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May 20, 2017 - 11:26am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, batavia, news.

A bicyclist has reportedly hit a car at 375 W. Main St. Batavia.

Injuries are reported.

City fire and Mercy EMS dispatched.

May 20, 2017 - 11:07am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day, advertisement.

Reminders of how the new Deal of the Day program works:

  • To make purchases, you must be registered. This is its own registration system, separate from the main registration for The Batavian.
  • Once registered you must be logged in.
  • You click on the orange button, if the item is not sold out, and it takes you to a PayPal button. This allows you to pay either with your PayPal account or with a credit card/debit card. The login for PayPal is completely separate from our accounts.
  • The first person to successfully complete the PayPal transaction wins the gift certificate.
  • You are eligible to buy the same item only once in a four-month period. We use the registration system to track this for you so you don't have to.
May 19, 2017 - 7:43pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in hobbies, batavia, news.

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Plastic model hobbyists from throughout the Northeast were in Batavia today at the Quality Inn & Suites for their convention, NOREASTCON, which included displays, vendors, demonstrations, and contests that provided awards in multiple categories.

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May 19, 2017 - 5:54pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GO ART!, arts, entertainment, batavia, news.

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GO ART! opened two shows at Seymore Place last night -- the member's show, with the theme, "Summer of Love," in honor of the 50th anniversary of the hippies' heyday --summer of 1967, and "The Dream of America."

"The Dream of America: Separation & Sacrifice in the Lives of North Country Latino Immigrants," is a display of the photography and writing of Lisa Catalfamo Flores. It originally was on display at the Crandall Public Library in Glens Falls. GO ART! is its first stop on a statewide tour. The show will be on display through July 7.

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May 19, 2017 - 1:00pm

There should be no lack of motivation for Dairy Farmers of America to start production back up at the former Muller Quaker Dairy plant in Batavia it acquired in January 2016 for $60 million.

That was a big outlay on a plant that is considered state-of-the-art, is USDA certified, close to milk supplies, in the midst of a transportation hub, and cost PepsiCo and Theo Muller Group more than $200 million to construct.

There is also more milk being produced than there are places to process it in the Northeast and that has led to some milk dumping so it doesn't get added to the market supply.

Finally, there is the whopping $655,155 tax bill DFA paid in 2017 over and above what their obligation could have been with a new PILOT (Payment In Lieu of Taxes) agreement, which is wholly contingent on Kansas City, Kansas-based DFA putting the plant to productive use.

Genesee County Economic Development Center CEO Steve Hyde notified officials with City Schools, Genesee County and the Town of Batavia in January that those jurisdictions could expect suspension of the PILOT agreement Muller Quaker received to build the plant because there was no clear indication what DFA planned to do to live up the basic premise of the PILOT, which is that there would be people working at the plant.

"They will pay full taxes until it's back in productive use and people are back to work," Hyde told The Batavian. "DFA has been good with us and good to work with, but we want to see the plant back in productive use, and they want their members to be able to ship milk to that plant."

The Batavian obtained copies of the letters sent to local officials through a FOIL (Freedom of Infomation Act letter) request. The letters show that City Schools received an extra $427,397, the county received $180,476, and the Town received $47,282.

Hyde said the payment requirement was consistent with the original terms of the PILOT and would not have come as a surprise to DFA.

As for DFA's plans, spokeswoman Kim O'Brien said the plans are taking shape. It's a lot of work to bring a number of big players together to get a plant like this back into production, but she said DFA would announce its plans within weeks.

It's unclear if DFA will operate the plant itself, partner with other companies, lease it or sell it, and O'Brien said she couldn't comment beyond acknowledging that DFA would make an announcement soon.

There are reportedly other major players in the dairy industry interested in the plant and Shelly Stein, a co-owner of Stein Farms in Le Roy, a DFA member, said it's common knowledge that DFA has had the plant on the market, but she also doesn't know what DFA's plans are. She said she's just eager to see it processing milk again to help alleviate the oversupply problem for dairy farmers.

"In the dairy business, there are a lot of partnerships and relationships that go into running plants like this, and that's the model DFA uses," Stein said. "I believe that is still the thought process and as a member of the cooperative, I look forward to that plant being up and running, but at this point, all of the stars have to line up. The size of that plant means it's not going to be an overnight fix."

Sarah Noble Moag, of Noblehurst Farms in Linwood, and also a DFA member, said they are eager to see the plant reopen, but they also understand why it's taking so long to get something going.

"After having seen Muller Quaker come in with its business plan and fail, we want to see something for our local economy and our local jobs that is more stable, and if that takes a little more time to plan, then so be it," Noble Moag said. "We all know in this business how long those negotiations can take, especially for an asset that size."

According to documents obtained by The Batavian as part of a FOIL request, there was active communication between GCEDC and DFA, but in July, the communication, at least the written communication, abruptly stopped. We are told that's an accurate reflection of the state of things from that point forward, that there isn't any communication not part of the response to the FOIL request.

In February of 2016, DFA officials were diligent about making sure its logo was added to the business part sign along Route 5. In March, Chris Suozzi, VP of business development, started trying to find out from DFA officials what their plans were so he could put together a new incentive package that recognized the expense of the retooling of the plant.

Jackie Klippenstein, with DFA, asked for clarification on possible incentives on April 28, telling Suozzi, "it appears discussions at the end of the hall are intensifying."

In response, Suozzi wanted to know how much DFA was planning to invest in the plant. 

The number he got back was $250,000 for equipment and $100,000, rough estimate, for labor.

On April 29, 2016, he emailed Jackie Klippenstein to try and clarify DFA's plans.

"Based on other food processing facilities in our county, that number appears low, unless you're making yogurt," Suozzi wrote. "Can you share what products will be produced? Maybe I can understand better. Will you be using existing equipment from Muller Quaker Dairy? Do you already own equipment that you're bringing in? If so we will need to understand the capital expense."

He also asked, "is the 150 jobs to start or is a ramp-up schedule over the course of time (i.e. 2-year ramp up)?"

Suozzi apparently didn't get a response and followed up on May 3 and suggested a phone call.

Klippenstein responded May 10 and said, "We aren't quite ready -- but I expect information in the next 2-3 weeks. Stop and go, stop and go ... sorry but feeling optimistic."

Suozzi again followed up on June 1, 2016, and Klippenstein responded, "Thanks for checking in. I've been told July is the golden month when things will start to come together -- decisions made."

On July 6, 2016, Suozzi again requested a project update and the documents obtained by The Batavian, which we are told are complete, contains no response from Klippenstein or anybody else from DFA.

As part of the documents obtained by The Batavian, there is a state form DFA was required to fill out which lists employees and wages paid for 2016. The NYS-45-ATT shows DFA had seven employees at the plant with a total payroll of $408,006. The names of the employees are redacted, but the top gross pay was $72,195, with one other employee earning more than $70,000, two making more than $50,000, one making $41,883, and three earning at least $35,000. Their job duties are not listed as part of the form.

Hyde, like other officials we've talked to around the county, remains optimistic that the plant, so big, so well situated and well suited to dairy processing, will eventually be put to productive use. It's just a matter of time.

"It's not perfect what happened, but we have a couple hundred million dollar processing plant that is essentially new and largely funded on the backs of PepsiCo and Theo Muller," Hyde said. "We'll eventually have a production facility in there. It's a great asset to have in our community."

Stein, who is also a county legislator, agreed.

"It’s an asset that continues that get a lot of traction," Stein said. "I’m glad it’s in DFA’s hands. It’s the largest dairy cooperative in the nation. As a member, when a deal is worked out, whomever or whatever it’s going to be, it's going to be good for all milk producers in the area one way or another because it’s still milk."

May 19, 2017 - 11:53am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, Pavilion, news.

A motor-vehicle accident with injuries is reported at Perry Road and Big Tree Road, Pavilion.

Pavilion fire and Mercy EMS dispatched.

May 19, 2017 - 11:22am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Sallome Heating and Cooling, batavia, business, news.

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For more than 70 years, there's been a Sallome in the heating and cooling business in Batavia, and with John Sallome Jr. joining his father's business, the tradition looks to continue for decades more, at least.

"I went to school and all my friends were like, ‘it’s pretty cool that you get to work for your own family business instead of going to work for somebody else,' ” John Jr., said.

The 21-year-old Sallome, the son of John and Marianne, graduated from the heating and air technology program at Alfred State, where he was a top student and received the New York Propane Gas Association Ganey Memorial Scholarship Award and Air-Conditioning and Heating Outstanding Student Award.

After graduating from Batavia High School, John Jr. thought he might like to work in computers, but after starting down that path, he found it didn't really interest him, so he went to his dad and said, "I want to work with my hands like you."

John Sr., who joined the business in 1977 while still in high school, working for his grandfather, decided to put him to the test.

"I took him on some of the worst, dirtiest jobs we ever had and he loved it, absolutely loved," John Sr. said.

John Sr., who has no plans to retire anytime soon, said his son joining the business is "a dream come true."

"It’s great that my son has come into the business and I'm looking forward to the future with him," John Sr. said.

May 19, 2017 - 10:48am
posted by Howard B. Owens in United Way, sports, 5K.

Press release:

The United Way is proud to announce the 2017 United Way Race Series and Genesee County Runner of the Year Award.  This years series will include nine races and is sponsored by LaCivita Enterprises. The series begins this Sunday with the TVFCU 5K. Other races in the series include:

May 21st, TVFCU 5K, 3.1 miles

June 3rd, All Babies Cherished Run Baby Run 5K, 3.1 miles

July 4th, Kiwanis Independence Day 5K, 3.1 miles

July 15th, The OATKA 5K, 3.1 miles

August 19th, Don Carroll Toys for Kids 5K , 3.1 miles

September 4th, Jaycees Labor Day 5K, 3.1 miles

September 16th, ARC Friends and Family 5K, 3.1 miles

October 1st, Run for the ACORNS 5K, 3.1 miles

October 5th, YWCA Stiletto & Sneaker 5K, 3.1 miles

United Way Director Erik Fix says “The United Way believes that one of the keys to a successful community is the health of its people. To this end, the UW has created this series with the goal of increasing the overall health and wellness of our community. In its third year, the UW Race Series and Runner of the Year Award are designed to recognize the top runners in the Genesee County region, while promoting local races, and the sport of road racing in our community."

To be eligible for season-ending awards, participants must finish at least four events with results from a runners top five events scoring points. Overall and age group awards will be given. There is no need to register for the series. Participation in one of the events automatically qualifies you for the series.

Results will be posted on the United Way website www.uwgeneseecounty.org. Additionally, a booth will be set up at each event with current standings.

Cash prizes will be presented to the top 3 overall finishers in men’s and women’s divisions. Prizes are as follows:

Overall Male, $300

Overall Female, $300

Runner Up Male, $150

Runner Up Female, $150

Third Place Male, $50

Third Place Female, $50

Men and Women Age Groups – First through third places will receive non-cash awards.

If you are intersted in being a sponsor for the race series, please contact UW Regional Director Erik Fix at [email protected] or call 585-356-2814.

May 19, 2017 - 10:26am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Notre Dame, batavia, Batavia Kiwanis Club, news.

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The Top 10 students of Notre Dame High School were honored Thursday at the weekly luncheon of the Batavia Kiwanis Club.

Pictured are: Mckenzie Lynn Haller (first row, left), Hannah Bowen, Kyra Stella, Caleb Wolcott, Jordan Weatherwax, Kiwanis President Jocelyn Sikorski, Julia Streeter (back row, left), Theodora Bochicchio, Tyler Reese, Jacob Weatherwax, Erin Phillips, and Christopher Lemley.

May 19, 2017 - 10:05am

Press release:

Since 1993, Darien Lake Amphitheater has been bringing the biggest stars to Western New York. Over its history, well over 400 concerts have played its stage and in its 25th season, the lineup is proving to be one of its best yet.  The ceremonial season kicks off next Wednesday, May 24th, with Future and special guests Migos, Torey Lanez,  ASAP Ferg and Zoey Dollaz.

Not only does the venue have a great lineup to celebrate its 25th season but LiveNation is also rolling out some upgrades and special offers to make this concert season one to remember.

Great new things to enhance the concert experience at Darien Lake Amphitheater for its 25th season include:

Updated Aesthetics: Darien Lake Amphitheater’s concession stands and plazas are getting a new, updated look in 2017!  The updates include displays for photo opportunities & selfies, plus additional seating within the main plazas. Our concession buildings will receive a façade renovation and new TV displays.

Fans will even be treated to a beautiful starlight display projected under our amphitheater tent.

Free Theme Park Access: As previously announced, in celebration of Darien Lake Amphitheater’s 25th concert season, Live Nation is partnering with Darien Lake Theme Park to offer an amazing deal to concert ticket buyers for this season. Each ticket purchased for a concert at the amphitheater will include complementary same day admission into Darien Lake Theme Park!  The offer will be valid for all tickets purchased for any concert at the amphitheater that occurs during the theme park’s operating schedule.

The offer is not valid in conjunction with any other Darien Lake Theme Park offer and is non-transferrable. Free Theme Park access is only valid the same day as the concert ticket and is only valid on purchased tickets and not valid on complimentary concert tickets. Go to darienlake.com/concerts for full details.

More Concession Locations: Darien Lake Amphitheater will have a wide range of new food and beverage offerings this year. New selections include humanely raised food offerings and handcrafted show specialty cocktails, plus a savory selection of local food trucks including House of Munch, Center Street Smoke House and Buffalo’s Best. We will also feature craft beers on tap! Additionally, we will have more points of sale in our concession plazas and at our lawn points of sale to better serve our guests.

Public WiFi: New during the 2017 season, public WiFi will be available for guests within the venue grounds. WiFi accessibility at the Darien lake Amphitheater has never been available to concertgoers before now. During the 2017 season, guests will be able surf the Internet, access their mobile concert tickets and enjoy their favorite apps like theLive Nation app, all from the comfort of their seat or while exploring the venue grounds. This will become available later this summer.

Preferred Lawn: The Preferred Lawn is back for 2017! Each preferred lawn ticket includes a complimentary lawn chair rental, beverage cart access, as well as Early Entry with a hassle-free quick access into a separate, secured area. 

This summer’s spectacular 25th Season at Darien Lake Amphitheater lineup includes:

  • Future – Wednesday, May 24th
  • Chance The Rapper – Wednesday, May 31st 
  • Jason Aldean -  Saturday, June 3rd 
  • Florida Georgia Line  – Friday, June 16th
  • Train with O.A.R. – Tuesday, June 20th
  • Zac Brown Band  – Sunday, June 25th
  • Third Eye Blind  – Thursday, June 29th
  • Nickelback with Daughtry – Wednesday, July 12th
  • Vans Warped Tour – Thursday, July 13th
  • Chris Stapleton  – Sunday, July 16th
  • Chicago & The Doobie Brothers – Tuesday, July 18th
  • Foreigner with Cheap Trick  – Friday, July 21st
  • Kidz Bop Kids – Saturday, July 22nd
  • OneRepublic – Tuesday, July 25th
  • Brantley Gilbert  – Sunday, July 30th
  • Kings of Leon  – Wednesday, Aug. 2nd
  • Dierks Bentley with Cole Swindell  -- Friday, Aug. 4th
  • Goo Goo Dolls with Phillip Phillips – Saturday, Aug. 12th
  • Luke Bryan with Brett Eldredge – Friday, Aug. 25th
  • Green Day – Saturday, Aug. 26th
  • John Mayer – Sunday, Aug. 27th
  • Matchbox Twenty / Counting Crows – Monday, Sept. 11th
May 19, 2017 - 9:58am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day, advertisement.

Reminders of how the new Deal of the Day program works:

  • To make purchases, you must be registered. This is its own registration system, separate from the main registration for The Batavian.
  • Once registered you must be logged in.
  • You click on the orange button, if the item is not sold out, and it takes you to a PayPal button. This allows you to pay either with your PayPal account or with a credit card/debit card. The login for PayPal is completely separate from our accounts.
  • The first person to successfully complete the PayPal transaction wins the gift certificate.
  • You are eligible to buy the same item only once in a four-month period. We use the registration system to track this for you so you don't have to.
May 18, 2017 - 10:58pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, batavia, news.

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A garage fire is reported at 141 Ross St., Batavia.

City fire responding.

UPDATE 11:01 p.m.: City fire on location, smoke showing.

UPDATE 11:02 p.m.: Working fire, second alarm.

UPDATE(S)(By Billie) 11:14 p.m.: Fire is now coming through the roof and the south side of the garage.

UPDATE 11:26 p.m.: The structure is fully involved and flames are shooting at least 20 feet into the air.

UPDATE 11:34 p.m.: The chief on scene reports they're "making some progress" in getting the blaze under control.

UPDATE 11:38 p.m.: The fire appears to be knocked down pretty good; no flames are visible.

UPDATE 11:47 p.m.: Fire under control. Doing overhaul.

UPDATE 12:01 a.m.: City Fire Captain Dan Herberger said shortly before 11 p.m., the call came in for a garage fire on Ross Street. When they arrived a few minutes later, smoke was showing at the 25 by 60-foot structure. "It was a deep-seated fire with a fiberglass boat and several cars inside," Herberger said, adding that the presence of those vehicles amounted to a "tremendous load" for fueling the fire and that the garage was "very difficult to get in," and accessing it was "labor intensive." Firefighters got in through a front garage door; there were no other doors or windows. They had to cut holes in the rear and side of the garage to battle the blaze. The wind wasn't bad, but Herberger said there was "enough to knock smoke in your face and know it was smoke." The breeze also caused some concern about flying embers. The mission was accomplished in short order: "We deployed a line right away, got in right away away and put water on it."

UPDATE 12:50 a.m.: Elba and Town of Batavia Engine 24 back in service.

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May 18, 2017 - 10:40pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Taco Bell, KBP Foods, batavia, business.

The Taco Bell in Batavia is one of 85 KFC and Taco Bell locations acquired by KBP Foods.

Here's the press release:

KBP Foods, one of the largest YUM! Brands franchisees in the country, announced last week that it has acquired 85 KFC and Taco Bell restaurants, including 18 in New York. 

This acquisition comes as part of the company’s continued expansion. Since 2011, KBP Foods has grown from 64 restaurants to 449 KFC and Taco Bell restaurants across 20 states.

“This acquisition represents another significant milestone for our business, and we are proud to strengthen our footprint in New York,” said Mike Kulp, President & CEO, KBP Foods. “We remain focused on strategic growth that creates value for our business and career advancement opportunities for our employees. This acquisition achieves both of those goals – strengthening KBP Foods’ presence in several key markets, while accelerating professional growth for employees across our organization.”

“KBP Foods continues to pursue growth opportunities that make sense for our business, and this acquisition was a perfect fit,” said Barry Dubin, Chief Development Officer, KBP Foods. “The newly acquired restaurants complement KBP Foods’ geographic footprint, adding density to many of our existing markets while creating expansion into several adjacent areas.”

KBP Foods has been named a 2017 “Champion of Business” by the Kansas City Business Journal, which evaluates companies based on three key areas – financial performance and growth, innovation and charitable giving. In 2017, KBP Foods will raise and donate $1.3 million and 30,000 volunteer hours to new and existing charity partners (KBP Foods partners with local nonprofit organizations in every market it serves).

KBP Foods has also been named one of the 10 Fastest-Growing Restaurant Chains and one of the Top 100 Fastest-Growing Businesses in North America.

May 18, 2017 - 10:37pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in American Legion, Le Roy, news.

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Press release:

Empire Girls State is an educational Americanism program developed to offer a better perspective of the practical government operations and to emphasize the integral part that individuals have within a democratic government.

This program, which has been accredited by the New York State Board of Regents, is a nonpartisan attempt to teach the love of “God and Country” to America’s youth.
 
This year the program will be held at SUNY Brockport, qualified high school juniors are selected to participate in a weeklong, educational experience with hands-on workshops on government and the political process, designed to create a government from the county to the state level.
 
These service-oriented high school juniors are both scholar athletes that rank prestigiously at the top of their class. Sponsored by the local Auxiliary Unit #576 of Le Roy are Camryn Arthur, of 8631 North Street Road, Le Roy. Daughter of Robert and Justine Lathan-Arthur, her two older sisters are Casey and Kylynn. Camryn is currently Junior Class President at Le Roy Central and plays both varsity soccer as well as varsity tennis.
 
Attending Pavilion Central High School is Kimberly Davis (alternate), of 11050 River Road Pavilion. Kimberly is the daughter of Dale and Susan Davis and has one older brother, Christopher, and a younger sister, Anna. Kimberly is currently Junior Class Treasurer and plays for her school's soccer, basketball and track varsity teams.
 
This Empire Girls State program creates a mythical 51st state allowing students to learn the privileges and responsibilities of citizenship in a democratic society. These young women work tirelessly throughout the week as their participation allows them a greater understanding of their role within a democracy.
 
With the expertise of the department of Americanism chairman, 360 high school juniors from across the state will also learn proper flag etiquette during their week at Girls State. Students will participate in the creation and execution of either a flag lowering or raising ceremony. The citizens will also receive information on some of the programs that are important components of the organization.

May 18, 2017 - 10:31pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia HS, schools, education, news.

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Teachers and staff from Batavia High School were at McDonald's on West Main Street, Batavia, yesterday evening for McTeacher's Night, serving up meals to customers and helping raise more than $500 for the Class of 2020.

Photo and info provided by Lisa Robinson.

May 18, 2017 - 6:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, news, housing, planning.

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It takes good data to make good decisions and a lot of times when planners are considering housing projects, the developers with the proposals are the ones who have all the data.

A new housing needs assessment for Genesee County will help solve that problem, said Felipe Oltramari, the county's planning director. 

"(Developers) are not going to come into a market where they know there is no need," Oltramari said. "They did their own study, but it's a private study that is focused on their segment of the market."

As part of the needs assessment process, the county hosted an open house at the Senior Center on Bank Street last night, which gave the residents who attended an opportunity to provide feedback on what they see as local housing issues, whether it's too much stock in one place, or of one type, or not enough of something.

Oltramari said the comprehensive study will also use interviews with various stakeholders in the community, whether they be veterans' groups, groups that serve seniors, the disabled and business groups. Officials and consultants will also try to identify the housing needs of Millennials. The goal is to get a broad picture of what is needed, which will help guide planning decisions and maybe uncover undetected needs.

"When a study like this happens, you will be able to put that information out there for some developers who may not be looking at this area," Oltramari said

The study is expected to be completed by December.

Oftentimes developers look at census, sales data and current housing patterns to identify a need in a community -- that same data will be gathered for the county's assessment -- and then try to fit a project into that community. But in a small community such as Genesee County, there are potentially niche needs that private developers won't uncover on their own. The county's housing needs study could identify a potential need and make that information available to developers who might decide trying to fill that need could be profitable.

"We want to make sure we’re looking at all segments of the market," Oltramari said. "One thing we heard, especially when Muller Quaker came, there was no housing for executives and lot of them ended up living outside of the county. When STAMP comes, we want to make sure the same thing doesn't happen."

The county's own study will also be used to confirm, or not, what private developers say is a local need. For example, when DePaul Properties was still pursuing a $25 million project on East Main Street in the City, CEO Mark Fuller said DePaul had identified needs in the city for more housing for disabled people, seniors with diminished mobility and veterans. Asked where those people are now, Fuller said they are most likely living with parents or in substandard housing.  

That could be an example of a market need that isn't readily apparent to most observers, but solid data could help identify.

(The project was stymied by a City Council decision not to change the zoning of the property from industrial to commercial.)

"They (developers, such as DePaul) know that and they might do their own research and come to that conclusion, but we haven’t seen that research," Oltramari said. "I’m sure there is probably that need, because they have a business model and they have to make sure the project is going to work, so there is some evidence, you have to trust that. But it’s nice to really have the tool to show 'yes, there is that need and this is something we should support as a community.' "

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May 18, 2017 - 6:04pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, batavia, news.

A brush fire is reported in the area of 19 Ross St., Batavia, near the Richmond Memorial Library.

City fire is responding.

May 18, 2017 - 10:33am
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCC, schools, education, batavia, news.

Genesee Community College is ready to welcome students to campus under the state's new free-tuition plan for SUNY schools, known as the Excelsior Scholarship, said College President Jim Sunser, but implementing the program won't be without a few snags.

First, Sunser said, not all the guidelines and rules have been released yet, so school counselors have less information than is ideal for advising students. Second, the program could have a small impact on cash flow for the college.

The way the program works is, students must successfully complete two semesters of 15 credits each. The state will pay the first semester, but no payments will be released to school for both semesters until the student has successfully completed a full 30 credits.

"From a cash-flow perspective, we would have to wait until the student finishes before we’d see the dollars, so there is an eight-month lag," Sunser said.

Based on the current school population and demographics, GCC expects about 100 students to enroll in the program, and since most would be expected to successfully complete 30 credits, the negative cash flow impact is expected to be something the college can absorb.

Of course, one of the goals of the Excelsior program is to encourage more students to enroll in college, and the college is ready to embrace a higher enrollment if that's the outcome, Sunser said.

"We would very much like to see as many students as possible take advantage of it and take advantage getting an education here in New York, for sure," Sunser said.

The Excelsior program is a "last dollar in" scholarship, meaning if a student has other grants or scholarships, those would be used first to pay for tuition and Excelsior would make up the difference.

Because of the 30-credit requirement, Excelsior may not be the best option for some students who might otherwise qualify, so school counselors will work with students to help them find the best fit.

"When they come in, we’re going to individually advise them through Student Success Center and we’re going to let them know if this is the best possible avenue for them to pursue or even if campus-based scholarships might make more sense," Sunser said. "We’ll work with them one-on-one to make sure they get to where they need to be."

Sunser spoke about the scholarship program after providing the County's Ways and Means Committee with a budget update Wednesday afternoon.

The college trustees have not yet approved the budget, but it's expected that it will call for an increase in spending from $40,537,000 to $40,923,000, which Sunser noted is less than a 1-percent increase in spending. 

"On our budget, we are already cost conscious and make sure we are as responsible as we can be," Sunser said.

The county, as the sponsoring county, is required to make a sponsorship contribution to GCC's budget.

Currently, the county's contribution is about 6 percent of GCC's budget. Sunser said that's the second-lowest sponsoring county's contribution in the state.

In recent years, the amount of the county's contribution has been going up by $50,000 per year. Last year, there was some sentiment on the part of legislators that they didn't get enough time to provide input or deliberate its contribution, so there was no $50,000 increase and Sunser agreed to open up communications with legislators earlier in the process. He said he provided an update in the fall and then yesterday's appearance was made in advance of the final budget being approved.

This year, the college is asking for a $100,000 increase in county share, covering the $50,000 not provided last year and $50,000 for this year.

Sunser said the trustees are looking to approve the budget next week. The committee took no action yesterday on the request.

May 18, 2017 - 9:50am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day, advertisement.

Reminders of how the new Deal of the Day program works:

  • To make purchases, you must be registered. This is its own registration system, separate from the main registration for The Batavian.
  • Once registered you must be logged in.
  • You click on the orange button, if the item is not sold out, and it takes you to a PayPal button. This allows you to pay either with your PayPal account or with a credit card/debit card. The login for PayPal is completely separate from our accounts.
  • The first person to successfully complete the PayPal transaction wins the gift certificate.
  • You are eligible to buy the same item only once in a four-month period. We use the registration system to track this for you so you don't have to.

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