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March 12, 2016 - 1:35pm
posted by Billie Owens in Genesee Urgent Care, GCC, batavia, news, business.

Press release:

Distance barriers and transportation issues are no longer obstacles for Genesee Community College students at the Batavia Campus Center seeking access to medical services. With its partnership through Genesee Urgent Care, the College’s Health Services is pleased to now offer telemedicine, technology that provides clinical health care at a distance.

Through the use of video exchange, telemedicine provides patients with access to a licensed medical professional in real time, regardless of where they are located. Developments in telemedicine technology have opened the doors of possibilities, adding tools such as a stethoscope and ophthalmoscope that integrate simply through a USB port. These tools allow patients to be seen for low level and primary care, as well as interface capabilities with specialists. Telemedicine can share X-ray images with orthopedics and electrocardiograms with cardiologists. These advancements not only improve access, but also reduce costs and improve quality.

“While access to the Telemedicine Network is currently only available to students at the Batavia campus, the intent is to grow this to GCC’s other campus centers as well,” said Genesee Urgent Care President Melissa Marsocci.

Students interested in being covered under the telemedicine technology through Genesee Urgent Care will need to purchase one of two available plans. A basic plan, costing $60 per semester, covers a student with unlimited telemedicine access to a licensed medical provider for illnesses including cold and cough, flu, sinus infection, sore throat, urinary tract infection, rash and poison ivy, pink eye, sexually transmitted diseases, mono and bee stings. The plan also includes diagnostic tests through lab work. Lab tests that are covered include pregnancy, mono spot, rapid strep, RSV and influenza. Any additional lab testing would have to be sent out, and the student would be billed for the cost.

An additional plan is available starting at $300 and includes the same coverage as the basic plan, in addition to injuries such as fractures, dislocations, minor eye problems, sprains and strains, cuts and lacerations and burns. The plan also includes additional diagnostic tests, providing lab work, X-ray and EKG.   

Covered students in need of medical services that utilize the telemedicine technology will need to check in with Health Services at the Batavia Campus in room B109. The technology, a Polycom device known as an HDX4500, is used to “call” the urgent care center where the patient and attending nurse can see and hear the urgent care staff. In instances where prescriptions are necessary, providers from the urgent care center can e-script the medication to the student’s pharmacy of choice. Some pharmacies include the option of delivery service, providing students a full medical experience without ever having to leave campus.

For additional information on Genesee Urgent Care, telemedicine and coverage plans available to GCC students, visit http://www.geneseeurgent.com/gcc-plans.html.

March 11, 2016 - 7:22pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in darien lake, darien lake theme park, Darien, business.

Press release:

Darien Lake Theme Park is enhancing its popular in-park laser show Ignite the Night with the addition of full-color laser beams, extra pyrotechnics, an all-new soundtrack and radio frequency-driven LED color wands that enable guests to “glow with the show.” This advanced technology brings an exciting new element to a long-standing park tradition.

The new handheld color wands are integrated with the show, flashing and glowing a kaleidoscope of colors throughout the performance. Guests can purchase color wands for $8 and have a souvenir of their family-fun experience for long after the show concludes.

Ignite the Night has been part of Darien Lake’s free family entertainment since 1992. The show started with simple green and yellow lasers, which were New Age at the time. The show has seen several enhancements over the years, including a 3D laser show introduced in 1995 and the addition of a 100-foot-wide water screen and hydro-cannon blasters in 2013.

From its humble beginnings to today’s fully modernized production, the show has paid tribute to our American heritage, and still to this day “Proud to be an American” by Lee Greenwood closes every show with a blast of fireworks.

“Our Ignite the Night laser show is the perfect way to end a fun-filled day with us,” said Darien Lake General Manager Chris Thorpe. “Families gather at the lawn on a warm night and look to the sky for a spectacular and magical experience.”

Ignite the Night, presented by Tops Friendly Markets, takes place every evening at 10:10 on the lawn at the Lakeside Amphitheater from May 20th to Sept. 4th. For a full list of special park events click here.

March 9, 2016 - 1:50pm

Press release:

The Batavia Business and Professional Women's Club announces its annual scholarship and Community Service Awards and is calling for applications and letters requesting consideration, respectively.

The BBPW has been giving scholarships since 1961. The number and amount of the scholarships given is dependent on the club’s annual fundraiser.  Scholarships are given for high school seniors as well as a returning student from Genesee Community College and two students from Genesee Valley Educational Partnership.

Applications and all required information must be postmarked by April 9th.

Qualifications:

  • Genesee County High School Senior (male or female);
  • Maintained an 85-percent average;
  • Complete one-page application (https://bataviabpw.wordpress.com/scholarship/bbpw-scholarship-application-2016/ or seek out the school guidance counselor as they have been provided with the information as well);
  • Attach a letter of recommendation from a school staff member;
  • Submit a personal essay discussing their achievements and future goals;
  • Submit an essay from a parent.

Mail all required information with the application to:

Batavia Business and Professional Women’s Club

Attention: Scholarship Committee

P.O. Box 1778

Batavia, NY 14021

 

The BBPW also offers monetary awards for Service Groups in June.

Letters requesting consideration for Service Awards must be postmarked by April 22nd.

Qualifications:

  • Please share with your local service groups that they need to send a short letter requesting to be considered for our Service Award on service group letterhead to:

Batavia Business & Professions Womens’ Club

Service Award

P.O. Box 1778

Batavia, NY 14021 

 

Any questions, contact Brenda Miller at [email protected]

March 9, 2016 - 1:11pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, Batavia Development Corp., BEST Center.

Press release:

Calling all aspiring entrepreneurs and restaurateurs! Here’s your chance to find out if you have what it takes to achieve small business success. The BEST Center at Genesee Community College is partnering with the City of Batavia and the Batavia Development Corporation (BDC) to offer a three-part “Owning Your Own Business” program designed to inspire creativity, fine-tune skills, and chart a true course to prosperity. Those interested will be able to explore, experience, and connect with resources that can help turn a dream into a reality.

“This round, we are encouraging foodie’s who are looking for an affordable turn-key space to open a restaurant AND qualify for up to $5,000 grant to get started in our new freshLAB restaurant incubator,” said Julie Pacatte, Batavia Development Corporation. “However, the series is fitting for all business prospects.”

The professionally facilitated program, “Get Underway: Small Business Ownership Series,” begins with a series of FREE one-hour workshops where participants will explore business opportunities, assessing their personal readiness to own and operate a new business. Each session will run from noon to 1 p.m. in the Richmond Memorial Library, 19 Ross St., Batavia.

The following four sessions are planned and participants are encouraged to attend each one:

  • March 9th         Do I have what it takes to own a small business?
  • March 16th       Can I earn a living through my passion? Why didn’t I think of that business? 
  • March 23rd       How much money do I need to start a business?
  • March 30th       The Sniff Test, assessing your business idea!

The sessions are FREE, you may register online at http://www.genesee.edu/best/ or at the Richmond Memorial Library before class.

The second part of the program 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 will run from 6 to 9 p.m. at the GCC Batavia Campus. The Wednesday evening sessions also feature topical guest speakers:

  • April 6th           Trials, tribulations & skills of a successful business leader
  • April 13th          Marketing strategies to increase sales
  • April 20th          Using financial information to guide my business
  • April 27th          Learning to “manage” a business
  • May 4th             Business plan presentation and networking

The five-week course costs $125 and participants will receive a certificate upon successful completion. Registration for this course is also available online at http://www.genesee.edu/best/. Questions please contact the Batavia Development Corporation (BDC) at 585-345-6380.

On a parallel path, the BDC will help entrepreneurs navigate the many options available to help fund their business start-up or expansion. Loan and grant programs are available from the city, Genesee County Chamber of Commerce and the Genesee County Economic Development Center.

“We’ll meet individually with entrepreneurs to discuss the best options that match their qualifications and needs,” said Julie Pacatte, Economic Development Coordinator. “We’re very excited to introduce the new opportunity for aspiring restaurant operators, too!”

The Small Business Ownership series is funded, in part, by the New York State Office of Community Renewal Community Development Block Grant. 

See the Small Business Ownership Series program brochure and freshLAB overview attached. For more information, contact Julie Pacatte, Batavia Development Corporation, at 585-345-6380 or [email protected].

March 8, 2016 - 7:53pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, steve hawley, business.

Press release:

Today is Small Business Day in Albany, and Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) is touting New York’s small businesses as one of the driving forces of our state’s economy and pledged his support as budget negotiations heat up this month. Hawley has been a small-business owner for more than four decades and continually advocates to keep profits local and cut taxes and regulations.

“I know firsthand what it takes to succeed in New York’s suffocating business environment,” Hawley said. “Our state is continually ranked last or close to last in terms of business friendliness and economic outlook and that is unacceptable. I know many small-business owners personally and I can attest to their heart and determination to provide a great life for their families and strengthen their communities by hiring local employees.

"As we head into budget negotiations, I plan to advocate for the hard-working men and women of the business community to make New York a better place for us all.”

Hawley, a staunch opponent of the governor’s planned $15 an hour minimum wage, offered some insight into what impact that will have on small businesses.

“A $15 minimum wage, as proposed by the governor, is the wrong approach for New York,” Hawley said. “The minimum wage is already slated to increase each year for the next several years. Only in New York State do we receive a raise and then complain that it’s not good enough. This measure will kill hundreds of thousands of jobs, according to the Empire Center, and force businesses to relocate to other states.

March 8, 2016 - 4:12pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in YMCA, UMMC, batavia, business, news.

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Last fall, the folks at the YMCA were looking at remodeling their aging facility on East Main Street. Time has taken its toll and what started out as a project that might need a few hundred thousand dollars soon ballooned into a $3 million estimate.

At that price, Executive Director Rob Walker said, maybe it was time for the Y to look for a partner. 

YMCAs in other communities found ready partners in local hospitals, so Walker, in his job for a little over a year, called Dan Ireland, CEO of United Memorial Medical Center, also in his job for a little over a year, and asked for a meeting.

It was a meeting of the minds.

Ireland was already thinking it would make a lot of sense for the hospital to partner in the Y. The missions align and the two nonprofit organizations share property lines.

The logical conclusion, build a new building that would meet the needs of both the Y and UMMC.  

The hospital owns property on three sides of the way, including the location of Cary Hall and the vacant lot (formerly the Elks Lodge) next to it. It would make a lot of sense, Walker and Ireland surmised, to build something new on that land and take the current Y building down.

A task force was formed, chaired by Mark Schoell, the retired CEO of UMMC, and including people such as City Manager Jason Molino, County Manager Jay Gsell, economic development coordinator Julie Pacatte and business leaders such as John Riter, of Merrill Lynch.

The planning process took another step forward today with a community forum, consisting of about 80 invited community leaders from throughout Genesee County, at City Church's Generation Center on Center Street.

Walker is quick to point out that the Y and UMMC are in the very early stages of the process, just pre-planning, but he and Ireland are pretty clearly enthusiastic about the idea.

"The level of cooperation and spirit of collaboration between the Y and the hospital has been fun, enjoyable and something that is going to be transformative," Walker said.

It's a great opportunity improve the level of health and well-being services for the people of Genesee County, Ireland said.

"Cary Hall is aging and needs work," Ireland said. "The Y is aged and needs work. We have a tremendous plot of land with parking and those buildings; we could really do a lot if we collectively come out with the right thing. The benefit to the hospital is new space so we can offer greater service.

This morning's forum was facilitated by Mary Ellen and Rick Peterson, both from the national YMCA office.  

The 80 or so participants were assigned groups of five or six people with a facilitator who helped guide the discussion and wrote group thoughts and ideas on white sheets of paper. The groups were asked to take about 12 minutes on each of five questions, such as what challenges the community faces, how those challenges can best be met, what can be done locally to help families, and how can personal well-being issues be addressed.

All of those sheets of paper -- dozens and dozens of them -- were gathered up after the meeting and the task force will now review them and use them to produce a report by May or June on how the Y and UMMC can best meet community needs and what should go into a joint facility to meet those needs.

"We can't just take the Y in Rochester or the Y in Buffalo and take a cookie cutter and drop it in Batavia," Walker said. "All the stuff that is in this room right now, on the walls, this is what we're going to take and make spaces to meet those needs. We don't know what it's going to look like, but it's going to be pretty."

Walker said the task force will also be able to draw on needs assessments completed by other area agencies over the past few years, such as the Office for the Aging, Health Department, school district and United Way.

The applause line of the morning came from one gentleman sitting at the back of the room who pointed out the participants were all white, and mostly close in age. He suggested there needs to be some needs assessments from a group with greater diversity and representing a broader range of community members.

Both Walker and Ireland said the gentleman's comment was right on target and that there were people invited who could bring greater diversity, but they didn't show, so there will be some follow up with them.  

"We recognize the need to strengthen the task force so there is an equal representation," Ireland said.

Walker was clearly energized by the morning's discussion and believes if all of these plans come together into a real project, it will transform Downtown, transform Batavia and, in fact, all of Genesee County.

"Today was pretty inspirational for me," Walker said. "The minds, the passion here for Batavia; it's a proud community. We have tremendous potential to make this projection transformational and make Batavia a destination city."

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March 8, 2016 - 3:28pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Chamber Awards, chamber of commerce, business.

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Saturday, the Genesee County Chamber of Comemrce held its annual awards banquet at the Clarion Hotel in Batavia.

Pictured are award recipients, back row: Jay Gsell, Tracy Miller, Pete Zeliff, Matt Ryan, Jeff Post, John Post and Rob Walker; front row: Pamela McCarthy, Loretta Miller, Susie Boyce, Meg Ryan and Shelley Falitico.

Photo courtesy the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce.
Photo by Mark Gutman/
Daily News.

For coverage of the award winners:

March 4, 2016 - 9:55pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in 1366 Technologies, Alabama, STAMP, GCEDC, business, news.

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gcedcannual2016-2.jpgWhen the 1366 Technologies plant opens in Alabama in 2017, it will be profitable on the first day of operation, Brian Eller, VP of manufacturing, revealed today during the annual meeting of the Genesee County Economic Development Center at Batavia Downs.

The solar wafer manufacturer has recently completed contracts with solar panel manufacturers that will fulfill orders for 60 percent of plant's production capacity, Eller said.

"This is part of the steady, deliberate process," Eller said. "We keep knocking them off to reduce the risk to the business, because if you sell everything before you start, then you execute, you don't have to go to market and figure out your market."

Eller was the keynote speaker for the annual meeting, which was attended by more than 350 people.

During his 20-minute presentation, Eller described the methodical approach 1366 Technologies has taken to build its business and the foundation for success. It's a classic start-up model: Begin with a prototype product and get it to market and see how it does, concentrate on a single product, then target a niche of customers, then scale your production once you're ready to reach a market with the potential to achieve substantial returns on investment.

The company was founded in 2008 in Bedford, Mass., where it set up a small, prototype plant to test its proprietary process for manufacturing silicon wafer chips for solar panels. That plant has produced and the company has sold thousands of wafers.

With the process established, 1366 began looking for a site appropriate for its business, settling on Alabama and GCEDC's STAMP project because of the promising local workforce, proximity to universities and the availability of clean, hydro energy.

"One of STAMP's strengths is the talent pool in the region," Eller said. “You know, the thing about changing the world is you need skilled people around you."

The company is planning a $700 million investment in its new facility, to be constructed on about 8 percent of the 12,500-acre WNY Science and Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park. STAMP is the brainchild of Steve Hyde, CEO of GCEDC. The center is assisting in the project with tax abatements worth a potential $97 million over 10 years. The state and federal government have also pledged millions for infrastructure at the project site, which GCEDC and regional economic development agencies are working to fill with other high-tech manufacturers.

When the plant is at full capacity -- producing enough wafers each year to provide three gigawatts of electricity -- it will employ 1,000 people. In the near term, 1366 will hire 150 people, though Eller said there isn't a timeline on the hiring process yet. The company is still in the process of hiring consultants, planners, architects and engineers.

Eller did promise the development process will be public and transparent and that all who compete for contracts on the project will do so on a level playing field.

Eller is full of confidence that 1366 will revolutionize solar technology.

"Our process slashes the cost of making the wafer in half and in doing so drastically reduces the cost of solar energy," Eller said. "Those reductions, well, they accelerate adoption. We believe solar will be ubiquitous. It will displace coal as the cheapest fuel source on the planet."

The current process, which the industry has used for nearly four decades, requires multiple steps, using several machines and takes days. The 1366 process involves one machine that will produce a new wafer every 20 seconds.

The technology was developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Instead of cutting and grinding solar ingots into flat wafers, which takes energy and produces waste, the 1366 process melts the silicon and floats it into thin layers that harden into silicon wafers.

Eller compared it to the Pilkington float glass process developed in the 1950s and still the process used today for manufacturing flat glass.

"Manufacturing process innovations like ours have true staying power," Eller said. "They simply don’t come along every day."

The solar industry is booming the world over.

Last year, 59 gigawatts of new solar capacity was brought online. That's the result of 240 million solar panels being produced. Eller said that's a big number, so to help understand it, he said, that's more electrical capacity than needed for a year by the entire State of New York.

"We make the most expensive part of the solar panel for half the cost," Eller said. "That was a hard problem to solve, but we've done it. Now we're free to pursue an $8 billion and growing solar market without distraction."

Eller acknowledged that there has been some bad news in the solar industry in recent years, with companies going under or changing directions, but Eller said the slow and deliberate process 1366 has pursued to build the company puts it in a position to succeed.

"The industry consists of exceptional businesses, both established and new, that are efficient, innovative and motivated," Eller said. "To be young in solar is not without its challenges and we are aware of other companies in solar that struggled to compete globally, focused on the wrong technologies or just simply scaled too quickly," Eller said. "We are focused on bringing a highly innovative product to market with deliberate and steady progress."

CLARIFICATIONS:

The folks at 1366 asked us to clarify, by "Day 1," they mean when the first plant is at full production, not the day the plant doors open. There will be a three- or four-month ramp up period to bring the plant up to production levels, which includes hiring and training workers.

Also, in reference to the amount of power from last year's productions of solar panels, we misunderstood.  It's not enough electricity to power of all of New York. It's enough for all New York households.

For prior coverage of 1366 Technologies, click here.

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Above, silicon nuggets. Silicon is produced from super heating silica, commonly found in sand, but also found in clay and rock (it's the most common mineral on the planet). When 1366 started to develop its process, silicon was still not a common wafer ingredient, but now 90 percent of all solar wafers manufactured today use silicon.

gcedcannual2016-4.jpg

Sen. Mike Ranzenhofer (above) and Assemblyman Steve Hawley (below) both spoke briefly and praised and thanked each other for their united effort to help provide the legislative support to bring 1366 to STAMP.

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Steve Hyde.

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Ray Cianfrini, chairman of the Genesee County Legislature.

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GCEDC presented an Economic Development Award to the Batavia Development Corp., represented by Ray Chaya, the City of Batavia, Eugene Jankowski, and the Town of Batavia, Patti Michalak. Steve Hyde, back row, and GCEDC Board Chairman Paul Battaglia to the right.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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