

On January 1, 2010, Dan and Amy Vanderhoof purchased the assets of Falcone Electric from Michael Falcone with the assistance of GCEDC’s Revolving Loan Fund Program. The loan was issued to assist in the new owners’ purchase of the company and ensure that Falcone’s would continue to operate and provide jobs for the existing employees under the new ownership. Through the process, Michael Falcone was able to transition to retirement knowing that his three wishes for the business would be carried out – that Falcone Electric would remain a family owned and operated small business; it would maintain close ties to the local community; and it would support the employees and customer base that have been loyal to Falcone’s for many years.

The Revolving Business Loan also helped fund operating capital and the purchase of a computer warehouse management system. GCEDC provides this type of loan to fund investments that support enterprise sustainability, growth and job retention or creation.

“The GCEDC educated and guided us throughout the process in finding the loan program that was the perfect fit for our needs,” said Dan Vanderhoof, co-owner of Falcone Electric. “It is comforting to know that there are financing opportunities for small businesses through local resources provided by entities such as the GCEDC.”

“Purchasing a business, especially a business with such a strong tradition, can be a daunting task especially in finding the capital to make such a transaction feasible, said Dan Vanderhoof, co-owner of Falcone Electric. “Were it not for the Revolving Loan Fund program, we may not have been able to fulfill our dream in buying Falcone Electric from Mike.”

Upon the company’s purchase in 2010, the Vanderhoofs kept the company under the “Falcone” name and have made upgrades to modernize the store.

“We wanted to recognize Dan and Amy to simply remind small businesses that they have low-cost options when it comes to financing their business,” said Mark Masse, senior vice president of operations at the GCEDC. “What better testament to the revolving fund program than through business owners who were able to directly benefit from it.”

GCEDC offers revolving businesses loans at a minimum of $25,000 and maximum of $200,000. The utilization of the loan funds must be consistent with GCEDC’s mission to support enterprise sustainability and job retention and/or enterprise growth and job creation. For more information about GCEDC’s loan programs and incentive offerings, please visit www.gcedc.com.

Photo by Howard Owens.

May 19, 2015 - 1:14pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, Le Roy, No Finer Diner.

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A fun, friendly atmosphere where people can enjoy a good, homestyle meal -- that's the goal for Lori Trader and Cindy Eggelston, proprietors of Le Roy's newest eatery, the No Finer Diner, right on Main Street, Downtown.

Longtime residents will remember the location as the former Tyler's Restaurant.

Eggleston said is their very basic goal is "We want happy customers."

In the tradition of great American diners, No Finer offers a big breakfast spread and the usual fare for lunch and dinner of burgers and hot dogs, sandwiches, melts and salads, along with entre staples such as ham steak, liver and onions and a seafood basket. There's also a veggie lasagna for those who go meatless and a lasagna in the opposite direction that substitutes veggies for pasta and is filled with turkey for those looking for lean protein with fewer carbs. There's also a kids' menu.

Opening a restaurant of her own had long been a dream, said Trader, who worked for years as a waitress at various local establishments.

"I would walk my dogs by this restaurant almost every day and just imagine what it could be, see the people in there, and I was excited about it," Trader said.

Eggleston had a background in catering and was thinking about finding a commercial kitchen so she could expand her business.

"On April 6, Lori said, 'I really want to open the old Tyler's and I said, 'Ok, let's do it,' Eggleston said. "By the end of that week, we were at the attorneys signing all of our corporate paperwork."

It all came together that quickly, and soon the buzz started spreading around Le Roy that the diner would reopen, run by a couple of local women.

"One of my customers came to my house two days ago and said he's never seen a community so supportive and so excited about somebody opening a diner," Trader said.

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May 15, 2015 - 9:12pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Business Education Alliance, BEA, business, batavia, byron-bergen.

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The Genesee County Business/Education Alliance held its annual meeting this morning at Terry Hills. The event featured presentations by students who have been through BEA programs, awards and election of officers.

Jay Wolcott, a teacher with Byron-Bergen High School, received an APPLE Award, as did Ed Shaver (second picture), a teacher with Elba High School.

Other awards: Business Partner of the Year, Dan Harvey, formerly of Graham Manufacturing; and partner in education awards to Graham Manufacturing and Amada Tool America.

Wolcott and Shaver are pictured with Eve Hens, director of BEA.

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Nick Corsivo

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 Students from Alexander Central School who attended BEA Camps last summer. Lauren Young, Nick Allen, Andrew Young.

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Heather Dries and Chrstine Stevens, students at Byron-Bergen, in Wolcott's manufacturing systems classes.

May 15, 2015 - 12:46pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business.

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A plan to relocate Arby's further west on Main Street is meeting some stiff opposition, both from residents of Vernon Avenue and planners.

County Planning staff recommended to the County Planning Board that members reject a series of zoning variance requests, and after hearing from several Vernon Avenue residents and receiving a petition signed by 95 percent of the residents in opposition to the fast-food restaurant proposal, the board members followed staff recommendation.

The board's vote doesn't kill the project, but it means the City of Batavia Planning Board needs a majority plus one vote to approve the plan.

Kyle Hessler was among the Vernon Avenue residents who spoke and he acknowledged that he lives next to property that is zoned for commercial development -- though it's currently residential -- and he isn't opposed to commercial development in the city, or even on the property. He just thinks the proposal as presented is bad for Vernon Avenue residents.

It would unduly impact traffic on the street and the ability for traffic to easily pull onto Main Street. He doesn't think the barrier for sight, vision and sound between the restaurant and the neighborhood is adequate. And he thinks the parking will prove inadequate. 

Some residents complained that they felt like the developers were trying to sneak the project through, but Robert Kiesler, an architect from Rochester representing the developer, said there is nothing secret about the process. It is going through the public approval process completely in the open, as required by law.

Out of that process, the developer gets a chance to learn what modifications to the plan need to be made to ensure it doesn't negatively impact residents, or if the development is even viable.

The process is designed to give residents a chance to have their say, as Thursday's meeting demonstrated, he said.

The developer is proposing a 2,100-square-foot restaurant that would replace three residential units. It would have a drive-thru with a driveway on Vernon Avenue. 

Among the variances requested is reducing the buffer between the commercial property and residential property from 10 feet to two feet, constructing a building one foot higher than allowed, constructing a smaller driveway than normally permitted and reducing the number of required parking spaces from 84 to 24.

May 15, 2015 - 12:04pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Downs, business, batavia, Western OTB.

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Officials at Western OTB think the odds of hitting a jackpot are better if their proposed hotel overlooks the Batavia Downs racetrack.

It is, after all, the oldest lighted harness racing track in America and the reason Batavia Downs exists in the first place.

Shoehorning it into the constrained space around the track, however, will require some bending of the rules.

There are zoning variances needed to lot size, lot frontage, front, side and rear setbacks and building height.

The scope of the variances prompted county planning staff to recommend disapproval of the project.

After Western OTB VP Mike Nolan pleaded with the board to support the project, saying it's the only viable option to ensure Batavia Downs continues to thrive and generate millions of dollars for the local economy, planning board members were unwilling to say no to the plan. They also didn't say yes.

The board took no action and the plan is now kicked back with no recommendation to Town of Batavia planners. It will be up to the town's Planning Board to decide whether to grant the variances.

Yes, Town of Batavia, not City of Batavia.

When the hotel plans were first announced, for the 80- to 100-room hotel, officials were talking about a location on the south end of the track, near Tops Plaza, but Nolan said further study on that location indicated it just wasn't viable. It's simply not big enough.

The current proposed location is on the north end of the track and would require the removal of some of the current paddock area.

It's critical, Nolan said, that the hotel be attached to the gaming facility and that it have suites with balconies overlooking the track.

A board member asked, why not in the parking lot on the west side of Park Road?

"It's important that horse racing stays strong and vibrant," Nolan said. "Over in the parking lot, it wouldn't have the same appeal as overlooking the oldest lighted harness racing track in America."

The target audience for the hotel aren't travelers passing through the area, but people willing to travel to Batavia specifically to place bets on races and drop coins in slots.

The desk for the hotel would, in fact, be in the gaming facility itself. (Some of us might call it a casino, but the state's compact with the Senecas prohibits Batavia Downs officials from calling it a casino).

The gaming environment in WNY is getting more competitive, Nolan said, and with the Senecas planning a new $400-million casino a short drive away, it's critical Batavia Downs up its wager on local gaming. Western OTB recently completed a $28-million upgrade to Batavia Downs and the hotel represents the next phase in making Batavia Downs more attractive to gambling dollars.

The land for the hotel would be sold to private investors who would own the hotel and operate it as a franchise of a national hotel company.

Nolan noted that when Western OTB took over Batavia Downs, since Western OTB is a public benefit corporation, it took $3 million in assessed value off the tax roles. The new hotel would be assessed at something in the neighborhood of $7 million, and while tax abatements used to help fund development would delay the full value of that tax levy being realized by some local governments, eventually it would generate substantial tax revenue for the county and school district.

Even if the private developers decided to eventually sell the property and Western OTB became the owner, the property would stay on the tax roll, Nolan said.

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May 15, 2015 - 11:18am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park, GCEDC, business, batavia.

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The backers of a proposed bio-gas plant in the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park are in the early stages of site planning and they hope, if all goes to plan, to be operational in a year.

The plan was presented for review Thursday night to the Genesee County Planning Board and the board unanimously recommended approval at this stage of the process.

The plant would take organic waste from food processing plants -- primarily the two yogurt plants in the ag park -- and convert it into methane to generate heat that could be resold to the plants and electricity that the plants could also purchase.

The plant would generate more electricity than the plants could use -- enough to power 800 homes a day -- so additional capacity would be transferred into the electrical grid.

The plant, said architect Robert Keiffer, of TY Lin International, Rochester, is environmentally friendly, would help make the yogurt plants more sustainable and more efficient to operate, and help attract business to the ag park.

The owners of the plant would be CH4 Biogas, which already operates a plant in Covington.

CH4 has a purchase agreement with Genesee County Economic Development Center for five acres in the ag park. The project would be eligible for economic incentives from GCEDC.

The proposed facility would be 8,500 square feet, housing processing equipment, an office, bathroom, dock area and de-packaging area.

The waste accepted by the facility would be organic and non-hazardous. The waste would go through a methane-capture process, pumped into a grinder and put into a receiving tank.

The waste is then pasteurized in three 15-foot-high tanks. This optimizes methane release. Next, the waste is moved to digester tanks that are completely enclosed. Methane is collected and stored in another tank. It is then converted into electricity by a CHP engine. The engine is not located on site, but at the thermal end-user's location and enclosed to reduce noise.

The organic waste, if not sent to a digester plant, could be used on farm fields or simply taken to a dump. In either case, the methane eventually released by the waste would drift into the atmosphere. Methane is considered a greenhouse gas. This process captures 100 percent of the methane from the waste and converts it to electricity.

May 15, 2015 - 10:35am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, zoning, land use, business.

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Any city residents who are concerned about rooming houses opening in their neighborhoods need not worry much longer.

The city is working on a change to the zoning law that would prohibit new rooming houses, boarding houses, lodging houses, tourist homes and tourist camps inside of R-2 districts.

The change would also prohibit future development of such facilities in C-1, C-2 and C-3 districts. 

There are currently 10 rooming houses in the city with a total of 80 available rooms.

"At this point, we think we're saturated with an adequate amount of rooming houses and boarding houses in the city and this provides the ability to limit expansion," said City Manager Jason Molino. "The existing ones will continue to stay in place. They will continue to be regulated and reviewed and permitted every year, as they should be, but this will limit the expansion."

Molino presented the proposed change to the zoning ordinance to the Genesee County Planning Board, just one step in the process of making the change in the zoning law. The board unanimously recommended approval of the proposal.

The current codes governing rooming and boarding houses and multiple-family dwellings in the city are inconsistent with the city's master plan and strategic plan, Molino told the board.

Numerous studies, he said, have shown that rooming houses, in particular, and multi-family dwellings, intermingled in otherwise single-family neighborhoods, bring down property values and encourage the deterioration of whole blocks.

Such uses are also inconsistent with economic development in commercial districts.

This is an issue the city has been looking at for some time, Molino said, but officials became more aware of the need to tighten up the code after local property owner and investor Terry Platt purchased a large home on East Main Street and announced plans to convert it into a rooming house. The city's planning board denied Platt his application for the use, responding to concerns raised by neighbors and other residents; however, Platt challenged the ruling court and eventually prevailed and was able to convert the property into a rooming house.

"That certainly opened everybody's eyes to the potential of where these rooming houses could be located," Molino said. "It has a lot of impact that people perceive as being negative if rooming houses open in certain areas, so that certainly opened our eyes to the inconsistencies in the code."

The proposed zoning change could be perceived as inconsistent with a couple of emerging trends in American society.

First, is the seeming interest of Millennials to avoid home ownership and find suitable places to rent in cities. The second is a trend among some homeowners to use services such as Airbnb to rent rooms to travelers.

On the first point, Molino said he doesn't think Millennials are looking for the kind of rentals this zoning change would curtail.

"They're looking for a little more secure housing, generally, furnished housing, not shared common bathrooms, in areas that are close to amenities and part of a development," Molino said. "There's a disparity in the housing qualities when you start talking about Millennials and the population of empty-nesters who are looking to downsize. They're generally not looking to downsize into rooming houses."

While services such as Airbnb are growing in popularity -- there are even two houses available for guest lodging in Genesee County -- it hasn't been an issue in the city yet, Molino said. The proposed zoning change isn't really meant to address such services, but if it ever became an issue here, Batavia, like any city, would need to study the issue and find the most balanced solution available.

"You've got to look at what comes with it," Molino said. "Are there negative effects? Are there positive effects? Is it similar to a bed and breakfast or not? What comes with that activity? I think what most communities will start dealing with is, what are the positive and negative effects that come with the activity and do they balance each other house, and if not, what revisions of code or enforcement mechanisms do they want to put in place to balance it out."

The proposed zoning change will need to be go through a public hearing and be approved by City Council before becoming law.

May 14, 2015 - 1:45pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in State Street Animal Hospital, business, batavia.

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Keith Carlson and John Kemp, who already hold ownership stakes in Attica Veterinary Associates, have purchased the State Street Animal Hospital from Fran and Norm Woodworth, who were ready to slow down their workload.

Carlson (pictured (Kemp wasn't available)), said not much will change at State Street. It's a good facility with quality equipment and an excellent staff, so there simply isn't much the new owners need to change. All of the current employees are staying on and the new owners plan to hire a new technician and possibly a new vet. 

The new owners work full time in Attica and will manage State Street.

Kemp has been an owner in Attica since 1988 and Carlson joined the staff there 15 years ago, becoming one of the four owners 13 years ago.

"Owning a small animal hospital is something John and I always wanted to do and the right opportunity came along," Carlson said.

May 14, 2015 - 10:39am
posted by laurie napoleone in Batavia Area Jaycees, business, batavia.

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(Jennifer Ray, left, and Cathryn Colby)

U.S. Jaycees President Jennifer Ray visited Genesee County this past week and attended meetings with local officials. The organization is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. Ray is a civil engineer from “a little bit of everywhere,” but currently calls Baltimore her home. She says she moved to Maryland for a job after graduating from college and she only knew one person in the area. That person encouraged her to join the Jaycees and after two years of coaxing, she decided to become a member. That was in 2001. It was through the Jaycees that she met her husband, became connected to the community, and the reason she now lives in Baltimore.

The Jaycees provide an opportunity to be part of a global network and do projects that make an impact and to then raise awareness through social media, she said.

Dating back to 1915, the Jaycees was started by Colonel H.N. Micgran, a prominent citizen from St. Louis who approached Henry Geissenbier, who was the leader of the Herculaneum Dance Club, and asked they become involved in civic issues. Geissenbier and his young men friends formed the young men’s progressive association (YMPCA), which then became the Junior Citizens, called the JC’s … thus, the name “Jaycees.” The whole concept started in St. Louis but grew from there.

The Jaycees were originally an all men’s club that had a woman’s auxiliary and in 1984, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of allowing females as members. This decision prompted other organizations to allow women in as members. With Ray serving as the national president, and Cathy Colby as the New York State President for the Jaycees, it's obvious females not only joined the ranks, but have taken on leadership roles.

The Jaycees have more than 200,000 members and are always looking for civic-minded people from the ages of 18-41 to join the various chapters. Each one seeks solutions to local problems to create a "sustainable global impact." In meeting with local representatives, Ray addressed problems regarding local socioeconomic issues, citing the number of students eligible for free and reduced lunches. By meeting with different chapters, the Jaycees can share community and global resources to hopefully find solutions to an issue such as this.

On a global level, the Jaycees have assisted with numerous projects and in June, they have a National Summit in Washington, D.C., which brings together the Jaycees and various organizations to discuss national and global issues. Then they write resolutions and meet with legislators on Capitol Hill before returning to their local chapters to look at opportunities and ways to resolve issues. Ray mentioned the “Nothingbutnets” Project, which supports President Obama’s Malaria Initiative, and provides insecticide laced bed nets that prevent malaria in African countries. This is one of the many global projects the Jaycees work on. For more information on these projects, go to www.jci.cc

New York State Jaycees President Colby can be contacted at 716-474-3343 for anyone interested in learning more about the Jaycees and how to get involved in the local chapter. Her mantra is “choose your tomorrow” – encouraging the youth in the community to get out and make a difference in their communities.

President Ray said “young people are the movers and shakers. ... it is important to become active in the community by not only identifying problems, but acting on them… and that is what we do."

May 13, 2015 - 2:43pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, batavia, Valu Plaza.

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Yasses Construction did some work this morning repaving a portion of the Valu Plaza parking lot -- the section right in front of El Burrito Loco and Deep Blue Pool and Spa.

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May 12, 2015 - 6:21pm
posted by James Burns in batavia, Olivers Candies, business.

Oliver's Candies is more than a Batavia landmark, it is a destination for many on the holidays. It is a cherished tradition. The business has grown quite a bit since 1932 and the sign that had served the store for about 65 years was retired today. Don’t panic! The old sign will be placed into storage and preserved.

The new sign is chocolate brown and matches the motif of the Swiss chalet that was formed around the wood-framed house that was the original store. The sign will be wired and turned on Wednesday. 

Jeremy Liles, VP of Oliver’s, stands next to the new sign.

May 12, 2015 - 8:30am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, development, Vernon Avenue.

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Residents of Vernon Avenue are organizing opposition to a proposed new Arby's Restaurant on West Main Street, at the end of Vernon.

In a petition presented to City Council Monday night, residents say the proposed development -- which would replace three existing residential buildings -- would create more noise, result in 24-hour lighting, destroy trees, increase traffic congestion at the intersection and on Vernon, and decrease property values.

Residents David Steele and John McCauley spoke up during public comments at Monday's meeting and Steele presented the Council with a petition signed by almost every resident of Vernon Avenue (City Manager Jason Molino lives there but didn't sign it, Steele said, citing a conflict of interest).

"Many residents, especially those at the southern end of Vernon Avenue, have said if this development goes through as presented to the Planning and Development Committee, they will list their homes for sale," Steele said. If many residents do that, there will be a housing glut on that street with supply and demand decreasing property values."

McCauley (top photo) said he purchased his home about a year ago, moving here with his wife from Buffalo, expecting to live on a quiet street. If the Arby's is built, he said, then he'd likely move.

"We were sad to hear that (an Arby's was going in)," McCauley said. "If they were going to do something like that, it would probably force us to put our house up for sale."

The proposed development will be on Thursday's agenda for the County Planning Board and at a future meeting of the city's Planning and Development Committee. Steele said residents plan to be at both of those meetings.

The planning committee operates independently and the Council has no real input on what development gets approved or denied.

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May 11, 2015 - 1:38pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCEDC, business.

Press release:

The Board of Directors of the Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) and Genesee Gateway Local Development Corporation (GGLDC) approved projects at the May 7 board meetings.  

The GCEDC approved an application from the Depew, Lancaster & Western Railroad for the purchase of a specialized forklift and two track vehicles for servicing truck and rail service at the transload warehouse facility in the City of Batavia.

Depew, Lancaster & Western Railroad company also received approval for a sales tax exemption of $9,512. The anticipated capital investment will be approximately estimated $118,000. Further, for every $1 of public benefit, the company will invest $12.50 into the local economy.

The GCEDC Board also passed an amended insurance policy to allow for the approval of lower insurance limits specifically for small-scale sales-tax exemption projects on a case by case basis. The new policy will allow smaller projects to take advantage of GCEDC’s incentives without having to incur the increased costs of changing insurance coverage to receive the benefits.

The GGLDC, the real estate arm of the Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC), approved a purchase and sale agreement with Fancher Properties LLC for 2.6 acres of land in the Buffalo East Technology Park. 

Fancher Properties plans to build a 15,000-square-foot facility at the Technology Park to house an office, manufacturing and warehouse facility. The company, which manufactures and installs specialty signs and closets for housing developments and hotels, plans to invest $500,000 in the project and will work with the GCEDC to seek IDA benefits.

“While it’s great to see new businesses coming into the community, it’s also very important that our agency can assist existing companies with their expansion and growth needs,” said Steve Hyde, GCEDC president and CEO. 

Hyde also stated that “the change approved by the GCEDC Board in the insurance requirement policy will allow us more opportunities to help small businesses take advantage of IDA benifts for their projects."

May 10, 2015 - 9:23pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Alli's Cones and Dogs, Oakfield, business.

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While out in Oakfield today, I found Karl Dilcher running a Mother's Day chicken BBQ. This was the first day that Dilcher, owner of Alli's Cones & Dogs, offered chicken BBQ, something he says he plans to do every day, plus offer the service as catering for special events, including charities, graduations, weddings, etc. Pictured with Diltcher is Shorty Thomas, now working for Dilcher, who worked for years for Clor's.

May 8, 2015 - 1:30pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in darien lake theme park, darien lake, business, Darien.

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The first Darien Lake Theme Park customers got to climb aboard the newest thrill ride in Western New York today -- Rolling Thunder.

The rail-car loop propels riders back-and-forth and then around the loop forward and backward.  

The park opened to season ticket holders today and to all park-goers tomorrow for the season, which runs through Sept. 27.

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Chamber of Commerce President Tom Turnbull cut the ribbon for the new ride.

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General Manager Chris Thorpe shows off the next new ride for Darien Lake, Brain Drain. The ride will be completed in time for guests to take the plunge for the first time on Saturday. The water slide drops riders from platform 70-feet high at an 80-degree angle, propelling them through the looping slide at 38 feet per second.

Full press release from Darien Lake after the jump:

May 7, 2015 - 1:01pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, BEST Center.

Press release:

The City of Batavia was awarded a $200,000 grant to foster the development of new and expanding small businesses that will improve the community. Per Federal grantor requirements, the City has coordinated capacity-building training in order to make grants available to entrepreneur participants and those willing to promote employment opportunities for persons of low-moderate income families.

“Knowing we have market opportunities, this grant enables the City to coordinate instructional training to help people develop their business ideas and learn what it takes to be successful from veteran business owners,” said City Manager Jason Molino. “The classroom interactions will supplement the existing services already provided by the Chamber, Small Business Development Center and SCORE.”

To meet national program objectives, the City of Batavia partnered with the BEST Center at Genesee Community College and the Batavia Development Corporation (BDC) to offer a three-part “Owning Your Own Business” series designed to inspire creativity, fine-tune skills, and find where passion and work intersect. At the end, new and expanding businesses in the City having fewer than five employees may be eligible to access grants up to $15,000.

The initial program started April 22nd as a series of one-hour sessions where participants assessed their personal readiness to own and operate a new business and explored business opportunities. The final Part I session is next week, "The Sniff Test: assessing your business idea!" In the class setting, participants will pinpoint a target audience, evaluate the idea, navigate the competitive landscape and determine next steps.

The final Part I series is Wednesday, May 13, from noon -1 p.m. in the second floor community room at Batavia City Hall. Pre-register for $5 online at http://www.genesee.edu/best/ or pay $10 at the door. Light refreshments available.

Get Underway -- Small Business Ownership Part II begins Wednesday, May 27th . This weekly evening session goes beyond the basics to help participants fully develop a business concept and transition into becoming a business manager.

These five weekly Wednesday evening sessions are mandatory if participants want to access grant resources available through the City of Batavia Microenterprise Grant Program. The sessions run from 6 to 9 p.m. in Room T121 of the Conable Technology Building on GCC’s Batavia campus.

They include:

  • May 27
  • June 3
  • June 10
  • June 17
  • June 24

-- Trials, tribulations & skills of a successful business leader Marketing strategies to increase sales;

-- Using financial information to guide my business Learning to “manage” a business;

-- Business plan presentation and networking costs $125 and students will receive a certificate upon successful completion.

The five-week course registration is also available online at http://www.genesee.edu/best/.

The City has offered small business loans and grants for over a decade resulting in more than $5,000,000 public-private investments. The $200,000 grant and the Small Business Ownership series is funded by the New York State Office of Community Renewal Community Development Block Grant.

May 6, 2015 - 6:33pm

Press release:

The Board of Directors of the Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) will consider a project from Depew, Lancaster & Western Railroad at its May 7 board meeting.

Depew, Lancaster & Western Railroad is planning to purchase additional equipment to include one specialized forklift and two track vehicles for servicing truck and rail service at the transload warehouse facility in the City of Batavia. The projected capital investment is approximately $118,000. The company has applied to the GCEDC for a sales tax exemption of $9,512.

The GCEDC Board meeting will take place at 4 p.m. and is open to the public. Meetings are held at the Innovation Zone Conference Room at MedTech Centre -- 99 MedTech Drive, Batavia, on the first floor, across from Genesee Community College.

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