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genesee county

November 13, 2015 - 1:44pm
posted by Cheryl Thorley in genesee county.
Company Name: 
Genesee County
Job Type: 
October 30, 2015 - 1:43pm
posted by Billie Owens in tourism, genesee county, darien lake, Milestones, business.

(Submitted photo of Kelly Rapone, with the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce, and Amber Ciesiulka, with Darien Lake Theme Park Resort, with their respective awards.)

Press release:

The Genesee County Chamber of Commerce and Darien Lake Amusement Park Resort both received awards recently for Excellence in Tourism Marketing from the New York State Tourism Industry Association.

The New York State Tourism Industry Association (NYSTIA) has recognized leaders in New York State’s tourism industry who have achieved a high level of excellence and accomplishment at the 2015 Tourism Excellence Awards. The winning individuals or organizations were selected on the basis of demonstrated commitment, leadership, and accomplishment in travel and tourism.

Genesee County Chamber of Commerce earned the “Excellence in Tourism Marketing -- Statewide” for its Haunted History Trail of New York State program. Created by Genesee County Chamber of Commerce in 2013, it is the only statewide haunted tourism trail in the country. The program includes partnership with 30 tourism promotion agencies and promotes over 60 haunted inns, hotels, museums and more across New York State and was developed to draw tourists who have an interest in ghosts.

Darien Lake Amusement Park was recognized for “Excellence in Tourism Marketing -- Private Sector ” for their 2015 overall marketing program which focused on delivering an exceptional value and experience to season pass holders, daily visitors and overnight guests. Darien Lake Amusement Park Resort is New York State’s largest amusement park resort featuring over 50 rides and attractions including a 10-acre waterpark and a variety of overnight options including a hotel, cabins and a campground.

The organizations received their awards at the NYSTIA Tourism Excellence Awards Dinner on Thursday, Oct. 22, at The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown. Kelly Rapone and Taylor White, Genesee County Chamber of Commerce, and Amber Ciesiulka, Darien Lake Theme Park Resort, accepted the awards at the event.

October 22, 2015 - 1:33pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in genesee county, budget.

The county serves the public, and increasingly, the public is online, which is why County Manager Jay Gsell thinks the county needs a stronger and more consistent digital presence.

In his 2016 budget, he's proposing a new position in the county's IT department that would be responsible for the county's Web site and its social media activity, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

"There is also a difference in generations in how they deal with us," Gsell said. "They are different in where they go for their information, where they look for information and how they interact with county government whether they're asking questions, registering complaints or things of that nature."

The county's Web site could be more user-friendly, but more importantly, Gsell said, it could contain more information that is more current and timely and relevant to residents.

"We're the public sector -- if we're not public and media friendly, we suck," Gsell said. "We're also not doing our job. The idea is to put information out and give it out so the public can access it."

Increasingly, people want to find their information and interact with government and businesses in social media, and the county should be where the public is, Gsell said, which means an active presence on Facebook and Twitter, for example.

"If you don't have a more duel-enabled communication, you're missing out on how you connect with people, how people connect with your services, how they issue complaints, how they issue praise in some cases, or even how we deal with some things we change, for instance, taking on credit card payments in the Treasurer's Office," Gsell said.

The salary for the new position will be about $35,000 and represent a total expenditure with benefits and related expenses of $58,000.

The position is part of a $106,756,416 spending plan being proposed by Gsell.  

On the revenue side, Gsell is proposing a $27,283,304 tax levy with a $9.89 tax rate per thousand of assessed value. That is a 3-cent increase over the 2015 tax rate.

One new position previously proposed that didn't make the budget is an additional Sheriff's deputy with a primary responsibility to keep a sharp eye out for drunken drivers.

The position would have been funded through STOP-DWI money -- fines levied against convicted drunken drivers -- but Gsell said he could tell the idea wasn't going over well with a majority of the Legislature, so he dropped the proposal from the budget. He said the consensus among legislators seemed to be that even if the position was legal and above board, it might engender the perception that there was a level of entrapment in the strategy to catch more drunken drivers. Any case of actual entrapment could open the county up to litigation, something the Legislature would like to avoid.

"It's not like it was, 'Oh, my, this is the best thing since pockets,' so we said, 'You know what, it's not worth the angst and having the legislators have a discomfort as we're trying to present a hundred plus million proposal to let that become the litmus test of what's going on for 2016,' so we pulled it out," Gsell said.

The budget also includes an increase in hours for the County Attorney, making the job a full-time position. The additional 7.5 hours per week means an additional $30,000 in salary and a total increase in expenditure for the position of $37,095, but that cost is offset, Gsell said, by a decrease elsewhere in the budget for contracted fees for outside counsel.  

The budget proposal also includes a new public health sanitarian in the health department and a new case manager in Genesee Justice. Gsell said the case load at Genesee Justice has started to overwhelm the current staff hours in that department.

Ray Cianfrini, chairman of the Legislature, also floated the idea that members of the body should consider whether it's time for a pay raise for legislators. There was no further discussion of the idea after he threw mentioned it.

October 17, 2015 - 4:17pm
posted by Billie Owens in genesee county, Don Read.

Plans are being made to honor Don Read, former Genesee County Clerk who retired on Sept. 11, with a dinner at Terry Hills Restaurant. He served as county clerk for 22 years.

It is planned for Saturday, Nov. 7th, with social hour starting at 6 p.m. and dinner at 7. Cost is $30 per person.

To reserve a seat, send your check -- made out to Richard Siebert -- to P.O. Box 171, Batavia NY 14021.

Also, if anyone would like to participate honoring Mr. Read, please let Mr. Siebert know.

September 23, 2015 - 11:17am
posted by Billie Owens in bergen, batavia, genesee county.

A convoy of fire trucks and police cars has converged at United Memorial Medical Center in the aftermath of the death of a Bergen ambulance volunteer crew member who died this morning in a head-on collision with a backhoe in Riga. The man, whose identity has not been released, was part of a three-member team responding to a mutual aid request for emergency medical aid.

Batavia police and fire and Sheriff's deputies will lead the convoy of Bergen fire trucks to the county line as it escorts the body of their fallen comrade to the Monroe County Medical Examiner's Office.

UPDATE 11:47 a.m.: Photos of the escort. An H.E. Turner van transported the deceased to Monroe County.


UPDATE 12:32 p.m.: The Batavian's news partner, 13WHAM has confirmed through sources in Monroe County that the deceased is Barry Miller, who was not only a multi-decade volunteer with the Bergen department and chief of EMS, but a county coroner. Below are photos from 13WHAM of the procession passing through the Rochester area.





UPDATE 1:24 p.m.: 

A video report from 13WHAM:

UPDATE 3 p.m.:  News release from the Monroe County Sheriff's Office:

Around 7:30 this morning deputies responded to a crash between an ambulance and a backhoe on Bovee Road, just west of Brew Road, in the Town of Riga.

On arrival deputies found a Bergen Fire Department ambulance with severe front-end damage and a Town of Riga Caterpillar backhoe in front of the ambulance. The driver of the ambulance, Zackery W. Czudak, DOB 1985, of Bergen, said they had been dispatched to a Johnson Road, Riga, residence for a medical call. While traveling east on Bovee Road he struck a backhoe which was also travelling east. Czudak said he had reduced his speed because of sun glare and patches of fog in the area.

The front passenger, EMT Barry G. Miller, DOB 1965, of Bergen, was transported to United Memorial Medical Center in Batavia where he was pronounced dead. EMT Gina B. Bliss, DOB 1963, of Bergen, who was in the rear cabin of the ambulance, was transported to the hospital with minor injuries. Zackery W. Czudak was not injured but transported to the hospital as a precaution. The driver of the backhoe was not injured.

UPDATE 4:55 p.m.: There will be a candlelight vigil in memory and honor of EMT Barry Miller tonight at 8 at the Bergen Fire Department, 10 Hunter St., in Bergen.

September 8, 2015 - 4:23pm
posted by James Burns in batavia, Batavia Middle School, genesee county.


Being the first full day of school, the teachers of Batavia Middle School wrote messages in chalk on sidewalks for students to read when they left today. 

Most seemed to take a little time to read the messages from their teachers. 

Pictured above, Louis thought this was a good way to end the first day of school.



Miss Newton and Mr. Ferri write their message to the students.



Jason poses with his favorite message.



Tatyanna is seen with the message she like the most. 


Lilly, Allyson and Lillian like this one.


 Ms. Cervoni shows Brandon the message she wrote.

July 28, 2015 - 3:40pm
posted by Vicky Muckle in genesee county.
Company Name: 
Genesee County
Job Type: 
Genesee County Purchasing Director This department head position oversees and directs the activities of the County’s Central Services Department and Housekeeping staff. Provisional appointment pending Civil Service test.   Qualifications: Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting, Business or Public Administration, Economics, or closely related field AND one year of experience in large scale purchasing, marketing or buying for a business or government agency.  Equivalent combination of education and experience will be evaluated.  
July 23, 2015 - 8:48am
posted by Howard B. Owens in genesee county, budget.

The county's department managers are being asked to turn in austere budgets that add no new staff with an eye toward leaving vacant positions unfilled as County Manager Jay Gsell tries to hold the line on spending in the face of continued expense pressure from the state's unfunded mandates.

State and federal spending mandates, including Medicaid, probation, indigent defense and public assistance consume 82 percent of the county's property tax levy, with the county's share of Medicaid expense now topping $10 million, Gsell said in a memo to county leaders.

The escalating cost of unfunded mandates, with no other increase in spending, will likely create a budget deficit.

"A conservative guestimate of a 'status quo' 2016 General Fund Budget of $106,401,244 would create an expense vs. revenue gap of almost $3.5 million vs. the 2015 Adopted General Fund balanced Budget," Gsell wrote. "This could include the last five year annual average of $2.5 million in fund balance use to stave off property tax increases that help the County again stay under the tax cap ceiling imposed by New York State, but the availability is not guaranteed."

The Legislature will be loathed to support a property tax increase that goes over the levy cap, Gsell said. 

"The County Legislature has not done so for the first four years of the tax cap mandate and 2016 being an election year is unlikely to change that reality/sentiment," Gsell wrote. "New York State/Governor Cuomo armed with the 'now' permanent tax cap legislation has set a negative dynamic for local governments, including school districts and the constituents/taxpayers with the promise of the tax rebates and possible State income tax circuit breakers/tax credits, that challenges we at the local government level to exceed said tax cap and thus suffer the 'wrath' of Albany and unilateral, top down recriminations in the media, with our taxpayers and the possibility of negative state aid implications."

The sale of the county nursing home will help, but that deal won't close until the end of the first quarter of 2016, so the money-losing property will continue to drain county resources in the upcoming budget year, Gsell said.

Gsell said the county is a workforce-intensive business and 32 percent of the county's general fund budget goes to wages and benefits. Pension and health care costs for personnel continue to increase, Gsell said, with new collective bargaining agreements pending.

Even new employee positions funded initially by state and federal grants should be scrutinized closely for long-term impacts on spending, Gsell said. 

If managers want to fill current vacancies or anticipated vacancies, they will need to show business necessity that it is essential to operations, or the position is justified as a basic level of service or required by mandates or can be funded through an equal increase in revenue. 

"Your overall operating budget request should be developed from a 'bare bones' perspective," Gsell wrote. "No sacred cows/no guarantees -- including those portions of your staffing, etc., that are attached to 'mandated services' and related operating expenses and options for better/more efficient utilization of existing staff should be presented."

July 8, 2015 - 12:17pm
posted by Cheryl Thorley in genesee county.
Company Name: 
Genesee County Youth Bureau
Job Type: 
Part-time, provisional appointment pending Civil Service examination. $15.20/hour. For contact information, qualifications, job duties and application:
July 6, 2015 - 6:12pm

Crime totals for Genesee County have been slowly increasing over the past four years according to reports from the New York Division of Criminal Justice Services.

The total number of property crimes in the county have increased from 1,358 cases in 2013 to 1,397 cases in 2014. Many of the property crimes committed in the county are driven by drugs according to officials.

District Attorney Lawrence Friedman has seen a large percentage of larceny and burglary cases related to drug use.

"The one that is becoming most problematic in recent times is heroin," Friedman said. "We are certainly seeing a resurgence in the use of it. To a large extent, heroin disappeared from our view for years but now it's back." 

Sgt. Greg Walker of the Genesee County Sheriff's Office said heroin is popular in the county because it is easy to obtain and inexpensive. Walker leads the drug task force and works with the community to get tips on illegal drug activity. The drug hotline receives tips from residents every day. The Batavia Police Department, Village of Le Roy Police Department and Genesee County District Attorney's office are involved with the drug task force as well.

Walker said tackling drug abuse involves the combination of law enforcement, the courts and drug rehabilitation centers. He said law enforcement needs to crack down on selling, the courts have to issue appropriate penalties, and people suffering with addiction have to want to seek treatment.

In addition to the drug problem, another factor contributing to property crimes specifically larceny is people failing to lock their vehicles.

"In our case what we're seeing are larcenies from unlocked vehicles," Batavia Police Chief Shawn Heubusch said. "That has been a big increase in the last year or so. Whether it's change or GPS devices or other personal property, it should not be left in an unlocked vehicle."

The total amount of violent crime in the county has remained steady for most local law enforcement agencies. 

The Batavia Police Department has seen a small increase in the number of reported violent crimes. The number of aggravated assault crimes increased from 37 cases in 2013 to 42 cases in 2014.

According to Heubusch, the increase in the number of aggravated assault crimes is due to additional effort to prosecute the perpetrators. The police department works closely with victim advocate agencies so the abuse can be reported.

The YWCA is one of the organizations that works with law enforcement to advocate for victims. The organization refers victims to police and assists with filing orders of protection. They also help victims by providing housing, personal care products and referrals for other services they may need. 

According to Jeanne Walton, executive director of the YWCA, the organization's domestic violence hotline has received 415 calls since Jan. 1. Walton said the number of calls has increased from previous years.

For crime in surrounding counties, the number of violent and property crimes in Orleans County and Wyoming County have steadily decreased over the past four years. 

To view annual crime reports by the New York Division of Criminal Justice Services, click here.

July 2, 2015 - 4:00pm
posted by Traci Turner in pathstone, genesee county, housing.

Heidi Kollarik is one of the many people PathStone has helped to accomplish her goal of owning a home for her two children.

Kollarik, a single mom and hairdresser, had just moved out of her parent's house and into an apartment in Oakfield when she decided to look into a homeownership program ran by PathStone, a not-for-profit community development organization. She wanted to purchase a house but didn't have the funds for a down payment. To find out more about buying a home, she signed up for PathStone's pre-purchase education classes in 2011. Some of the skills she learned included budgeting, managing credit and home financing.

After completing the classes, counselors met one-on-one with Kollarik to help her with the rest of the purchasing process. She was able to secure a $105,000 loan and buy a house in Oakfield in 2014. She also obtained a $21,000 grant through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development HOME Investment Partnerships program to assist with the down payment and closing costs. The entire process took three years but it was all worth it in the end Kollarik said.

"I'm so thankful they were able to help me obtain my dream of having a home for my children because it would not have been possible to buy a house being a single mom," Kollarik said.

During her annual agency review for the County Legislature, Sue Boss, executive director of the housing council at PathStone, met with the Human Services Committee meeting Monday said the homeownership program has assisted 1,550 people purchase their first home in the county since 2010. Boss said approximately 95 percent of those people were eligible to receive grant funding. 

To be eligible, applicants have to be approved for a mortgage, meet income criteria and provide some of their own money for the transaction. Many of the applicants who have received assistance had a household size of two to three people with a female head and an average income of $33,000. 

The program is funded through federal, state, county and private aid. Some funds people can receive money from include New York HOME funds and Revolving Loan funds.

The program will also be offering additional funding after it receives a home grant for $200,000 through the New York Division of Housing and Community Renewal and a $300,000 grant through the New York Affordable Housing Corporation.

To determine if grant money is available, all their applicants receive counseling and given the option to take classes on purchasing a house.

"Anybody that comes to our program receives individual counseling from our certified counselors," Boss said. "We also offer group education classes. In the classes we cover everything from credit and debt management, how to shop for a realtor, home inspections and what the house purchasing process is from start to finish."

In addition to the homeownership program, PathStone offers a handyman program, an owner occupied rehab program and foreclosure and default program for Genesee County residents.

The handyman program runs in conjunction with the Genesee County Office for the Aging to help people over the age of 62 repair minor issues with their homes. Applicants can be renters or homeowners. All services are free if their income is 80 percent or below HUD's median-income figure. According to Boss, the program serves 240 households a year. 

The owner-occupied program provides homeowners with funds for structural and mechanical repairs. This program is currently on a hiatus but will back up and running as soon as a grant is released. 

The foreclosure and default program is ran by PathStone's affiliate the Housing Council to assist residents that are in default on their mortgage. Grants are available through the New York Mortgage Assistance Program, a new program that launched this year.

With all these programs, the organization aims to fulfill its mission to encourage individuals, families and communities to obtain economic resources for building better lives. PathStone has been providing services in New York since 1969.

To honor foundations and members of the community that support its mission, the organization will be having a community luncheon on July 10 at the Clarion Hotel. They also will present the PathStone Visionary Award to Jay Gsell, county manager.

June 28, 2015 - 2:50pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements, events, genesee county.
Event Date and Time: 
July 15, 2015 -
6:30pm to 9:00pm

The Genesee County Planning Department in conjunction with the Form-Based Codes Institute will present a training series from 6:30 to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, July 15, at County Building #2, 3837 W. Main St. Road, Batavia.

  • What are Form-Based Codes? (6:30 – 7 p.m.)

Genesee County Senior Planner Derik Kane will present a brief introduction to the topic. This slideshow explains how form-based codes help communities achieve development goals.

June 27, 2015 - 8:30am
posted by Steve Ognibene in genesee county, godfreys pond, steve ognibene's blog.


Mike Rickert and Mike Hammond invite you to Godfrey’s Pond's Chicken BBQ fundraiser and open house tomorrow (June 28) from noon to 4 p.m. Tickets are available at the door for $9, which includes, half chicken, salt potatoes, mac salad, fresh corn on the cob, roll and butter, and lemonade. 

Founded as a conversation club in 1909, Godfrey's Pond was originally known as a hunting club and it had about 50 members. Today Godfrey’s Pond is opened year round and has approximately 900 members, Rickert said.

It’s an opportunity for members to stay here and camp, fish, hunt and walk their dogs. The main pond has paddleboats, canoes and is stocked with different varieties of fish. The property consists of 230 acres with nearly a dozen nature trails and much more! A couple times a year a geocache club comes out to put some caches around the property for treasure-hunting events. 




All are invited to the club's second open house this year, tour the property and see the "Adirondacks getaway" in Genesee County, said Hammond, the property caretaker.

He showed me newly designed projects with the Genesee Valley Boces conversation class pictured below.



Railroad ties were used to build a new wall to prevent erosion and to provide steps to sit on. The clubhouse is a great place to host parties and events at no charge for members year round.

June 25, 2015 - 3:00pm

Support local businesses and shop the Hometown Trail throughout Genesee County this summer! Participate in the Hometown Trail this summer by shopping at these Genesee County shops. Enter to win a $100 Gift Certificate. Get your card stamped at each shop you visit and leave your card at any shop by Aug. 31 to be entered in the grand prize drawing to be held on Sept. 12. Participants must have 8 or the 10 stamps to be entered for the grand prize drawing. The grand prize is a $100 gift certificate that can be used at one or more of the participating businesses of your choice choice through Oct. 31. Collect stamps from all the shops and you’ll be entered in the separate ultimate shopper drawing for a gift basket. Winners will be notified and featured on the Facebook page. In addition to these great prizes, there will also be giveaways on our Facebook page - The Hometown Trail!

Berried Treasures, 1415 Broadway Road, Darien Center. Hours: Mon. - Sun. 10-4
Mulberry Station, 1241 Main Road, Pembroke. Hours: Thurs. - Sun. 10-5
The Mill, 7061 Oak Orchard Road, Elba. Hours: Thurs. 12-5, Fri.10-5, Sat. 10-4
Torrey’s Farm Market, 7142 Oak Orchard Road, Elba. Hours: Fri. & Sat. 10-5
The Artisans @ North St., 301 North St., Batavia. Hours: M-W 10-5, Thurs. 10-7, Sat. 10-3
The Hobby Horse, 54-56 Main St., Le Roy. Hours: Tues. - Sat. 10-5, Sun. 12-3
Country Hill, 11119 W. Park St., Pavilion. Hours: Tues. - Fri. 10-6, Sat. 10-4
Kozy Kabin, 922 Genesee St., Corfu. Thurs., Fri., & Sat. 10-5
Country Cottage, 10448 Harper Road, Darien Center, Darien. Hours: 7 days a week - 11-6
Harrington’s Produce & Bakery, 5282 Clinton St., Batavia. Hours: Mon. - Sun. 10-6

For more information, call Kelly Dudley 585-746-1677 or Chris Ward 585-356-9895. Check us out on Facebook: The Hometown Trail.

June 5, 2015 - 7:28pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, genesee county.

A caller to dispatch reports that her upstairs neighbor may have a key to her apartment and she is alleging this neighbor let herself in and stole a gallon of milk from the fridge. Law enforcement is responding.

April 29, 2015 - 4:02pm
posted by Cheryl Thorley in genesee county.
Company Name: 
Genesee County Central Services
Job Type: 



Sweeps and mops floors by hand or floor machine:

Washes windows and polishes floors;

Dusts woodwork, furniture and other articles;

Cleans lavatories and replenishes supplies;

Washes glassware and other dishware equipment;

Vacuum carpets;

Picks up and recycles trash;

Launders resident drapes, hanging drapes and cubicle curtains.



February 26, 2015 - 12:35pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in genesee county, ray cinanfrini.

This is a transcript of the State of the County address delivered yesterday evening by Ray Cianfrini, chairman of the Genesee County Legislature:

One year ago, at my first State of the County Address, I indicated how the outlook for Genesee County for the Year 2014 was bright and how I believed 2014 was to be the “Year of Change.” So let’s take a look back and see what transpired:

I stated we were going to begin the process of selling the county-owned Nursing Home. We did that! We have gone through a tedious quality selection process where we submitted an RFP and received eight proposals. We are currently in the process of vetting the final two respondents to ensure a continuity of workforce and quality of care for nursing home residents. The transition of the County Nursing Home to the private sector will ensure a continued “Genesee Centric” service to our frail elderly and a quality of care at or better than the county has been providing -- with good paying jobs in coordinated care with United Memorial Medical Center. We are confident that a choice will be made soon with an expectation that the sale could be completed before the end of this year. When the sale is complete, the County’s “fiscal dark hole” will be closed -- putting an end to spending in excess of $3 million a year of taxpayer dollars to cover the annual deficits incurred in the operation of the home.

I stated that in 2014 the County was going live with our new $10.5 million 800 MHz public radio communications system. The system is now up and running with the addition of three new towers in Alabama, Bergen and Darien to increase reception. We also saw the transition to a new VHF high bank paging solution for our Fire and EMS responders. 

Tourism in Genesee County continued to be strong. Bed tax revenues last year or $443,000 generated an impressive 27% return of $93,000 on our County investment to the Chamber of Commerce of $350,000.

I noted that 2014 was the year the County Legislature was going paperless. Done! We now work off iPads without the endless flow of paper. The process is time-saving, cost-efficient, and utilizes the latest technology available for streamlining both our Committee and Legislator meetings.

Last year we hired or had elected a number of new, young, talented and energetic management employees and Legislators that I referred to as our young guns. Each is now settled into his or her role and they are on their way to becoming our next generation of County leaders. Since my address last year, as a result of retirements, the County has hired three new department heads that I can best describe as middle-aged guns, because they are not only energetic and talented, but each comes with years of experience in his or her field.

Ruth Spink, our new Director for the Office for the Aging served for years under her predecessor, Pam Whitmore. Michael Eula, our new County Historian, has a PhD in history, has published numerous historical articles in several books, and is a former long-term college professor. Jerry Ader, our new Public Defender served for many years as an assistant in the office under his predecessor, Gary Horton. Each has replaced a dedicated and long-serving department head. It is often times difficult to replace the years of experience and skill sets lost upon retirement, but we as a County are fortunate to be able to replace experience with experience and our County leadership remains strong.

On the economic front, 2014 saw some of our lowest unemployment rate in years; the unemployment rate for Genesee County in December 2014 was 5.6%, which was the lowest unemployment rate in our County for December since 2006. The rate was an historic low of 4.8% in August and September and per capita income grew in our County 6.16% in 2014. Our Job Development Bureau placed over 1,900 workers with area businesses in 2014 and we continue to have the lowest unemployment rate in the GLOW region.

Agriculture continues to be a driving force of our economy and Genesee County was in the forefront to support our local farmers with soil health workshops put on by our Soil and Water Conservation Board; the legislature also sponsored resolutions in support of Congressman Chris Collins' successful effort to kill the federal EPA Waterway Rule, which if implemented, would greatly increase the cost of doing business for farmers, if not put some of them out of business; and Genesee to college was instrumental in partnering with Genesee Valley Education Partnership to institute a new program called the Agribusiness Academy for high school seniors interested in pursuing careers in the agribusiness field.

2014 saw a concentrated focus on our County Airport for the replacement of the existing terminal and main hangar. The County advertised for bids and over 31 were received with the project bids coming in at $5.9 million (well below engineers' estimates). With $1.2 million in federal and state grants, the County issued bonds in December of last year in the amount of $4.75 million to cover the cost of the project with construction scheduled to begin in March of this year. Our airport continues to be a hub of activity with increased jet traffic from economic development and with numerous entertainment acts for Darien Lake Theme Park using the airport. With all this activity the County generated a surplus in excess of $100,000 from fuel sale receipts and T-hangar rentals.

Genesee Community College continues to give us the best bang for our buck. Last year GCC launched a new food processing technology degree program and with our County support and with significant fiscal support from the GCC Foundation, GCC is expanding with a new Student Success Center and a new Student Wellness Event Center, both scheduled for construction this year.

Economic development thrived in Genesee County in 2014 thanks to the efforts of Genesee County Economic Development Center creating a positive business climate by securing $58 million of new private capital investment including Yancey’s Fancy $20 million expansion project; A $9.8 million expansion of Liberty Pumps and Bergen and a $23 million investment in US Gypsum Company in Oakfield. It was truly noteworthy that $33 million was committed in the 2014 New York state budget for the development of our Western New York STAMP Project in the Town of Alabama. It is been said before but bears repeating that STAMP has the potential to create thousands of good-paying jobs, including thousands of long-term construction jobs, and will have a transformational impact on our economy both locally and statewide.

In last year’s address I stated that the County was heading in the right direction with many positive forces at work. I acknowledge our dedicated and hard-working staff of County employees, department heads and elected officials. With 2014 now behind us, I can look back and say with pride the hard work and dedication paid off. My expectations for success and change were accomplished. I want to take this opportunity to say thank you to my colleagues on the Legislature and to our County Manager and all our department heads for accepting change and working toward common goals that enable us to end 2014 and to begin 2015 with a balanced budget, a solid AA bond rating, (and) strong reserves in a 2015 budget that included a rare $.18 per thousand tax decrease.

If 2014 was the year of change, I see 2015 as a year of progress. With a multitude of factors at play, we, as a Legislature are again challenged to be innovative and to make more hard decisions that can have a positive effect on moving the County forward. For example, we as a Legislature have recognized that there is an imbalance in our current management salaries. Our non-management employees have the benefit of collective bargaining to address salary issues. There is no such benefit to our management personnel who are literally at the mercy of the Legislature for salary relief. Over the years, because of budget restraints, management has received little or no pay increases, which according to a study we conducted, now puts many of them at or near the bottom of a scale when compared to like employees and like positions in counties similar in size to Genesee County. The Legislature is currently engaged in an in-depth management salary review and hope to bring compensation fairness and equity to our management staff in the very near future.

As indicated earlier, work will begin this year for construction of our new airport terminal and main hangar and for expansion for Student Success Center and Wellness and Event Center at Genesee Community College. Tourism should continue to be strong in our County this year. Two new rides at Darien Lake should spur new visitors and the Chamber’s new collaborative fishing packages with Orleans County looks very promising. This year the county is looking to institute an innovative archery hunt for deer overpopulation and force management at the Genesee County Park in Bethany for four weeks from October 19 through December 15. The Park has become a safe haven for the deer during hunting season and they are feeding on shoots and seedlings threatening the viability of natural reforestation. A loss of new forest growth means a loss of future County income from the sale of timber from the Park as well as degradation of the recreation amenity and forest canopy.

The STAMP project has been recognized by the state and the Finger Lakes Region Economic Development Council is a top priority project for Western New York. Ongoing infrastructure, planning and permitting work continues and GCEDC is aggressively marketing the site in anticipation of attracting its first tenant this year. When that first tenant is on board, the $33 million in the state budget will be released for site improvements to include water, sewer and power. It’s no wonder Steve Hyde, CEO of GCEDC recently stated the “STAMP is a full-time job for many of us at GCEDC.” I firmly believe that 2015 is the year STAMP comes to life.

With the completion of the sale of our Nursing Home anticipated this year, I believe there is an urgency and a consensus among us as Legislators to leverage the proceeds from the sale to address the much-neglected condition of our 258 centerline miles of County roads and the deteriorating condition of many of our 379 county-owned bridges and culverts. Aside from the tremendous impact the sale of the Home will have on improving County finances, the sale proceeds and subsequent relief from the fiscal “dark hole” it created will allow us the opportunity to achieve both short-term and long-term improvements to our County’s infrastructure. I foresee increased annual funding and the creation of a 5-year capital reserve account dedicated solely for road and bridge repairs. We have procrastinated in this area for too long and if not addressed immediately, it is only a matter of time before public safety is compromised and our roads and bridges crumble before our eyes.

It is difficult to predict in advance how a year will unfold. Factors beyond our control can have a positive or negative impact on our best-laid plans.

For example, this brutal winter what we are experiencing is increasing our costs for fuel, salt, overtime, (and) wear and tear on our equipment. An up or down economy affects our sales tax revenues, job placements and our economic development. Heavy rain, drought or winds can adversely affect our crop production. A rising or falling female jail population affects our County Jail operating expenses.

Just as unpredictable is this State of New York. We have all too often seen how a stroke of the pen in Albany results in increased costs for Genesee County. A prime example is last year when the State unexpectedly mandated that we have to hire an additional 6 full-time correction officers and a jail supervisor at a cost to County taxpayers of over $700,000. In reviewing the Governor’s 2015 budget proposal I continue to see little or no relief for counties from the dreaded State mandates that consume 82% of our tax levy. While touting a $5.4 billion windfall, the Governor does nothing to provide property tax relief. Rather than saddle the counties with unfunded or underfunded mandates, I endorse State efforts to achieve the following: Increase access to broadband to unserved or underserved communities; facilitate NYS’s takeover of indigent defense spending over 3-5 years and relieve the counties' burden; increase the share of revenue counties retain for providing State DMV services.

Did you know under current law New York State takes 87.3% of all fees collected from work performed by county-operated DMV’s and the remaining 12.7% County share has not been increased in 14 years. This is a major inequity when the County DMV provides all the services and the State takes 87.3% of all of the revenue.

I asked the State to increase funding for probation and other alternatives to incarceration. In 2014, our Probation Department utilized its confinement option program that resulted in 848 jail days being saved, which substantially decreased our jail operating expense.

Also, I strongly implore the State to increase state investments and locally owned roads and bridges (for) reasons I previously cited. The State must cease over-regulating our IDAs and live up to its slogan that New York is open for business.

And finally, as I stated last year, the State must repeal the SAFE Act! It’s a law that makes criminals out of law-abiding citizens and is a law that we didn’t ask for and don’t want.

Time does not permit me to dwell on the scope and value of taxpayer-funded County services. Suffice it to say that we as a County are very fortunate to have a workforce dedicated to providing quality and qualified services on a daily basis. Our diverse services include public safety with our Sheriff’s office, our legal and criminal justice staffs, highway crews, (and) emergency providers: they include human services with family assistance Medicaid; child protective services, mental health and veteran services; and also in support services like information technology, our County Clerk, and our County Treasurer, Job Development, Purchasing and Planning. We as a County will continue to support education, agriculture and economic development. Our goal is to keep these services and support flowing and to deliver them in a cost-effective and improved manner.

Like last year, I’m optimistic that this year Genesee County is headed in the right direction. Last year’s changes became this year’s progress. We as Legislators must continue to move forward. Last year I challenged you to be innovative, to not be afraid of change and to be willing to make hard decisions. To your credit, you accepted my challenge. This year I offer you another challenge. If you thought 2014 was a productive year for County government, let’s make 2015 even better, let’s continue to be innovative. Let’s not be afraid to make those hard decisions in doing so, let’s be inspired by the words of Ronald Reagan who wisely stated: “There are no barriers to progress except those that we erect.”

February 25, 2015 - 3:33pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in genesee county, tax liens.

Here's a list of the properties to be auctioned off to the highest bidder by Genesee County as part of a tax lien auction at 10 a.m., March 14, at Bontrager's on Wortendyke Road. For more on the auction, which includes City of Batavia tax foreclosures as well, visit

Address Town Type Delinquency Value
6287 Knowlesville Rd. Alabama Single family $3,037 $37,800
Bowen Rd. Alexander Vacant land $3,493 $29,000
Route 98 Alexander Vacant land $1,064 $3,400
11098 Route 98 Alexander Single family $6,342 $61,500
6859 Route 237 Byron Single family $10,247 $45,300
6371 Freeman Rd. Byron Single family $10,439 $50,000
6062 Oak Orchard Rd. Elba Mobile home $1,141 $4,000
5054 Hundredmark Rd. Elba Seasonal residence $2,851 $7,000
7150 Weatherwax Rd. Elba Single family $1,970 $5,000
7011 W. Main Rd. LeRoy Commercial $128,512 $375,000
9339 Warsaw Rd. LeRoy Mobile home $2,314 $19,500
10875 South Lake Rd. Pavilion Mobile home $9,837 $86,000
1448 Indian Falls Rd. Pembroke Single family $6,288 $83,200
8576 N. Lake Rd. Pembroke Old church residence $3,977 $30,000
Alleghany Rd. Pembroke Vacant land $3,227 $21,300
Genesee St. Pembroke Vacant land $551 $500
Clinton St. Rd. Stafford Vacant land $2,084 $2,700
6224 Route 5 Stafford Vacant land $20,309 $6,200
Spring St. Bergen Village Vacant land $1,424 $5,300
29 LeRoy St. Bergen Village Vacant land $2,084 $8,900
42 South St. LeRoy Village Single family $23,693 $77,000
19 Munson St. LeRoy Village Single family $14,769 $76,700
9266 Robbins Rd. LeRoy Village Single family $27,086 $28,000
February 18, 2015 - 3:14pm
posted by Billie Owens in genesee county, health.

Press release:

The Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming County health departments are encouraging residents to “Think Health.” Taking time to think about your health and taking positive health steps will lead to healthier outcomes. Learning something new every day is one way to “Think Health”…

New York State relies on local health departments to promote, protect, and improve the health of their residents. Currently the Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming County health departments, in partnership with local stakeholders, are distributing a survey to assess the public’s knowledge on the existence of and accessibility (ease of access / use) of mental health and substance abuse services locally.

This effort is directly related to the 2013-2017 Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) and will serve as a baseline measurement of the area’s knowledge and/or use of these services. This priority was included in the Community Health Improvement Plan after it was found that the tri-county area has higher suicide (15.7 crude, 15.6 age adjusted) rates than the NYS average (9 crude, 8.6 age adjusted) and depression / mental health issues / and stress ranked as top concerns for the public in 2013 as well.

The survey is available online and paper. Paper surveys can be found at the health departments, as well as participating libraries, human service agencies and events throughout the tri-county area.

You can access the Community Health Survey online at:

“Later in the year, a user-friendly online-based informational database focused on these services will be created and promoted in the tri-county area in hopes to increase awareness of what is available and make efforts to fill gaps in services locally,” said Paul Pettit, Public Health director for the Genesee and Orleans Counties health departments.

The survey can be taken by individuals living and/or working in Genesee, Orleans, and Wyoming counties. The survey is anonymous and is only 10 questions. Your honest thoughts and opinions are appreciated. All ages are encouraged to take it for themselves. If you are under the age of 18 years old, be sure to receive permission to take the survey from your parent(s) or guardian(s).

“This project is made possible through grant funds obtained from the NYS Health Foundation,” said Laura Paolucci, Public Health administrator for the Wyoming County Health Department. “This is a new territory for the public health sector and the more input from the community, the stronger the ‘building block’ of this project and those related will be.”

If you have any questions, would like to comment on the survey, and/or review the 2013-2017 Community Health Improvement Plan contact your local Health Department:

Genesee County Health Department call: 585-344-2580, ext. 5000, or visit their Web site at

February 12, 2015 - 10:48am
posted by Cheryl Thorley in genesee county.
Company Name: 
Genesee County
Job Type: 

For qualifications, job duties and application information:
Application Deadline: 2/27/15




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