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January 15, 2015 - 1:23pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, Genesee County Airport, P&L Air.

Pete Lockner has decided retirement is for the birds. He'd rather get back to doing what he loves: teaching people to fly.

Next week, the County Legislature will be asked to sign off on a new one-year lease for Lockner to open -- we should say, reopen -- P&L Air, a flight school, at the Genesee County Airport.

Lockner and a partner (hence P&L) first opened a flight school in Batavia in 1986. Lockner bought out his partner when he took an early retirement from Kodak and grew the school into an operation with 10 aircraft for students to rent and learn in.

"I taught people how to have fun for 17 years and it was great," Lockner said.

After 17 years of fun, Lockner sold the business, but that operator eventually closed up shop and moved to Florida.

A second flight school opened, but was forced out of business 18 months ago in a tax dispute with the State of New York.

While taking in the dry heat of Albuquerque, N.M., Lockner heard of the vacancy at his old airport and saw it as an opportunity to get back to doing what he truly enjoys.

P&L will be a small enterprise to start, with only one single-engine plane, but Lockner is ambitious. He hopes to have a second plane in a year or so and add on from there.

"In a couple of years, I'm hopeful the business grow like it did before," Lockner said.

Lockner's interest in aviation goes back to his college days, but didn't start flying until his wife bought him a gift certificate for ground school for Christmas when he was 40.

Bit by the bug, Lockner is licensed to fly everything from a single-engine plane up to a commercial airliner. 

P&L will provide pilot training for beginners and beyond.

The basic single-engine pilot license without an instrument rating is pretty much all anybody needs to fly to any destination in the world, Lockner said.

He used to fly all over the country on such a license. 

"The private pilot license is most useful because as long you don't worry about bad weather, you can fly anywhere you want," Lockner said.

County Highway Superintendent Tim Hens said Lockner returning is welcome news.

The one-year lease will expire about the time the airport will get a new terminal, and P&L, if successful, could be a nice anchor tenant.

"It's nice to have him back because he knows the airport and he knows the market, so I think he will be successful," Hens said. "He's a good pilot."

January 15, 2015 - 8:01am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, sports.

Getting young athletes ready to compete at a higher level is one of the primary missions of Athletes Edge, a new training facility on East Main Street, co-owned and operated by Ben Buchholz.

Buchholz is a coach with Batavia High's football and baseball programs and he said what he's seeing today is local schools squaring off against Monroe County schools, and those athletes have taken on more challenging training routines during the off-season.

It's no longer enough just to show up on the first day of practice and expect to be ready to go. Young athletes need to train during the off-season.

"We're falling behind what we have to do to help us get better in every aspect of sports," Buchholz said. "We need to do more off-season stuff and this gives kids a chance to really get in here and do it. Now a lot of kids are doing a lot more off-season work and it shows in season. To compete, you've got to do it because everybody else is doing it."

The Blue Devils' deep run in post-season football is an example of how good off-season training can pay off, Buchholz said.

When you walk into Athletes Edge, if you're expecting a gym, you'll be struck by what you don't see. There are no weight benches, universal machines, dumbbells or barbells.

Modern athlete training is no longer about just pushing around heavy slabs of cast iron.

It's about speed, agility and stamina, and that's where Buchholz puts the emphasis.

The training tools at Athletes Edge involve boxes and stretch bands, but much of what is taught and trained is about body weight.

Plyometric workouts, which involve body weight and explosive movements, are a big part now of even the most elite athlete's daily routine.

"It's getting away from lifting huge heavy weights and getting into more athletic movement with strength," Buchholz said.

The facility's batting cage and pitcher's mound might leave the impression on a visitor that there is an emphasis at Athletes Edge on baseball, and that wouldn't be an incorrect perception, but the facility and training is open to all athletes and all sports. Notre Dame hockey, for example, is considering a team training session, Buchholz said.

Le Roy and Alexander's baseball teams have both already been in for a session since the business opened a month ago.

There's training available, also, for younger athletes. Athletes Edge is sponsoring travel baseball teams for youths from 8 and under to 12 years old.

Buchholz also hosts group events, such as birthday parties for youths. Those events might involve activities such as dodgeball or kickball or other activities.

"Whatever parents want to do, we set it up and just roll with it," Buchholz said.

Athletes Edge is located at 214 E. Main St., Suite #3, Batavia. The phone number is (585) 356-5995. The business is co-owned by Sam Antinore.

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

After 29 years of Gerace family ownership, Bob Harris Realty, has been sold to RealtyUSA, a company with 2,100 agents in offices from Albany to Buffalo.

The merger was announced at the Bob Harris offices on Ellicott Avenue this morning by Merle Whitehead, president, CEO and sole owner of RealtyUSA, with Joe and Lois Gerace at his side and their sons John and Robert standing nearby.  

"We acquired the assets of Bob Harris Realty, but more importantly, we acquired a household name in Batavia in realty," Whitehead said. "What a great asset for RealtyUSA to enter this market with such a strong family name and reputation, so we're really excited."

Founded in Williamsville in 1959, RealtyUSA grew to be the market leader in the Buffalo area and has expanded over the years through acquisition, Whitehead said, to become the market leader in Rochester, Syracuse, Albany, Corning and Elmira.

Last year the company handled $3.6 billion in transactions.

Lois Gerace said she will remain active in the business and doesn't plan to retire just yet. 

"I'm looking forward to at least another five years, easily," Gerace said.

John Gerace will be the manager of the RealtyUSA office.

Whitehead said his company will be able to bring resources to Bob Harris that the company didn't have on its own, such as training and the ability to hire more agents. The corporate office will also take on many tasks involved in running a real estate business, including marketing.

Lois Gerace said the new technology RealtyUSA is able to provide will benefit the business.

"We think we're going to provide better service to our customers, and we're excited," Gerace said.

While recognizing that the Bob Harris brand is well established in Genesee County, Whitehead said given the strong market presence RealtyUSA has to the east and to the west, changing the local name of the business only makes sense.

"We have an incredible Web site," Whitehead said. "It's been named the fourth best real estate Web site in America, so we want to use realtyusa.com to market in this area."

The acquisition is effective today.

January 12, 2015 - 8:00am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, High Voltage Tattoo.

High Voltage Tattoo and Piercing is hosting its annual tattoo and piercing event to benefit local charities Friday and Saturday from noon to 8 p.m. on both days.

Tattoos, based on available selections, are $35 each and piercings are $15 each.

Proceeds benefit Volunteers for Animals, HomeCare & Hospice, and Justice for Children.

The event always draws a big crowd, so you want to arrive early.

High Voltage is at the corner of West Main Street and Thomas Avenue in Batavia.

Pictured are James Gommenginger, Jeremy Fridman and Mark Fanara.

January 7, 2015 - 10:44am
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, UMMC.

Press release:

United Memorial Medical Center in Batavia has joined Rochester Regional Health System, becoming a full affiliate effective January 1, 2015. Rochester Regional is the newly formed health system that combined Rochester General and Unity Health Systems in July 2014.

The Genesee County hospital announced its intention to join Rochester Regional in February 2014. While United Memorial is very strong financially, hospital leaders recognized that changes in health care threatened the long-term outlook for independent rural health care providers. Joining the large regional system will enable continued and even enhanced local services for Batavia-area patients. United Memorial will maintain its name and a local board, and will continue its longstanding tradition of providing a wide range of medical and acute care services in Batavia.

“The full affiliation of United Memorial is another example of how Rochester Regional is creating a model health care system that helps communities get healthy and stay healthy,” said Eric J. Bieber, MD, President & CEO, Rochester Regional Health System. “Our model will maintain access and control cost by keeping care within the local community with seamless access to the highest quality specialty acute care for patients throughout the region, no matter where you live or through which system-wide door you enter.”

The partnership mirrors a trend among successful hospitals and health care systems nationwide. These system affiliations address the economic realities that community hospitals face with health care reform, enabling them to continue to offer a full range of primary and secondary services locally, while providing a gateway to the best clinical care available when more highly specialized care and technology – like cardiac surgery, stroke services, neurosurgery, and other complex services – are required.

“Joining Rochester Regional Health System secures our ability to provide quality health care to our community for the long-term,” said Dan Ireland, President, United Memorial Medical Center.

“Though most patients won’t notice any difference at the hospital, they will benefit from greater access to specialized services and technology available through the Rochester Regional network.”
The two health care institutions are no strangers to each other, having collaborated in the areas of Cardiology, Pathology, Surgery, Urology and Gastroenterology since 2008, and most recently partnered to open a Cancer & Infusion Center at United Memorial.

In making its decision to affiliate with Rochester Regional in early 2014, the United Memorial board cited the system’s longstanding focus on high-quality patient care and safety, its expertise in clinical integration, its comprehensive medical and surgical specialties that will enhance existing services available in the Batavia community, and its successful track record of collaboration with smaller acute care hospitals and physicians. 

January 7, 2015 - 10:38am
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, chamber of commerce.

Press release:

The Genesee County Chamber of Commerce has announced a series of business workshops for 2015 in conjunction with the United States Small Business Administration. 

The workshops are open to all Chamber and non-Chamber businesses and their employees and will offer expert advice from experienced business professionals designed to help small businesses succeed and grow.

“We’re excited to introduce this series of workshops this year,” said Tom Turnbull, president of the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce.  “The Chamber’s mission has always been to create an environment for business success and we believe these workshops fit right in with our mission.  Each workshop will give business owners and their employees valuable insights on a specific business subject.”

The 20l5 workshop schedule is as follows:

  • February 11 “Marketing Your Small Business”
  • March 11 “Financing Your Venture”
  • April 8  “Home-Based Business Strategies For Success”
  • May 13 “Selling and Succession Planning”
  • June 10 “Women-Owned Small Business Workshop”
  • September 9 “Holiday Campaigning For Your Small Business”
  • October 14 “Profit Improvement Strategies – Increasing Your Cash Flow Now”
  • November 18 “Customer Service That Wins Sales”

All workshops will be held at the Chamber of Commerce office, 210 East Main St., Batavia.  The sessions will run from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. Businesses may attend any one or all of the workshops.  Cost for non-Chamber members is $10 for each attendee.  Chamber members may attend all sessions free of charge but must make reservations to insure space for their employees. 
To reserve a seat in any workshop or for more information, contact Kelly Bermingham at 585-343-7440 or by email at  [email protected].

January 6, 2015 - 3:14pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements, business.

Press release:

Wilmot Cancer Institute Batavia, formerly Batavia Radiation Oncology Associates, has opened its offices at 262 Bank St. after several weeks of construction.

With the renovated and expanded space, the clinic now features an outpatient blood draw laboratory, and larger clinical examination rooms. As part of Wilmot Cancer Institute, the Batavia clinic will give patients in Genesee and surrounding counties access to precision diagnostics, targeted therapies, clinical trials and the UR Medicine e-record system.

In addition to providing radiation therapy, the clinic will provide chemotherapy and infusion services, which are expected to be available in Batavia by Spring.

Kevin J. Mudd, M.D., who served as medical director for Batavia Radiation Oncology for 14 years, continues to see patients at Wilmot Cancer Institute Batavia as a member of the University of Rochester Medical Center faculty. Mudd and other providers who see patients at the Batavia clinic will be able to participate in weekly tumor board sessions and other consultations to provide a truly multidisciplinary approach to cancer care.

"I am excited to resume our practice of high-quality cancer care here in this community and to see our services growing with our integration with URMC and Wilmot Cancer Institute,” Mudd said.

Jonathan W. Friedberg M.D., M.M.Sc., director of Wilmot Cancer Institute said "Cancer care has become so complex, and it requires an entire team to address every aspect of the disease. It starts with the diagnostic process and continues through treatment decisions, follow-up care, and survivorship or palliative care, if needed. Our Institute brings that comprehensive level of service every step of the way, in a setting that’s convenient no matter where you live.”

The Wilmot Cancer Institute is the Finger Lakes region’s leader for cancer care and research. As part of UR Medicine, Wilmot provides specialty cancer services at the University of Rochester Medical Center and at a network of satellite locations. Wilmot Cancer Institute is a component of Strong Memorial Hospital. The Institute also includes a team of scientists who investigate many aspects of cancer, with an emphasis on how best to provide precision cancer care.

January 2, 2015 - 1:05pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Pavilion, UMMC.

Press release:

United Memorial Medical Center is pleased to welcome the Genesee County New Year’s Baby for 2015. Kynlee Lynne Holland, a baby girl, was born to Jonathon and Danielle Holland of Pavilion, NY on Thursday, January 1st at 1:25 a.m. at United Memorial Medical Center in Batavia. She was delivered by certified midwife, Kim Danser, CNM. Baby Kynlee weighed 7 pounds, 6 ounces and was 19-inches long. She is the second daughter for the new parents. She has a sister, Makenna, age 6, waiting anxiously for her at home.

Both parents work in shipping and receiving. Mrs. Holland is employed at Walmart in Batavia, NY and Mr. Holland works for Quaker Muller Dairy in Batavia, NY.

As the New Year’s baby, Kynlee and her parents received a $200 gift card to Target, an engraved feeding spoon, books and a touchless thermometer from United Memorial Medical Center.

In 2014, there were 646 babies delivered at United Memorial.

December 31, 2014 - 3:59pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements, business.

Press release:

Independent Living of Genesee Region, in conjunction with the Genesee County Career Center, will be holding a one-hour workshop for prospective employees and working individuals with disabilities. The workshop is designed to inform individuals of their right to request and use "reasonable accommodations” within the workplace.

Examples of reasonable accommodations may include: better lighting for individuals with visually impairment; an extra 10-minute break during the work shift to check insulin levels for people living with diabetes; an extended start time to travel to work and/or additional preparation time for individuals with mobility challenges.

The workshop is being offered on two separate dates: Thursday, Jan. 15th and Thursday, Feb.12th from 10 to 11 a.m. at the Genesee County Career Center, 587 Main St., Suite 100, Batavia.

These sessions are FREE and pre-registration is suggested.

Have questions? Interested in registering? Call Donna Becker at (585) 815-8501, ext. 411, today to reserve your spot! Seats fill up quickly so do not delay.

December 30, 2014 - 2:03pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, downtown, The Yngodess Shop.

The family of Samuel J. Caito placed a memorial today to the former liquor store owner in front of the YNGodess Shop on Main Street, Downtown Batavia, the location of his former shop.

His father, Augustino, opened the store right after the end of Prohibition in 1933. It was the first post-prohibition liquor store in Batavia.

Samuel owned the store until 1985.

He was also a teacher at Notre Dame and Batavia Middle School.

Click here for his full obituary.

December 29, 2014 - 4:33pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, housing, Big Tree Glen.

The office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced today funding of $16.5 million for 240 units of new affordable housing across the state, including more than $2 million for Big Tree Glen, a project being planned for West Main Street Road, Batavia.

From the press release:

This $12.2 million project is being co-developed by Conifer LLC and United Memorial Medical Center to consist of 56 affordable rental units in seven two-story buildings. The project meets the Early Award Housing Opportunity Project goal in that the project will be served by Pembroke School District, one of the highest-performing districts in Western New York. The project is also in close proximity to jobs, shopping and services. The Town of Batavia supports the project, as evidenced by the approval of a Special Use Permit, approval of the preliminary site plans, and the issuance of a negative SEQRA declaration.

HCR funding for this project will be provided through a Housing Trust Fund award of $1,382,135 and through a $775,583 award of Federal Low-Income Housing Credit, which will leverage Bank of America and CPC loans of $2.2 million and $1,050,000 respectively, $120,000 of NYSERDA funds, and a deferred developer fee of $208,612.

Previously:

December 29, 2014 - 1:21pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, wbta, business.

Out on Creek Road is a long, tall structure the folks at WBTA affectionally call "the stick." It's where the over-the-air signal for the 73-year-old AM radio station is transmitted. Today, in our 28-degree weather, a crew installed a new FM antenna that will enable you to hear "one of America's two great radio stations" at 100.1 FM. WBTA (1490-AM) will start simulcasting on both frequencies Feb. 6. The station first went on the air Feb. 6, 1941.

December 22, 2014 - 11:28pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, GCEDC.

Press release:

Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) president and CEO Steve Hyde provided the GCEDC board of directors a report on the agency’s annual performance in 2014 at its December board meeting.  The report included a review of year-to-date capital/business investments, pledged job creation estimates, advancement of the shovel ready phase of STAMP and initiatives with local governments, among others.

Hyde reported to the board that the GCEDC exceeded its capital and business investment goal of $32 million with a total of $58.07 million invested on various projects throughout the year, including the expansion of Yancey Fancy’s in Pembroke and Liberty Pumps in Bergen.  The agency did not achieve its pledged job creation goal of 200 with the pledged creation of approximately 141 jobs from new projects in 2014.

At the same time Hyde noted, the agency was able to put together an incentive package to retain approximately 98 manufacturing jobs at U.S. Gypsum in Oakfield.  In addition, agency staff helped the new owners of P.W. Minor navigate through the state funding process which helped keep the company open retaining approximately 50 manufacturing jobs in Batavia.

"It was another good year for the agency in terms of creating new jobs as well as retaining jobs at US Gypsum and PW Minor," said Wally T. Hinchey, Chairman of the GCEDC.  “The Genesee County economy continues to be one of the strongest in the region and 2015 should be no different as STAMP continues to move forward."

Significant strides were made to bring STAMP further along in making the site shovel ready for future development, including survey work, engineering and design work for water and sewer infrastructure. Of note was the dedication of $33 million in the New York State 2014-2015 budget for STAMP.  The GCEDC staff continues its close collaboration with New York State and NY Loves Nano to market and promote the STAMP site nationally and internationally to high tech manufacturers.

Another performance goal for 2014 was to enhance initiatives and outreach with local government entities throughout Genesee County.  The GCEDC worked closely with the Town of Batavia to secure potential funding opportunities to extend existing infrastructure at the Agri-business Park.

Lastly, GCEDC conducted outreach meetings with various localities as well as collaboration with the City of Batavia, Batavia Development Corp. and the Batavia Business Improvement District to implement the re-development of the Batavia Opportunity Area (BOA).

“The performance goals set by the GCEDC are certainly challenging, but if there was not a collective belief that we have the right formula for economic success, then we would not create such aggressive targets,” said Hyde.  “We look forward to generating even more economic development success in 2015.”

December 22, 2014 - 7:03pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia Downs, business.

The new entrance and lobby for Batavia Downs is nearly complete and is open now.

There is some finish-up, "trim" work to complete, said Ryan Hasenauer, marketing director for Western OTB, but otherwise, it's good to go.

December 21, 2014 - 9:34pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, GCEDC, National Grid, STAMP.

Press release:

National Grid’s latest grant of $500,000 in the Science and Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park (STAMP) site in the Town of Alabama in Genesee County has now reached the $1.5 million threshold. Since 2007, National Grid has provided STAMP with various economic development grants to the Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC), which is developing the site and marketing it to corporate site selectors as well as nanotechnology and advanced manufacturing companies throughout the United States and the world.

“We are extremely excited to have such strong support from National Gird to help us bring the next generation of advanced manufacturing to Western New York,” said Steve Hyde, president and CEO of the GCEDC. “STAMP has received significant support from business, education and economic development groups and organizations from Buffalo and Rochester, so it is truly a collaborative effort to bring this transformative economic development project to our region.”

STAMP is a 1,250-acre site and is aligned to attract the next generation of nanotechnology companies, including semiconductor chip fabs, flat panel displays, solar, bio-manufacturing, and advanced manufacturing companies to New York State. Most recently, STAMP was appropriated $33 million in the 2014-15 state budget to bring the site to a shovel-ready status. This funding will be used for pre-construction engineering, sewer and water lines and other utility hook-ups and other infrastructure enhancements.

“We have seen a number of major gains in the bringing new and advanced technologies to the region, and we’re confident that STAMP will continue the significant economic development momentum in the region in the science, technology and advanced manufacturing areas,” said Dennis Elsenbeck, regional executive for National Grid in Western New York.“

“The GCEDC has an excellent track record in economic development, as evidenced most recently by the construction of the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park, which led to the construction to two major yogurt manufacturing facilities,” said Arthur W. Hamlin, director, economic development and corporate citizenship at National Grid. “We are optimistic that the same ‘build it and they will come’ approach used at the agri-business park will also reap significant economic development and job outcomes at the STAMP site.”

STAMP is located in the New York Power Authority’s (NYPA) low-cost hydropower zone. The site is within a 60-minute commute of 2.1 million residents from the Rochester and Buffalo metro regions as well as six university centers with more than 17,000 enrolled engineering students. According to GCEDC officials, STAMP has the potential to generate $30-$50 billion in investment and employ up to 10,000 workers on-site. The supply chain impact could add another 50,000 jobs.

The grants to the GCEDC are from a number of National Grid programs, including the Strategic Economic Development Program designed to increase effective marketing and sales initiatives aimed at “strategic targets.” This program provides expertise and incremental resources to leverage more and better macro-level business attraction research, marketing and sales efforts. Other grants have helped support hard infrastructure improvements to the site. Information about National Grid’s suite of economic programs is available at www.shovelready.com.

December 19, 2014 - 2:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Rancho Viejo, El Burrito Loco.

How would you like your burrito? Hot and spicy or mild and flavorful? Steak, ground beef, chicken or pork, or maybe just beans and rice? However you like your burritos, whether it's the same recipe today and tomorrow or you like to mix it up every day, Leon and Maryez Ramirez promise you this: It will be made from only the freshest ingredients. 

The couple, who also own Rancho Viejo Restaurant on Ellicott Street, decided to open their new place, El Burrito Loco, in the Valu Plaza because they thought Batavia needed a place like this.

"The reason we came out with this idea is because there's nothing like this in Batavia," Leon said. "People are always looking for different places to eat and me and my wife always had this idea."

The restaurant seats 60, but burritos and tacos always make great to-go food.

Maryez is planning on expanding the menu to include salads -- healthy salads, she says, and always fresh -- and natural fruit drinks.

The Ramirez's said Rancho Viejo is doing very well and they think the new place will complement their existing restaurant, offering another style of food and dining for residents hungry for Mexican cuisine.

"We want to invite people in," Leon said. "Me, my wife and my family, we appreciate everybody in Batavia and surrounding areas for their support at Rancho and we hope they like this one, too."

Photo: Leon, Maryez, Alicia and Elkim.

December 12, 2014 - 8:00am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Oliver's Candies.

Some might call the Oliver's Candies sign iconic, but objects only become iconic with age, and age means expensive to maintain and problem-plagued.

That's the case with this sign, according to Jeremy Liles, general manager of the family business.

The sign really needs to be replaced, Liles told members of the Genesee County Planning Board Thursday night, which reacted initially with kind of a collective gasp.

The planning board was asked to review the proposal because Oliver's is seeking a special sign permit for the replacement sign. While smaller than the old sign, it will still stand 20 feet tall and be nine feet wide.

If you grew up in this community, you grew up with this sign and all that it represents. The sign has been in place since at least the 1950s. Liles is nervous some might react negatively to replacement of the sign, but he said every effort has been made to ensure it maintains its classic character.

The logo will change, the color scheme will change, but it will still be close to the same size and shape, will still be lit with neon and bordered by white light bulbs.

The new sign will be more energy efficient and will also feature a programmable message board, which, by law, will only post a new message in each 24-hour period. The update will mean no longer assigning an employee the task of changing the message on the board by hand on a less frequent basis.

Such a change of a seemingly iconic sign in Batavia isn't anything new. In 2012, Batavia Downs took down its classic neon sign and replaced it with a sign that uses LED lights, but otherwise looks exactly like the old sign. If you didn't know better, it would be hard to tell the difference.

That's the hope of Liles with this sign change, he said. In fact, Oliver's will hire the same company as Batavia Downs to build and install the new sign.

After cutting the expense of maintenance and electricity, the next important reason for changing the sign is for Oliver's to be consistant in its branding. The current logo is the Oliver's name with a cup pouring chocolate, which is not part of the current Oliver's sign.

"Brand recognition is important," Liles told the board. "You all recognize the Nike swish when you see it and when the world sees that logo I want them to think chocolate."

The new sign will also use the brown chocolate color that is part of Oliver's branding scheme now.

The county planning board recommended approval of the new sign permit. The City's planning board must approve it next before work can begin.

Below is an artist's rendering of the proposed new sign.

December 12, 2014 - 7:45am
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, Pavilion, planning, land use.

Dollar General would like to build a new store in Pavilion, but the proposal got a cold reception from the Genesee County Planning Board on Thursday night.

The proposed location is less than 1,000 feet from the high school, and with heavy, speedy truck traffic on Route 63 and no sidewalks between the school and the store, board members thought the location presents a safety hazard.

Planners also thought the proposal doesn't fit within Pavilion's comprehensive plan.

However, the location is the one picked by town officials, Todd Hamula, a development manager for Zeremba Group, who is representing Dollar General in the project.

Originally, the company was looking at a location closer to the school, but town officials were worried about students leaving campus to go to the store, so a compromise was found with the location further away.

The location also gives the town a chance to appeal to the Department of Transportation to lower the speed limit along that stretch of road to 35 mph (the location is right near the current dividing line between a 35 mph zone and 55 mph zone).  

Hamula said Dollar General wants its stores on roads with speed limits less than 55 mph, which ruled out locations further south.

He also said the company picked the location because they believe it's well suited to the comprehensive plan. He said rezoning the property would merely extend the current business district area around Route 63 and Route 19.  

Planners thought it too far away from the current business area to meet that goal.

"We work really hard to make sure we don't bring a proposal for rezoning unless we have local support and that it doesn't go against the comprehensive plan," Hamula said.

While the town seems to take a dim view of a store within walking distance of the school, county planners were scratching their heads over the decision. The original proposed location would have sidewalks and a pedestrian tunnel nearby.

"If the concern here is traffic and kids walking, moving the location does not really solve that," said Board Member Lucine Kauffman. "I think it makes the danger even greater. Now they're walking further and there's no sidewalks."

She thinks regardless of the location, kids are going to walk to it for drinks and food.

"I think it's great idea to have place where kids can walk to after school to have a snack," Kauffman said.

The negative vote doesn't kill the project. The town planning board can still approve it with a vote of a majority plus one.

Hamula said he will pursue that outcome with the town planning board.

December 11, 2014 - 11:55pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park.

The Cuomo administration is handing out more than $1.8 million in grants to Genesee County projects, officials announced today.

The awards are part of $80.7 million in grants for the Finger Lakes Region of Empire State Development.

The largest award locally -- $1.5 million -- is going to Genesee Biogas, a Warsaw-based company looking to build a biogas generator in the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park.

Sen. Charles Schumer issued the following statement about the award:

“I was pleased to help make Ch4 Biogas’ first on-farm biodigester at the Synergy Dairy in Wyoming County a reality back in 2011, and I was pleased this year to support their application to ESD to replicate that success with the new Biogas Plant in Batavia. This cutting-edge facility is a win, win, win: it will provide renewable energy to the Ag Park, home to companies like Muller Quaker and Alpina yogurt, reduce the need to send waste to landfills, and help attract new businesses to locate to the Ag Park.” 

Previously: Company pitches idea of plant that converts food waste into energy at planning board meeting

The City of Batavia is also receiving two awards. There is $200,000 for a micro-enterprise fund. The money is to be awarded to 10 local businesses, five of which must be owned by low- to moderate-income people. The program is expected to create 10 new full-time equivalent jobs.

The city is also receiving $75,000 to draft a new comprehensive plan. 

"The plan will include public participation, an assessment of existing conditions and the development of goals and objectives based on LEED for Neighbhorhood Development," states the award announcement. "This project will promote the goals of the Finger Lakes Regional Sustainability Plan and serve as a model for other rural cities."

The Town of Batavia will receive $30,000 for eastside sewer planning.

The Village of Alexander will receive $30,000 for wastewater infrastructure evaluation.

The Village of Bergen will receive $30,000 for collection system study.

All of the projects are meant to spur economic growth.

In 2011, the Cuomo administration established 10 regional economic development areas. The 10 areas compete with each other for funding each year.

The largest chunk of funding this year went to the Southern Tier, which is receiving $80.8 million.

Western New York, which includes Buffalo, but not Batavia, received more than $50 million.

State Assembly Majority Leader Joseph Morelle issued the following statement:

"The $80.7 million in funding awarded today will move us closer to our goal of securing a brighter economic future for Rochester and all of the Finger Lakes Region by creating thousands of new jobs and leveraging hundreds of millions in new investments."

December 8, 2014 - 6:00am
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, thebatavian, Sponsored Post, advertisement.

Reposting the announcement below as a reminder that our contest starts today.

Some of you may have already noticed -- there are a couple of sponsor's ads on the right side of the page that if you mouse over the box, it flips over to reveal a secondary message.

This is a new concept in online display advertising and locally, it's only available onThe Batavian and the Wyoming County Free Press.

To help kick off the introduction of Flip Ads we're running a contest over four days this week (four days between Monday and Friday). We will randomly pick an ad on the site and make it a Flip Ad, and the secondary message will be a secret code. The code will go up at some unannounced time during the day and stay up until we have a winner. The first person to e-mail me, [email protected], with the correct code, will win $25 cash. (In your e-mail, include your full name and address. By participating and claiming you're prize, you're agreeing that we can use your name to announce the day's winner).

Easy to win: mouse over ads and find the Flip Ad with the secret code, like an Easter Egg hunt.

Sponsors: Interested in Flip Ads? Contact Lisa Ace, [email protected], or (585) 250-4118, to sign up.

CLARIFICATION: The contest isn't just to identify which ads are Flip Ads. It's to find the one that has a secret code under it. When you flip the ad, there will be a word or numbers or phrase that you need to e-mail to me. I'm getting a lot of people sending me the names of the advertisers with Flip Ads (Reed Eye and Kreative Kitchen), but that's not how the contest works. But thanks for playing!

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Copyright © 2008-2017 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

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