Online News. Community Views.

>> Download <<
The Batavian Mobile
Droid | iPhone

Recent comments

Community Sponsors

business

March 4, 2016 - 5:43pm
posted by Raymond Coniglio in Chamber Awards, Post Dairy Farms, genesee county, business, news.

chamber_postmarch2016.jpg

Running a family farm is enough to keep anyone busy.

That’s certainly true for Jeff Post, a fifth-generation owner of Post Dairy Farms, LLC, located at 4103 Batavia Elba Townline Road, Oakfield. Nevertheless, Post makes time for still another role  — that of ambassador.

His family’s farm welcomes hundreds of visitors each year, many of them youngsters from the surrounding area.

“We’ve been really active in getting people on the farm and seeing things,” Post said. “A whole gamut of people. And I’m always happy to host. Especially children with their parents, so they can know that their food is safe and where it’s coming from.”

A tradition of both excellence and openness are among the reasons Post Dairy Farm was chosen by the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce as its 2015 Agricultural Business of the Year.

Mike Davis, a county legislator and manager at Upstate Niagara Cooperative, Inc., in Batavia, praised the farm for its role as educator.

“The Post family has hosted numerous tours for key customers, students of all ages, as well as groups of Cooperative employees and have provided all a better understanding not only of their operations, but agriculture in general,” Davis wrote in support of the nomination.

“The farm produces an extremely high-quality product using innovative technology, while also being good stewards of the land,” he added.

Post Dairy Farm has deep roots in the community. Seward Post — “my grandfather’s grandfather,” Jeff post said — began farming on Pearl Street, Batavia, during the late 1800s. The farm moved to Townline Road about 1890 “and has just grown since,” Post said.

Ownership passed to Leo Post and then Ken Post — Jeff’s grandfather — who continues to work every day. The 900-acre farm is currently owned by Jeff Post, his father Dan and uncle John.

Two other family members, Jeff’s aunt Laurie Post and cousin Kailynn Stacy, work on the farm. They are joined by two non-family employees.

The dairy operation includes about 400 cows and 300 young stock. The family grows feed corn and alfalfa for cattle, but also wheat and string beans for human consumption, Post said.

Perhaps the farm’s biggest innovation — and an attraction for many visitors — is the robotic milking system that opened in June 2010. It milks 240 cows, three times a day, Post said, and allowed the farm to significantly grow is operations without adding to labor costs.

“You have to be reinvesting in your business, obviously, to stay in business,” Post said.

The family still operates a traditional milking parlor, where 120 cows are milked an average of twice a day.

Farming — dairy farming in particular — faces numerous challenges. Two of the biggest, Post said, are depressed milk prices and the prospect of higher labor costs forced by minimum-wage increases.

Added to that, he said, are often emotion-driven concerns about food safety, labeling and animal welfare.

“That challenges farmers to be advocating for ourselves all the time,” Post said.

He hopes that advocacy, also inspires young people to consider careers in agriculture. It’s a field that needs young talent, and embraces a wide range of interests, from herdsmanship to high technology.

Indeed, the farm has hosted a Genesee County Business Education Alliance “robotics camp” for middle school students.

“This is one thing I always talk to kids about,” Post said, “even if you don’t want to be a farmer, there are so many skills that farming and agriculture support — cattle nutrition, welding, manufacturing. There’s just so much out there.”

Post Dairy Farms has racked up a number of honors over the years, including recognition as a Dairy of Distinction. It was named 2013-14 Business Partner of the Year by the Business Education Alliance, and 2014 Conservation Farm of the Year by the Genesee County Soil & Water Conservation District.

Post said the Chamber award is appreciated.

“It’s always nice to be recognized for what you do,” he said.

March 4, 2016 - 5:32pm
posted by Billie Owens in p.w. minor, Chamber Awards, news, business.

chamber_petemarch2016.jpg

The oldest business in Genesee County was set to shut down on July 31, 2014, nearly done in by lackluster sales and a frumpish product line, despite having outsourced 100 jobs to China in an effort to keep costs down and stay afloat.

But thanks to two local guys who stepped up and came to its rescue, creating the New p.w. minor company, the 150-year-old shoemaker and orthodics producer is still standing, striving to thrive.

Fifty jobs were retained by keeping the business, located at 3 Treadeasy Ave. in the City, in operation. Then the hard part of rebuilding began.

Peter Zeliff and Andrew Young, although the latter is no longer with the firm, invested in the business, worked with local and state officials to work on bringing back those jobs from China, hired new designers and are revamping the product line. Things are turning around. This is why the New p.w. minor was named the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce's 2015 Business of the Year.

"I honored to be named Business of the Year," Zeliff said. "I don't know that we deserve it yet. But we're moving in the right direction. It's taking longer that I had planned on, but we're going to get there."

Zeliff and Young didn't need to take the risk, but they valued a mainstay business of the local economy and did not want to see it close. Zeliff is now CEO of p.w. minor and sits on the board of Oakfield-based EIF Renewable Energy Holdings, LLC, where he once was an executive. Young is a real estate broker and investor.

"Our goal is to bring manufacturing back to Batavia and expand it," Zeliff said in August of 2014. "We are excited to be a part of the resurrection of this American icon."

The company was founded in 1867 by two brothers shortly after they returned from fighting in the Civil War. But despite its historic roots and rich tradition of making high-quality leather footwear, like many small and mid-size businesses, worldwide economic trends and the withering of manufacturing in the Northeast took its toll.

Reversing the gloomy course of p.w. minor took money, business acumen, vision and commitment, according to the leaders who embraced Zeliff and Young's plans, including Gov. Cuomo, Sen. Michael Ranzenhofer, Steve Hyde, president and CEO of Genesee County Economic Development Center, Assemblyman Steve Hawley, Howard Zemsky, president and CEO of Empire State Development, County Legislature Chairman Ray Cianfrini, et al.

Last year, p.w. minor outlined long-term plans to upgrade and automate its production facilities, putting the total price tag at $7.5 million. Empire State Development pledged to provide up to $1.75 million in performance-based tax credits, including a $900,000 state-backed aid package to re-shore the China jobs and add jobs.

Since the acquisition in 2014, Zeliff said 30 jobs have been added, but five of those were temporarily cut today (not the 10 as rumored).

"We expect to bring those jobs back in four to 12 weeks," Zeliff said this afternoon.

He explained that later this year -- late summer, early fall -- newly purchased production equipment should be in place in Batavia-- to help do the jobs that were being done in China. So far, Zeliff said $1.3 million has been invested in new equipment to upgrade and automate facilities here; and another $500,000 will be spent this year on shoemaking equipment, including molds, from Italy, known worldwide for shoes and leather goods.

New shoe designs were rolled out, or are being developed, that offer not just the fit and comfort p.w. is renowned for, but style, too.

There's been a big learning curve, and sometimes it's been frustrating. Zeliff said it's sometimes s-l-o-w going when it comes to dealing with state bureacracy. And developing new molds and products, likewise, has taken more time to achieve than he initially anticipated.

"I was a landfill gas-to-energy person," Zeliff said. "I may have underestimated what it takes to do this, but we'll get there."

March 4, 2016 - 10:06am
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCEDC, business, batavia, Darien, darien lake theme park.

Press release:

The Board of Directors of the Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) approved a final resolution for an application for assistance from Darien Lake Theme Park Resort, as well as an initial resolution for Mega Properties, Inc.’s Koolatron project, at its March 3 board meeting.

Darien Lake Theme Park Resort will add two new attractions in time for its 2016 operating season, including a six-flume water slide and a roller coaster train. The new attractions are part of the company’s 2016 Tourism Destination Project aimed to enhance visitor experience.

The company was approved for a sales tax exemption of $189,200 and the project’s planned capital investment will total an estimated $2.8 million.

“We are very pleased to have such tremendous support from the GCEDC in our efforts to offer guests the highest quality, most memorable visitor experiences,” said Chris Thorpe, general manager, Darien Lake. “GCEDC’s investment in our 2016 Tourism Destination Project will help us remain one of the Northeast’s most attractive tourist attractions.”

“As one of Genesee County’s largest employers, Darien Lake is one of the most powerful economic contributors to our local economy, providing over 400 full-time equivalent jobs and approximately 2,000 seasonal positions each year,” said Paul Battaglia, GCEDC Board chairman. “The GCEDC remains committed to investing in projects that will enhance the park and allow it to continue serving as one of our region’s most popular tourist destinations.”

In addition, the GCEDC board approved an initial resolution for Mega Properties, Inc., which provides distribution services to the United States for Koolatron Corporation, a Canadian-based manufacturer of consumer goods. Koolatron’s distribution center has operated in Batavia since 1979 and plans to add 25,000 square feet to its existing 45,000-square-foot facility in order to increase production and expand its global footprint.

The company was approved to receive a total of $172,096 in sales, mortgage and property tax exemptions. The capital investment for the project is approximately $750,000. Since the company is receiving incentives of more than $100,000 there will be a public hearing at a time, date and location to be determined.

March 3, 2016 - 4:07pm
posted by laurie napoleone in Chamber award, Guthrie-Heli Arc, inc., news, business.

weldchambermarch32016.jpg

Guthrie Heli Arc, Inc., provides a one-stop shop to purchase sewer trucks, street sweepers, grapple loaders, refuse bodies, recycle trucks, and carpet tippers, both for municipalities and the private sector. They also offer welding repair and recertification of pressure vessels, such as those used for propane, fuel oil, and gasoline.

Guthrie Heli Arc is the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce 2015 Small Business of the Year.

(It is located at 6276 Clinton Street Road, Bergen. And although it has a Bergen address, it pays Town of Stafford taxes and for municipal permits and similiar issues, deals with Stafford government.)

Owners Matt and Meg Ryan purchased the company from Meg’s dad, Bill Guthrie, and became full owners approximately three years ago. Meg is president of the company and said "in a short time, we went from renters, to buying property, which quadrupled our space and currently have nine employees.”

They have also recently started to sell Primo grills, which are ceramic charcoal grill/smokers that are made in the USA.

Matt Ryan has a mechanical background from his experience in the Army and learned welding from Meg’s father and other workers. He is a certified welder and runs the shop.

Meg has a history of selling truck equipment. She originally worked with her father, then moved out of state where she gained sales experience.

Through the purchase of the business, they were able to retain some of Bill Guthrie’s core customers. They are members of the Genesee County Town Highway Superintendents Association and work with other municipalities. They are working hard, going door-to door, going out on the road, gaining more customer base and continuing to grow.

When asked what she is most proud of, Meg said “I am extremely happy Matt and I are able to do this together; happy to be in the Town of Stafford in a community that supports our business; and lucky to have good long-term employees."

March 2, 2016 - 1:16pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, Announcements, bed bugs, property management.

This information was provided by Cornell Coopoerative Extension of Genesee County:

StopPests in Housing is holding a Webinar “Bed Bug Control Starts With Good Contracts” from 1 to 2:30 p.m. EST on Tuesday, March 22nd. Property managers/landlords, procurement and other housing staff will gain an understanding of the importance of good pest control contracts in effective bed bug management.

This Webinar is open to anyone to participate but will specifically address the issues and needs of affordable housing providers. Registration is limited to the first 1,000 people. The Webinar will be recorded and archived at stoppests.org

To participate in the live event, register here Bed Bug Control Starts With Good Contracts

Speakers, Dr. Dini Miller from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and Dr. Stephen Kells from University of Minnesota will share their extensive knowledge of contract language and the oversight needed to ensure an integrated pest management (IPM) approach is taken with proactive inspections, record keeping, monitoring, and appropriate treatment protocols.

StopPests in Housing, a Northeastern IPM Center program, is funded by an interagency agreement between HUD’s Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes and the USDA. For more integrated pest management resources and training opportunities visit stoppests.org or e-mail [email protected]

March 2, 2016 - 11:22am
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCEDC, business, news, darien lake theme park resort.

Press release:

The Board of Directors of the Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) will consider a final resolution for Darien Lake Theme Park Resort’s Tourism Destination Project as well as an initial resolution for Mega Properties, Inc.’s Koolatron project, at its March 3 board meeting.

Darien Lake Theme Park Resort is planning to add two new park attractions, including a six-flume water slide and new roller coaster train for its 2016 operating season. The projected capital investment for both park projects is approximately $2.8 million. The company is seeking a total of $189,200 in sales tax exemptions for the construction and installation of the new rides and enhancements.

The board will also consider an initial resolution for Mega Properties, Inc., which provides distribution services to the United States for Koolatron Corporation, a Canadian-based manufacturer of consumer goods. The company’s distribution center has operated in Batavia since 1979 and plans to add 25,000 square feet to its existing facility in order to increase production.

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.

February 26, 2016 - 1:15pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, batavia, news, Alabama, STAMP, GCEDC.

Press release:

Brian Eller, COO of 1366 Technologies, the Massachusetts-based solar company and first tenant of the Town of Alabama's STAMP (Science & Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park), will be the featured speaker at the annual meeting of the Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) on Friday, March 4, at Batavia Downs.

Registration and networking begins at 11:30 a.m. and the event will conclude at approximately 1:30 p.m.

Other speakers include: 

·         New York State Senator Michael Ranzenhofer;

·         New York State Assemblyman Stephen Hawley;

·         Genesee County Legislature Chairman Raymond Cianfini;

·         Tom Kucharski, president and CEO, Buffalo Niagara Enterprise; 

·         Paul Battaglia, GCEDC Board chairman; and,

·         Steve Hyde, president and CEO of the GCEDC

“We are excited to welcome Brian Eller of 1366 Technologies to speak at our annual meeting as the company invests its capital and resources right here in Genesee County, which is expected to create approximately 1,000 new jobs,” said Steve Hyde, GCEDC president and CEO.

“We look forward to celebrating the future economic impact of 1366 Technologies in our region, as well as recognizing our many public and private sector partners who have made played a critical role in helping us grow our local economy within the past year.”  

The GCEDC will unveil its 2015 report and announce the recipient of the annual Economic Development Partner of the Year Award.

Tickets cannot be purchased at the door, and seating is limited. For more information or to register please contact Rachael Tabelski at 585-343-4866or at [email protected].

February 26, 2016 - 1:00pm
posted by Raymond Coniglio in Le Roy, Frost Ridge Campground, business, news.

The Le Roy Zoning Board of Appeals ruling in favor of Frost Ridge Campground, may have been one of its last as a joint town/village body.

The Town Board is moving forward with plans to consider creating an independent town ZBA.

The board voted unanimously on Thursday to schedule a public hearing for 7 p.m. March 10 on proposed Local Law No. 1 of 2016. The law would establish a three-member town ZBA.

This is the second time the board has scheduled a hearing on the proposed law.

Last November, the board voted to withdraw from the 2004 intermunicipal agreement that created the joint town/village ZBA. A public hearing on a law to create a separate town ZBA was scheduled for Dec. 10, 2015.

That decision came before the ZBA could comply with Supreme Court Judge Robert Noonan’s order for it to rule on the legality of camping, concerts and related activities at Frost Ridge Campground. Interim Supreme Court Judge Mark Grisanti subsequently ordered the town to cancel its public hearing, and for the existing ZBA to conduct a hearing on Frost Ridge by Dec. 18, 2015.

The ZBA met Grisanti’s deadline by a day, and officially ruled in favor of Frost Ridge on Feb. 17.

February 22, 2016 - 4:02pm

Press release:

The 2016 NYS Dry Bean Growers Meeting will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesday, March 16, at the Le Roy Country Club, 1 mile east of Le Roy on Route 5/East Main Road. Join us for production updates on Western bean cutworm, white mold, varieties and bean breeding, and soil health.

There will be a marketing update from Tim McGreevy, CEO, American Pulse Assoc., Moscow, ID, on: 2016 - International Year of Pulses: Why they are the Future of Food (dry beans/peas, lentils, chickpeas are pulses).

In addition, final results of Robin Bellinder’s reduced tillage dry bean weed control trials, and trials of potential new dry bean herbicides, will be reported. Food safety practices and documentation required by buyers will be covered. There will also be a report from the Dec. 1st Organic Dry Bean Discussion Group. The NYS Dry Bean Industry Committee will meet at 3:00 pm, and decisions on funding 2016 dry bean research will be made.

Lunch will include tasty, NYS dry bean dishes from the New York Coalition for Healthy School Food.  1.75 DEC credits (1a, 21, 23, 10) and CCA credits will be available. Preregister by March 10 to save $5!

Pre-registration: $20 for Cornell Vegetable Program enrollees receiving Veg Edge; $30 for all others. After March 10 cost is $5 more. Send a check made out to Cornell Vegetable Program – Dry Beans, to Cornell Cooperative Extension - CVP, 480 N. Main St., Canandaigua. NY 14424, Attn: Angela Parr.

Go to Events at: http://cvp.cce.cornell.edu/ for the agenda and a preregistration form. Sponsor opportunities are available from: Angela Parr at [email protected] or 585-394-3977, ext. 426. Questions or special needs: Carol MacNeil at [email protected] or 585-313-8796. In case of bad weather call 585-313-8796.

February 22, 2016 - 3:07pm
posted by Billie Owens in dairy farmers, agriculture, batavia, business.

The Laboratory Practices Committee of the NY State Association for Food Protection (NYSAFP), NYS Agriculture & Markets and Cornell University will again offer five Regional Laboratory Seminars, March 22 through March 30.

In Genesee County, one will be held in Batavia on Thursday, March 31, at the Genesee Co. Career Center, 587 E. Main St., Suite 100.

These programs are designed for those actively working in dairy product testing and quality assurance programs, but may be of interest to others (e.g., Certified Milk Inspectors, plant receivers, etc.).

Topics will include an overview and update of the proficiency/split sample program; a discussion on pathogen environmental monitoring (PEM) programs; detailed information on new/future requirements for drug residue testing under appendix N; and an FDA/NCIMS/NY state update. Complete course program and directions to each course site available here.

February 17, 2016 - 10:50pm
posted by Raymond Coniglio in Le Roy, Frost Ridge Campground, business, news.

2172016frostridgeruling.jpg

Frost Ridge Campground owner David Luetticke-Archbell embraces campground manager Janet Whitney — popularly known as “Miss Gabby” — after the joint Le Roy Zoning Board of Appeals issued a decision in favor of the campground Wednesday night.

The long battle is over, and won, for Frost Ridge Campground.

The Le Roy Zoning Board of Appeals on Wednesday ruled in favor of Frost Ridge, finding it a prior nonconforming use. The ZBA determined that “ambiguity” in the town zoning law, leaves room for camping and “attendant recreational activities” including live concerts.

That brings to an apparent close, a three-year legal battle over the Conlon Road facility.

Frost Ridge owner David Lueticke-Archbell was visibly relieved after ZBA Chairperson Debbi Jackett read the decision during a brief meeting in Town Court.

“Wow,” Lueticke-Archbell said. “Wow.”

“I’m so thankful that (the ZBA) took the proper time to really research it and come up with a decision that fit with what was legally right,” he said.

The Frost Ridge site has been used as a campground for decades. David and Greg Luetticke-Archbell have owned the the property since 2008, and have been hosting outdoor concerts there since 2012.

In 2013, the ZBA determined that the concerts are allowable under town zoning law. That decision prompted court challenges by neighbors and the Town of Le Roy. Last April, Supreme Court Judge Robert Noonan invalidated the ZBA’s ruling on technical grounds, and ordered a new public hearing.

That hearing was finally held on Dec. 17, 2015. After 90 minutes of testimony, Jackett said the ZBA would issue its ruling within the legally allowable 62 days — a deadline met on Wednesday.

David Luetticke-Archbell described the experience as a “roller coaster.”

“It’s been difficult,” he said. “The main thing, for me, is I felt like we haven’t been able to service our guests well during this time — not as well as we normally would.”

For Luetticke-Archbell, Wednesday marked the end of one chapter, and the start of another.

“For the legal stuff, this should be the end of the road,” he said. “And, God willing, that will offer some opportunities that we can do this in a way everybody can be happy with.”

Luetticke-Archbell said he would work with his attorney, to make sure the campground runs “by the book.”

“This is about people going on vacation and enjoying themselves,” he said. “We want to make sure everything we do is within the confines of what is allowable.”

Town Supervisor Stephen Barbeau has said the Town Board would abide by a ZBA determination that follows a formal application and public hearing. Wednesday night, he said the Town Board will not be discussing the ZBA ruling.

Neighbors who might disagree with Wednesday’s ruling, are however free to challenge it in court, he said.

About 20 people attended Wednesday’s meeting, many of them Frost Ridge supporters who applauded after Jackett spoke.

The meeting was scheduled for 7:30 p.m., and was officially adjourned at 7:38 p.m. Board members did not accept questions.

———

The ZBA ruling is an interpretation of two sections of town zoning law: Section 165-13, “Nonconforming uses, lots and structures”; and Section 165-39(B), which regards campsites. The following, is a partial transcript of the ruling as read by Chairperson Debbi Jackett:

We, the Le Roy joint Zoning Board of Appeals, conducted a hearing on Dec. 17, 2015, at 7:30 p.m. at the Le Roy Town Hall … The purpose of the hearing was in response to the application for interpretation filed by David Luetticke-Archbell as agent of applicant Frost Ridge Campground LLC, located at 8101 Conlon Rd. in the Town of Le Roy, N.Y. …

The application particularly requested an interpretation of whether zoning code of the Town of Le Roy allows for camping and attendant recreational activities including live and recorded amplified music, concerts and limited food service at the property as a prior, nonconforming use under Section 165-13 and, or likewise, as an exempt campground under Section 165-39(B)

The board notes this application is the first written request furnished by the applicant to this board.

We find that sections 165-13 and 165-39(B) of the zoning code of the Town of Le Roy, have ambiguity regarding the activities of the applicant on the property. We therefore interpret the zoning code of the Town of Le Roy does allow for camping and attendant recreational activities including live and recorded amplified music, concerts and limited food service at the property and is a prior nonconforming use under the aforementioned sections. We further direct that the complete written decision be field in the office of the the Town Clerk within five business days.

February 11, 2016 - 5:02pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, batavia, L & L Transmission, news.

landltransdigestfeb2016.jpg

If you play basketball or baseball, you hope to get a write-up in Sports Illustrated, a musician, Rolling Stone, a chef, Cook's Illustrated.

If you're a mechanic, a three-page spread in Transmission Digest puts you at the top of your game.

The folks at L&L Transmission were elated yesterday when the latest edition arrived and there they were on page four.

"It's pretty exciting for us to be featured in a nationwide magazine," said Danyell Selapack.

The article begins where Leon Selapack began, at 14, working in an automotive shop in Williamsville.

In 1978, he returned home to Batavia and opened a single-bay shop on the Southside. In 1998, he moved the business to its present location on Route 98.

The article also covers his inventions, including a two-piece plastic gear for Ford three-speed transmissions. It was a replacement part for a Ford-built part that often broke. The repair involved removing the entire transmission and tearing it down. With the new invention, the transmission could remain on the car and the new part easily slipped in.

Ford eventually fixed the problem.

"If I had invented it five years earlier, I would still be in Tahiti," Leon said.

To read the full story, click here.

Pictured, Danyell, Leon and Cameron Selapack.

February 11, 2016 - 3:50pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in darien lake theme park, Darien, business.

Press release:

Today, Darien Lake, Western New York’s largest theme park, announced a $1.5 million capital investment that will be used to build a new extreme water ride – the RipCurl Racer. Upon the approval of an incentive package from the Genesee County Economic Development Center and building permit completion, the park will begin construction on the new water ride, with plans to be fully operational for the water park’s 2016 opening on May 21.

The RipCurl Racer Experience:

42 feet above the pool, six mat-riding competitors launch themselves headfirst into side-by-side tunnels and rocket through the twisting tunnels before accelerating into separate racing lanes.

Riders drop and slide down the home stretch, enjoying speed, compression and zero-gravity moments as they blast into a high-velocity finish.

“Bringing in RipCurl Racer, the third new thrill ride to join the park’s lineup over the past year, is really exciting for us,” said Chris Thorpe, general manager at Darien Lake. “The continued growth and expansion at Darien Lake is a testament to our dedication to providing guests with the best entertainment value in the region.”

“As one of the premier tourism destinations in Western New York, Darien Lake once again is investing in Genesee County,” said Genesee County Chamber of Commerce President Tom Turnbull. “It’s been proven in the past that adding new ride attractions increases the number of visitors to the park and we’re expecting the new RipCurl Racer will do the same. And that’s good not only for Darien Lake but for Genesee County as a whole.”

Paying for itself in just two visits, Darien Lake’s 2016 season pass is a greater value than ever before!

The park is open May 7 to Sept. 25 and welcomes overnight guests in a wide range of accommodations – from a full-service hotel and modern cabins to rental RVs and campsites. For more information or to order season passes, visit www.DarienLake.com.

February 10, 2016 - 1:07pm
posted by Billie Owens in bergen, liberty pumps, business.

(Above is the XLE50.)

Press release:

The new X-Series by Liberty Pumps are heavy cast iron sewage and effluent pumps designed specifically for use in hazardous locations.

The XFL- and XLE-Series meet the standards required in hazardous locations. Available in ½ and ¾ hp, these pumps have been certified to Class 1, Division 1, Groups C & D and Class 1, Zone 1, Groups IIA and IIB.

Both series’ feature a dual-sized discharge, 2-vane semi-open cast iron impeller (bronze optional), epoxy powder coat finish, dual silicon carbide shaft seals with seal fail sensor and stainlefile:///Users/BillieOwens/Desktop/XLE50_70.jpgss steel fasteners.

In addition, Liberty has added the ISS- and ISD-Series intrinsically safe control panels for use with X-Series pumps.

For more information contact Liberty Pumps at 1-800-543-2550 or visit the Web site at www.libertypumps.com.

(Below is the XFL50.)

February 10, 2016 - 12:32pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Park Road, Batavia Downs, batavia, business, news.

redfieldccjan102016.jpg

Members of the Batavia City Council are ready to raise a ruckus about a proposal for the Town of Batavia to sell a portion of Park Road to Batavia Downs, leading to a closure of the road to thru traffic.

About a dozen Redfield Parkway residents attended Tuesday's council meeting to express their concern about the potential for increased traffic on their residential street if Park Road is closed.

"Redfield will become the new Park Road," is the battle cry.

But that won't necessarily be the case, said Mike Nolan, COO of Western OTB. A traffic study commissioned by Batavia Downs indicates there will be minimal impact on city streets, Nolan said.

"We've been working on this for a year," Nolan said. "We've met with all the stakeholders, the business owners on Park Road, the Sheriff's Office, the fire department and we're trying to mitigate the impact in every way. This wasn't just something thought up a month ago."

City Manager Jason Molino worried that the traffic study doesn't really address the impacts on parallel streets, such as Redfield, Bogue, Union, all the way down to Oak Street.

A couple of weeks ago, Park Road was closed on an emergency basis because of construction work related to the new hotel at Batavia Downs and traffic backed up on Redfield. 

Nelson Baker (top photo) and other speakers expressed concern that the congestion represents Redfield's future if Park is closed.

Maybe, maybe not, Molino said.

"Obviously, people are concerned with that closure that is going to be the type of traffic congestion that could take place," Molino said. "That has some merit to it. On the flip side, it was an emergency and that is going to cause traffic to congest because nobody has time to plan on getting around it. If the closure is well known ahead of time, then people have time to plan. With one incident, it's hard to judge, but it certainly raises awareness and puts focus on it."

That congestion was a one-time event and the traffic study indicates people will find alternatives, more sensible routes, if Park is permanently closed, Nolan said.

The main issue for Batavia Downs, Nolan said, is one of pedestrian safety.

When the racetrack was first built in 1940, the kind of high-volume entertainment center Batavia Downs has become wasn't envisioned, so building it right on Park Road wasn't an issue.

Last year, more than a million people visited Batavia Downs, creating two million pedestrian crossings on Park Road, and Batavia Downs is just going to continue to grow, Nolan said. 

"This is all about trying to solve a big problem, and that's public safety," Nolan said. "That is what the town and Batavia Downs are addressing."

The City Council will take up the issue at its next conference meeting to discuss drafting a letter to the Town Board opposing the plan and maybe directing a council member to personally carrying the city's concerns to the town.

The decision is entirely within the hands of the Town of Batavia. All the city can do is share concern and monitor the issue.

"We as a city are going to be affected and we don't have a say in this, so I would encourage everybody in the city to speak out to the town as well," said Councilman John Canale. "I'm not sure how much of an effect that is going to have on the decision, but it's frustrating because it's going to have a negative effect on city streets."

February 8, 2016 - 4:32pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, GCEDC.

The annual meeting and luncheon of the Genesee County Economic Development Center is planned from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Friday, March 4, at Batavia Downs in the Paddock Room. Cost is $20.

Keynote speaker is Brian Eller, COO of 1366 Technologies. Honored guests planning to attend are Senator Michael Ranzenhofer, Assemblyman Steve Hawley and GC Legislature Chairman Ray Cianfrini.

This is an excellent opportunity to network with economic and elected leaders from around the region and get an exclusive preview of what the economic landscape holds this year.

The year 2015 of a landmark year for Genesee County and the meeting will feature highlights from it.

Please register in advance by contacting Rachel Tabelski, GCEDC Marketing & Communications director, at: [email protected] or by phoning her at 343-4866, ext. 12.

Batavia Downs is located at 8315 Park Road, Batavia.

February 5, 2016 - 3:42pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in wbta, batavia, business.

dandebwbta75.jpg

Submitted story:

WBTA Radio, Genesee County's only locally owned commercial radio station, marks its 75th year of broadcasting this Saturday.

The station went on the air at 7 a.m.,  Thursday, Feb 6, 1941. It has been licensed as WBTA since its inception.

The first voice on the air was that of the “genial” Jerry Flynn who opened the program, “Rise and Shine,” according to an article published in the Daily News. Flynn became better known later as a sports announcer. The station's studios and offices were located on the second floor of 90 Main St. in Batavia where they remained until 1957.

WBTA studios moved several times over the years. Its next location was 22 Seaver Place, now the JCPenney store's loading dock. For several years the station occupied the second floor and later the first floor of 413 Main St. at the corner of Harvester Avenue. The station moved to 113 Main St. in 2004 when it was purchased by its present owner, HPL Communications, Inc., owned by Daniel and Debrah Fischer.

As the studios and offices moved, the station's transmission and tower site has remained on Creek Road in the Town of Batavia. In the early years, an engineer was required to be at the transmission site whenever the station was on the air. Technical improvements in the late 1950s allowed the station to be remote controlled from the studio.

The station was originally owned by three Batavia residents: Joseph Ryan, of Union Street; Edward P. Atwitter, of East Main Street and Edmund R. Gamble, of Vernon Avenue. Gamble also served as the general manager.

After the outbreak of World War II, several members of the station's staff left for military service including Gamble.

The next local owner of WBTA was William F. Brown. Brown was best known for his regular editorials on local issues. He won 16 Best Editorial awards from the New York State Broadcasters Association.

Brown expanded the station's news coverage, which was apparent in the 1971 coverage of the Attica Prison Revolt.

In February 2004, the Fischers' formed HPL Communications, purchased WBTA and moved to Genesee County.

New digital studios were built and WBTA moved to its present location at the corner of Main and Center streets, which became the name of the station's morning talk show, “Main & Center.”

From 1977 to 2000, WBTA operated an FM station that was licensed to Attica, NY. The station was sold and became WLOF, which beams Catholic programming into the Buffalo area.

Under HPL, the station launched another FM station in 2014. It is licensed under the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) translator rules and allows WBTA to broadcast in stereo at 100.1 Mhz. The station also streams 100 percent of its programming on the Internet at WBTAi.com and via mobile devices with custom apps for Android and iPhone systems.

“We are proud of WBTA's legacy of service to Batavia and Genesee County,” Fischer said. "As a licensee of a broadcast station, we pledge to the FCC to 'serve the public interest, convenience and necessity as a public trustee.' ”

WBTA is known in the industry as a “heritage” station, Fischer added, “our listeners have grown up with us.” Over the years we have reported individual milestones: births, anniversaries and obituaries. In times of war, the station has reported on service of local men and women in uniform.

The station has broadcast hundreds of local sporting events and have followed area high school teams to regional and state championships. WBTA has been the broadcast voice of Batavia's professional baseball team, the Muckdogs.

Through affiliations with national news organizations such as ABC Radio, WBTA has provided coverage of the most notable events of the 20th and 21st centuries including the Pearl Harbor attack, the assassinations of the 1960s, wars in Korea, Vietnam and the Middle East, the manned moon landing and the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

“Radio broadcasting has certainly undergone significant changes over the past 75 years and will continue to change and evolve over the next 75 years,” Fischer said, “but I believe its basic commitment to serving the public interest will never change.”

Photo by Howard Owens. Pictured, Dan and Debbie Fischer.

February 5, 2016 - 11:42am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Tonawanda Valley Federal Credit Union, crime, batavia, business.

Press release:

Attention Tonawanda Valley Federal Credit Union Members: We have been made aware this morning, Friday, Feb. 5, that an automated call is being made to members and non-members saying that TVFCU needs their card information. This is a scam and you should hang up the phone immediately.

Please do not enter any information during these phone calls! TVFCU will never call and ask for your card number or any other private information. 

If you have given your card information during the phone call and you are a TVFCU member please call us at (585) 343-5627.  

If you are a non-TVFCU member please contact your own financial institution. 

We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you.

UPDATE 1:30 p.m.: Officials at the Le Roy Federal Credit Union contacted us to report many of their members are reporting the same scam. "We've been getting many calls and walk-ins from members stating that they have been receiving these calls as well. We also advise to NEVER give out card/account numbers over the phone. If they have questions, they may call us at (585) 768-7207," says Kimberly Antinore, Member Services, Le Roy Federal Credit Union.

February 4, 2016 - 1:04pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, pathway to prosperity, business, bdc, GCEDC.

A plan hatched by the City, the Batavia Development Corp. and the Genesee County Economic Development Center to redirect some money generated by economic development into brownfield area cleanup received the support Wednesday of the county's Ways and Means Committee.

The committee approval means the proposal will be voted on by the full County Legislature at its next meeting.

The plan, unique in the state, called Batavia Pathway to Prosperity, will create a fund from PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) payments that can be used for environmental clean up on properties within the city's brownfield opportunity area, a 366-acre designation covering the city's core.

A PILOT provides a business undertaking local economic development (creating jobs, increasing the tax base, adding to local economic growth) with a break in taxes for the increase in assessed value on the property being developed. Typically, if a business puts a new building on vacant land or adds onto an existing building, the assessed value of the property will increase, which means higher property taxes paid to the city (town or village), school district and county. A PILOT reduces those taxes in exchange for payments to the taxing jurisdictions. The payments could be in the range of 70 percent of what the increase in taxes would have been without the PILOT. The property owner still pays 100 percent of the taxes on the original assessed value. PILOTs typically run for 10 years on a graduated scale, with property taxes due increasing every two years over the life of the PILOT.

The new program would redirect half of the PILOT payments from projects in the city to an investment fund (a PIF) that would be available to property owners in the future who wish to redevelopment brownfield properties and need assistance with the environmental cleanup.

"This creates a fund that gives the BDC and the EDC working together and providing collective oversight the opportunity to look at broad range investment opportunities," said Steve Hyde, CEO of the GCEDC. "(The projects) still have to be for the public good, but (the property owner) can turn around and maybe do some creative financing type of things to really move some property and get them redeveloped and start to heal the poverty and blight down in our core."

Marianne Clattenberg, now a legislator but a former City Council president, said the city has needed something like this for a long time, but had other problems to solve first before something forward-looking could be brought to the table.

"We knew going in we could never do this by ourselves, that we needed partners and we needed to have everybody on board and engaged to bring the city back to where it needs to be," Clattenberg said. 

County Manager Jay Gsell said a program like this could spark a renaissance in the city.

"The need is unique and this is the kind of structural financing that gives the adroitness necessary to having this kind of money available," Gsell said.

The committee also approved a city plan to provide tax relief on so-called zombie properties. The program would provide a PILOT-like tax abatement on the increase in assessed value of a home that is currently vacant and has been vacant for some time that a person buys, renovates and then lives in. While the abatement isn't available to an investor who buys a zombie house, fixes it up and then rents it out, the abatement could be available to the next owner if that same investor fixes it up and then sells it to an owner-occupant. 

There are 50 to 60 such zombie properties in the city, not all of which can be saved, but some retain some value and could be renovated. The property must be single family, or converted to a single-family residence.

Hyde said the two programs together are the sort of thing that can spur economic development in the city's core and attract the Millennials who will be taking jobs at STAMP (Alabama's Science and Technology Manufacturing Park) to the city.

February 4, 2016 - 11:48am
posted by Howard B. Owens in chamber of commerce, business, batavia.

Renovation work on the future home of the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Bureau could begin in early spring, said Chamber President Tom Turnbull.

The chamber completed the purchase of the property at 8276 Park Road, Batavia, on Friday.

A request for construction bids on the project should go out in the next couple of weeks.

The chamber anticipates spending $900,000 on the project, which involves totally renovating and reconfiguring the building into office and meeting space suitable to the needs of the chamber and tourism bureau.

The location was selected in a large part because of its proximity to the Batavia exit for the Thruway and the concentration of hotels in the area.

The chamber purchased the building for $275,000.

The cost will be reduced a bit because of significant donation to the project by U.S. Gypsum.

Ray Dunlevy, a Gypsum executive in Oakfield and a member of the Chamber's board, came forward and said Gypsum would donate all of the drywall for renovation.

Nearly every current wall will come down inside the building, and new walls will go up, so it's a significant contribution to the project.

Turnbull really doesn't know the exact value of the donation. He said maybe $4,000 to $6,000.

"Everyone I talk to, and I'm not a contractor, says, 'that's worth thousands of dollars,' " Turnbull said.

The project's architect, Ed Smart, has been in touch with the general manager for Gypsum in Oakfield, Jim Perry, and Turnbull said Perry's message to Smart was, "Just tell us what you need."

The drywall is manufactured in Aliquippa, Pa.

Turnbull said nobody asked Gypsum for a donation. Dunlevy spoke up at a meeting and made the offer.

"It shows what a good community partner they are, just stepping up," Turnbull said. "They volunteered it and it's wonderful. It's going to help the project quite a bit."

File photo.

Pages

Subscribe to

Calendar

S M T W T F S
1
 
2
 
3
 
4
 
5
 
6
 
7
 
8
 
9
 
10
 
11
 
12
 
13
 
14
 
15
 
16
 
17
 
18
 
19
 
20
 
21
 
22
 
23
 
24
 
25
 
26
 
27
 
28
 
29
 
30
 
31
 
 
 
 
 

Copyright © 2008-2016 The Batavian. Some Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
Original content available for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons license.
Contact: Howard Owens, publisher (howard (at) the batavian dot com); (585) 250-4118

blue button