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genesee county

November 17, 2017 - 4:17pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, RTS, Announcements, genesee county, bus service, Black friday.

Press release:

To make it easier for customers to access shopping destinations on Black Friday, Nov. 24, Regional Transit Service is providing free basic route bus service in Genesee County, and in Livingston, Ontario, Orleans, Wayne and Wyoming counties during regular business hours.

The free service will be available during RTS’ regular business hours on basic route service and will not apply to any deviation, dial-a-ride or other premium services. Anyone requesting service beyond the basic route service will be charged the regular fare.

Who:  RTS Genesee, RTS Livingston, RTS Ontario, RTS Orleans, RTS Wayne and RTS Wyoming

What:  Free basic route service on Black Friday

When:  Black Friday, Nov. 24, during regular business hours

For all other information, visit www.myRTS.com.

November 16, 2017 - 6:05pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in tourism, genesee county, business, news.

Sports is a booming business for tourism in Genesee County, according to Kelly Rapone, tourism marketing director for the Chamber of Commerce.

Between soccer at Batavia Sports Park, the Darien Lake baseball and softball tournaments, golf getaways, and various other competitive sports events that attract people from throughout the region and the Northeast, Genesee County hotels are often selling out during the spring and summer, Rapone told members of the County Legislator's Ways and Means Committee yesterday.

"Every weekend, I would say, from May right through July, we are booked up, our hotels, for sports," Rapone said.

That helps contribute to one of the major funding sources for the Chamber of Commerce, the county's bed tax.

Last year, the bed tax fell a little short of projections but Tom Turnbull, chamber president, said it looks like the revenue will exceed the $420,000 target, despite a rainy June.

Revenue was up 3 percent in the first quarter, 3 percent in the fourth quarter, but down 1 percent in the third quarter.

"The big factor there is probably Darien Lake," Turnbull said. "They are a big contributor to the bed tax and it was a rainy summer. Their numbers were, I know, down a little bit, but still 1 percent is not too bad."

The fourth quarter should make up for it, Turnbull said, with a projected increase of 17 percent.

Rapone said the golf packages the chamber sells fell off significantly in June, from leading to the booking of 93 room nights a year ago to just 29 this June.

"You can see, they all kind of shifted out to later in the summer and then we did another push for fall packages," Rapone said.

The chamber's budget for 2017 expected $66,000 from New York in matching funds for the "I Love NY" tourism promotion program, but the chamber received only $64,400 this year. That is the number the chamber will budget for 2018 and hope for an increase in that amount.

The chamber also generates its own revenue through a visitors guide, dining guide, coupon book and the golf packages. The budget anticipated $106,000 in revenue from these sources and the actual revenue for 2017 will be at least $108,000. The chamber will budget $110,000 for 2018.

Rapone said the county may see an increase in Chinese tourists, with a shift away over the next four years from bus tours to more individual travelers.

This year, the chamber hosted a group of 16 Chinese travel guides who were touring the state.

She also talked about how the Chinese pay for things. There is only one national credit card and that isn't always accepted by businesses in the United States.

"A Chinese traveller would never pull out his Chinese credit card to pay for something if he thought there might be the slightest chance it would be denied," Rapone said.

So what they carry is a card called Union Pay. What a lot of merchants don't understand, she said, is if they can accept Discover, they can accept Union Pay.

She said she visited a deli over the summer and the owner complained that the Chinese who came in never bought anything. She told him about Union Pay. The next week, he had all the signage up in the store to show he accepted Union Pay.

"It's the simple things that make us more welcoming," she said. "Like, they don't like ice in their drinking water. They want their water and tea at room temperature."

November 2, 2017 - 2:48pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in genesee county, budget, news.

Press release:

NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN, That the Genesee County Legislature will meet at the Genesee County Old Courthouse, 7 Main Street, Batavia, New York on Wednesday, November 8, 2017 at 6:30 p.m. for the purpose of holding a Public Hearing on the Tentative Genesee County Budget for 2018.

Further Notice is hereby given that a copy of said Tentative Budget will be available in the Office of the Clerk of the Legislature, 7 Main Street, Batavia, New York where it may be inspected by any interested person.

Pursuant to Section 359 of the County Law, the maximum salaries that may be fixed and payable during said fiscal year to members of the Genesee County Legislature and to the Chair, thereof, are hereby specified as follows:

  • Members of the Legislature $12,117 each
  • Chair of the Legislature $15,943
October 26, 2017 - 7:20pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in budget, genesee county, news, notify.

The 2018 budget County Manager Jay Gsell is filing contains a property tax rate increase of six cents, to $10.13 per thousand of assessed value.

The manager's budget only becomes law if the County Legislature fails to pass a budget before the end of December.

At a meeting of the whole yesterday, no member of the Legislature expressed outright support for the increase and several said they oppose it and want to hold the rate at $10.07.

To do that, legislators will need to appropriate another $186,000 from reserve funds or find an equal amount of spending to cut.

Gsell's budget already calls for spending down the reserves again by $1 million.

“We’ve got the money, we should use it," said Chairman Ray Cianfrini. "I don’t think we should be hitting the public with another tax increase. Right or wrong, I think they think perception-wise that the Nursing Home money is money we have to apply toward this. I’m just throwing that out as my recommendation.”

Legislator Marianne Clattenburg said, “You’ve got to remember, people’s assessments went up, so their taxes are already going up.”

Both John Deleo and Ed DeJaneiro expressed opposition.

"I don’t think I could vote for a budget unless we went to $10.07," DeJaneiro said.

Now that Gsell has submitted the manager's budget, legislators will have two weeks before a public hearing to make their suggestions for fine-tuning the revenue and spending plans.

The county's spending plan for 2018 calls for a total expenditure of $130,180,842, which will be paid for by a combination of state and federal reimbursements and local property and sales taxes along with miscellaneous fees and use taxes.

The property tax levy under Gsell's plan is $29,492,783. That's an increase in the levy of $268,120, which is within the state's two-percent tax cap mandate.

That mandate is being made tougher by Albany. The Raise the Age law passed earlier this year -- which will bring more 16- and 17-year-olds accused of crimes into the Family Court system -- was written to withhold funds for reimbursements for additional expenses from the law to counties that fail to hold the line on the two-percent cap.

This is also the first year the county is not saddled with the expense of the Genesee County Nursing Home, with its 160 jobs (full-time equivalents) and $16 million budget, which was draining as much as $2 million from local taxpayers each year.

There remain 540 FTEs on the county's books. Personnel is the largest expenditure for the county, but the pressure of the expense has been mitigated the county's share of the state's pension program remaining flat for 2018, more employees falling under Tier IV of the pension program, and the cost-savings success of the county's health coverage program, which now has employees contributing 10 to 20 percent of the premiums.

Unfunded state-mandated expenses continue to eat up a good portion of the tax levy. The 8-9 programs cost local taxpayers $22,315,765, or 76 percent of the levy. Medicaid is $9.4 million of that expense.

In all, Department of Social Services provides health aid to 12,500 senior citizens, children and adults in need at a cost of $95 million (most of which is covered by State and Federal expenditures).  About 60 percent of the expenditure is for long-term nursing care.

Other unfunded mandates include indigent defense, pre-K/elementary handicapped education services, probation, mental health, the jail, Safety Net, family assistance, child welfare and youth detention, according to Gsell's budget message.

Another mandate Gsell knocks in his message is the requirement from Albany that counties give raises to district attorneys. On April 1, the DA's salary will go up to $193,000 and there's nothing local elected officials can do about it.

"This is merely a reflection of the unilateral and paternalistic attitude of Albany and the disregard for local county government fiscal constraints," Gsell said.

The most significant personnel change in the budget is the addition of a compliance officer, who will report the county manager and oversee compliance with state and federal regulation related to the more than $11 million in grants the county receives so that revenue isn't inadvertently jeopardized. 

"(The position) has been strongly recommended by our outside/consulting corporate compliance attorney and our independent auditors," Gsell said.

As for proceeds from the sale of the nursing home, DeJaneiro wanted to know if the state could mandate what the county does with the money. Gsell said that is one thing the state leaves entirely up to local discretion.

There are still accounts to settle related to the nursing home, so the final total of the proceeds (profits) from the $15 million sale is not yet available, but whatever the amount, it will likely be placed in the capital improvement fund.

DeJaneiro suggested it go to help pay for repairs to roads and bridges and Gsell said that is one possibility, but the county is looking at the state soon requiring the county to build a new jail with a potential price tag of $43 million.

As expenses continue to go up every year in a county budget that for years has held the line on tax increases and cut personnel and services year-after-year, one concern for legislators about the tax cap is if they don't raise the property tax by six cents, then the amount they can raise taxes in future years if dire circumstances require it is diminished.

To get around this Legislator Bob Bausch asked if the county could raise the rate by six cents and then on the tax bill immediately turn around and rebate property owners the six cents per thousand, thereby increasing the total amount of the levy without actually taking more from taxpayers.

"I think it’s sort of a gimmick," DeJaneiro said.

Bausch replied, "Of course it’s a gimmick. The whole thing is a gimmick," meaning the state's arbitrary tax cap.

"Fight gimmicks with gimmicks," Legislator Andrew Young observed.

No vote was taken on the budget. There will be another budget discussion next Wednesday.

October 19, 2017 - 3:04pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in budget, genesee county, news, notify.

As County Manager Jay Gsell gets closer to pitching his proposed 2018 budget to county legislators, the focus in budget talks is on what staff positions will be created and which will be eliminated.

New positions might include a compliance officer, a first assistant district attorney, and a program coordinator in the Department of Mental Health.

On the way out are a child care worker in Social Services and a youth program specialist in the Youth Bureau.

Many of the positions being eliminated are reclassifications of jobs within the same department. For example, in Mental Health, two part-time clerk-typist positions become one full-time position. Public health is eliminating a principal financial support specialist but adding an administrative officer and part-time senior financial clerk-typist.

If a first assistant district attorney position is created in the District Attorney's Office, which is expected to go to Melissa Cianfrini at a salary of $111,783, an assistant district attorney position, with a salary of $91,915, will be eliminated.

The headline new position, however, is the compliance officer. The potential salary is $87,694 and the position will report to the county manager. The compliance officer will make sure the county is meeting all federal and state requirements for privacy, disability accessibility, health record privacy and other codes and regulations that are often tied to the grants the county receives from state and federal agencies.

“If Tim Yaeger or somebody wants to apply for a Federal grant, a Homeland Security grant, or some other kind of grant, they can the requirement of the grant, hand it to the compliance officer who can digest it and make sure we are currently meeting the requirements or what kind of changes do we need to make administratively to make sure we’re going to meet requirements,” said Matt Landers, assistant county manager.

There are millions of dollars in grants at stake in the county if the county fails to meet compliance requirements. 

The qualified job applicant will have a four-year degree and at least two years related work experience, or a master's degree and two years experience.

The Youth Bureau is eliminating a position because there's no guarantee the federal government is going to continue to fund Americorps. That program ends at the end of the year and the current director of the program will spend January and February winding down the program and then will be out of a job.

The Sheriff's Office is also asking to add two new positions, an assistant to the director of emergency communications, at a salary of $67,109, and an emergency services dispatcher, $43,128.

From the current budget draft, Gsell must trim $257,831 to arrive at a tax rate of $10.13, which keeps the tax levy increase within the tax cap limit. Without further cuts, the Legislature would need to approve a tax cap override. If the Legislature wants to get the tax rate down to this year's $10.07 per thousand of assessed value rate, Gsell will need to find $460,000 in additional spending cuts.

Gsell will present his draft budget and his annual budget message later this month.

October 13, 2017 - 5:18pm
posted by Billie Owens in steve hawley, infrastructure, genesee county, news.

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) today wrote to Gov. Cuomo and New York State Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Matthew Driscoll asking for increased funding to repair and secure dozens of local bridges that have been deemed structurally deficient by a recent report from State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli’s office.

“Securing infrastructure funding at the local level is like pulling teeth every year in Albany,” Hawley said. “Just because we are a more rural community compared to New York City doesn’t mean our local roads, bridges and highways take any less punishment.

"If anything, our bridges wear down more easily because many more residents drive and our agriculture and small business vehicles are constantly shipping more goods across the state.”

Statewide estimates to make all the necessary repairs are $27 billion, with 23 percent of Genesee County bridges and 16.2 percent of Orleans County bridges categorized as structurally deficient.

“This is about giving peace of mind to our bus drivers as they bring our children to school, our parents making the morning commute to put food on the table and  our small-business owners working hard to transport their goods to market,” Hawley said.

“Government’s top priority should be the safety of its residents, and that starts with roads and bridges in which we have confidence, allowing residents and tourists to travel safely. Securing funding to make this a reality is a must, and I will fight in the coming weeks and months to make that happen.”

September 7, 2017 - 3:30pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in genesee county, news, notify.

County legislators were filled in on a few more details Wednesday on a proposal that could save the county money on its motor vehicle fleet by County Highway Superintendent Tim Hens.

Hens wasn't able to attend the Public Service Committee on Tuesday where the proposal was first pitched to legislators, but he was at Wednesday's Ways and Means Committee meeting.

"It's also important to look at that it's not only $80,000 savings on the bottom line, we're also providing a higher level vehicle to departments," Hens said. "In the current fleet mix we have now, we have a number mid-size, almost compact-size cars that departments are using. ... We're providing across-the-board vehicles to departments more suited to what they want and fits department usage and we're still saving $80,000."

There could be more potential cost savings down the road, Hens said, if the program with Enterprise Rent-A-Car works out and the county converts more of its vehicles, such as County Highway pickup trucks, to the program.

The current proposal calls for Enterprise to replace 47 vehicles currently in the county fleet with 47 new vehicles. Enterprise would sell the used vehicles and return the proceeds to the county (as much as $580,000) and the county would make payments on the new vehicles.

One reason the deal works for the county, Hens explained, is that the vehicles the county will get from Enterprise every four years will be cars, SUVs and vans that have higher resale value than the typical Ford the county gets now (nothing against, Ford, Hens noted, but they don't have great resale value).

"The only difference, really the big difference, is that they are getting just a smidge bit better purchasing prices because they're buying so many vehicles nationwide and where they're really beating us is on resale," Hens said.

Currently, when the county retires a vehicle, it's sold through one of two regional auction houses, limiting the size of the potential buyers' market.

"These guys are selling their vehicles at an Enterprise fleet auction that's covering all of North America so they're driving higher prices on the resale," Hens said.

He added, "The other piece of the puzzle that they do, is they have such a knowledge of what vehicles are pulling in -- higher values -- that they'll have you buy the vehicle in the first place knowing that's going to drive a higher price on resale. Right now, we put a bid out and we're stuck with the low bidder."

The county is looking at switching out the fleet at the start of 2018.

September 6, 2017 - 1:45pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in genesee county, news, notify.

A proposal to switch out the most of the county's current fleet of vehicles to a national vendor to manage and maintain the fleet could save the county as much as $80,000 a year, according to a proposal presented to the Legislature's Public Service Committee on Tuesday.

Enterprise Rent-a-Car provides the same service to several other counties in New York, said Representative Jimmy Adams, and those counties have achieved the anticipated cost savings and seem satisfied with the service.

The program will start with Enterprise taking 47 of the vehicles in the county's fleet now and selling them at an estimated total of $580,000 returned to the county. Enterprise would then replace those 47 vehicles with 47 new vehicles, purchased at the typical discounted government bid rate, and the county would make payments on those vehicles.

Legislature Chairman Ray Cianfrini wanted to know if Enterprise would guarantee that the 47 vehicles would sell for at least $580,000 and Adams said, in a word, no.

"We are very conservative (in our estimates)," Adams said. "We have a remarketing manager who is in our Rochester office. His sole job is to go through, give these values to new clients and current customers and make sure those are values we can live up to because we know at the end of the day, if we don't we're going to be in meetings similar to this and explain why we missed."

County Manager Jay Gsell said doesn't expect any surprises when Enterprise puts the vehicles on the market.

"Based on the current age of our fleet and the condition in which the motor pool maintains those, I don't think we've got any hidden upsets as far as that's concerned, but there is nothing absolute in terms of what the whole 47 will generate in net value," Gsell said.

The other potential problem, Cianfrini said, is what if the partnership doesn't work out and the county wants out of the deal. He thinks the county will be out 47 vehicles and will need to buy 47 vehicles.

Adams said, first, that has never happened with one of these vendor arrangements for a government entity, and second, even if that were the case, the county will be in a "positive equity position" on each vehicle because the government bid price on the vehicles is so low. Over the first year or so of such an agreement, the county would be paying down the principal owed on each vehicle and if Enterprise sold the car at that point, "Enterprise would be writing a check to the county," Adams said.

That positive equity position would make it easier, Adams said, for the county to walk away from the deal if it decided to go that route.

There are also potential cost savings because Enterprise will be responsible for maintenance and mechanical repairs on the vehicles, which could mean the elimination of a mechanic's position from the county's budget. Cianfrini suggested that instead of eliminating a job, perhaps that service could be sold. Gsell said the county has a history of not competing with private enterprise and thought it would be logistically difficult to offer that service to another county. Committee Chairwoman Shelly Stein noted that Tim Hens, county highway superintendent, has said (he wasn't at the meeting) that there is plenty of backfill work that is going undone that could be done if a mechanic was freed up from his current duties.

A state audit found a flaw in how the county was accounting for its fleet expense and this agreement would help resolve that issue, Gsell said, which is one reason why he's recommending the Legislature move on the proposal this budget year instead of waiting until 2018.

September 5, 2017 - 2:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in planning, genesee county, news.

Press release:

All members of the public are invited to join for the 17th annual Genesee County Comprehensive Plan Steering Committees presentation to the Legislature. The presentation will be held at 6 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 11, at the Old Court House, 7 Main St., Batavia.

The Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee meets six times throughout the year, taking in feedback from more than 100 individuals from various levels of government, nonprofit agencies, business and industry, and interested citizens regarding the topics: Agriculture and Food Production; Community Wellness; Criminal Justice and Emergency Management; Economic and Workforce Development; Government Administration and Education; Housing Opportunity; Land Use, Environment, and Place-Making; Parks, Arts, Recreation and Culture; Technology and Utilities; and Transportation and Mobility.

The information gathered through this process is then reported to the legislative body to guide them in ongoing decision making and as they develop the next year’s County Budget.

Advance information may be obtained by contacting Derik Kane at the Genesee County Planning Department

County Building 2
3837 W. Main Street Road
Batavia, NY 14020
(585) 815-7901

August 24, 2017 - 2:09pm
posted by Billie Owens in arthritis, genesee county, news, Announcements, health, batavia.

A new support network for adults living with all types of arthritis and rheumatic diseases is launching in Batavia on Sept. 27.

The Arthritis Support Network in Western New York will hold its local debut event from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Richmond Memorial Library, located at 19 Ross St. in the City of Batavia.

It aims to help and support those with arthritis through connection, education and empowerment.

To RSVP or to get more information, contact [email protected] or go online to arthritisintrospective.org/local

August 1, 2017 - 1:54pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in genesee county, crime, health, mental health, news, Announcements.

How do rural counties with limited resources combat an issue as multifaceted as heroin and opiate addiction?

Quite simply, they collaborate to find common-sense practices to beat the dragon.

In January, officials, doctors, healthcare providers, and community members from three counties -- Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming -- formed the GOW Opioid Task Force.

Its goal is to not only raise awareness of the growing epidemic but to also find and compile: a list of resources available to addicts and their families; data on the number of overdoses, deaths, and uses of naloxone within each county; and identifying roadblocks to treatment.

During the July meeting, a roadmap of sorts was laid out for the Task Force.

From the time an individual is born, they are, to some degree, rated on performing tasks independently. Doctors gauge a child’s progress: Sits independently. Walks independently. Teachers grade a student’s performance: Works independently. It’s a skill desirable to some employers: Must be able to work independently.

It is a mantra instilled in a person's mind from a very young age: Be an individual. Don’t follow the crowd. Learn to be independent. Yet, there are times, when being independent becomes counterproductive to the needs of a community.

Although each of the GOW counties are afflicted with the same problem – the increase in overdoses and deaths due to heroin and opiates – independently, there are gaps in services and help for both addicts and their families. However, collectively, the Task Force can help fill those gaps.

In an effort to find where each county is lacking and how to get funding for the resources it needs, the Task Force determined three areas to address: community education and action, data compilation and access to care.

Community education and action

Three goals were created to better educate the public:

    • Educate students, parents and community about the dangers of heroin and opioid use – Narcan training and education, sharps and medicine disposal sites, and develop materials for distribution;

    • Identify resources and local partnerships to help prevent use – pharmacies, law enforcement, recovery services, and mental health service; and

    • Develop recommendations for future goals and action steps to prevent use – encourage attendance and participation in Task Force meetings, recovery coaching, peer speakers, and more.

Data

Part of the requirements for applying for State funding is to have the data and statistics to back up the need. However, compiling those numbers becomes a collaborative effort between multiple agencies. Additionally, the task is further hindered by the fact that the Monroe County Medical Examiner’s (ME) Office handles cases from its own and the GOW counties. Subsequently, toxicology reports are often not received back for six months or more.

According to a recent report, the Monroe County Medical Examiner’s Office has performed 1,020 autopsies in 2016. In 2015 it was closer to 900. In 2008 approximately 975 were performed and in 2005 860. The years 2012 and 2013 both showed approximately 880.

The goals of this group are to develop a tool to track data, identify the data each county already has, and perform a gap analysis to identify missing data and create a plan to overcome any barrier.

Access to care

Again, a barrier addicts and family members face is access to care in relative proximity to where they live.

Officials say when an addict is ready to get the help they need to begin the recovery process, there is an immediacy to their need.

One of the goals of this group is to map out the access to care in the Western Region Naturally Occurring Care Network (NOCN).

The NOCNs include the Finger Lakes, Monroe, Southeastern, Southern, and Western regions of New York State.

In addition to finding a place to receive care, the group also identified eight groups of potential entry points for families and individuals in crisis. They include hospital emergency rooms, crisis hot line, primary care physicians, law enforcement, community-based organizations, healthcare homes, community-based groups, and schools and colleges.

Nationwide, every 17 minutes someone dies from an opioid overdose. About two years ago, there were 100 deaths in Erie County. In 2015, it more than doubled. In 2016, that number could reach over 500. That’s about 10 per week. February alone recorded 23 overdose deaths in just one week.

In Wyoming County, between 2010 and 2014 the number of opioid-related emergency department admissions increased 47.6 percent – 42 and 62. The number of opioid-related inpatient hospital admissions rose from 61 to 91 respectively – a 49.2-percent increase. 

According to a recent article in The Batavian, there were five deaths in Genesee County that the Monroe County Medical Examiner attributed to the overuse of opiate-related drugs in 2013.

In 2016, 17 deaths with toxicology completed were attributed to drug mixtures that included opiates, with four toxicology reports for last year still pending.

To date in 2017, there are seven deaths where toxicology is still pending.

Of the 17 known OD-related deaths in 2016, only five were attributed to heroin mixed with other drugs, whether prescription drugs and/or over-the-counter medications. (Note: the ME for 2016 was Erie County.)

There were nine deaths caused by a combination of prescription opiates mixed with other drugs.

There was one death caused by "acute and chronic substance abuse."

Of the 18 overdose deaths in 2015, 14 involved prescription opiates used in combination with other drugs and two were caused by heroin used in combination with other drugs.

In 2014, there were 12 drug-induced deaths. Nine of the 12 involved prescription opiates combined with other drugs. Heroin, used singularly or in combination with other drugs, contributed to three deaths. 

Between 2010 and 2014 those who were admitted for treatment for any opioid in Western New York was 7,679 in 2010. By 2014, the number of people seeking treatment rose by almost a third – 10,154 – a 32-percent increase.

Across the state, those in treatment for heroin use was 55,900 in 2010; in 2014, the number was 77,647. Deaths across the state due to heroin overdose increased 163 percent (215 in 2008, and 637 in 2013) and opioid overdoses increased 30 percent (763 to 952).

While nearby counties like Erie and Monroe have access to more mental health services and rehabilitation centers due to their populations, Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties struggle to find those same services closer to home for their residents.

The next meeting date and time for GOW Opioid Task Force to be determined.

For more information, Kristine Voos at [email protected]

July 24, 2017 - 3:38pm
posted by Billie Owens in 4-H, genesee county, agriculture.

Submitted photos and press release:

The Genesee County 4-H Office would like to congratulate all of the Genesee County 4-H members who exhibited animals at the 2017 Genesee County Fair. We would also like to thank all of our club leaders, volunteers, family members and friends who volunteered their time; we could not do it without you!  

Below are some highlights from the 2017 Genesee County Fair 4-H Livestock Shows. (*See Editor's Note below.)

Photo from 4-H Beef Cattle Show. From left: Becky Kron, Judge Eric Bond, Shianne Foss.

4-H Beef Cattle Show 

Senior Showman – Shianne Foss

Junior Showman – Autumn Mathisen

Master Showman – Shianne Foss

Supreme Champion Female – Autumn Mathisen

Reserve Supreme Female – Emily Ehrmentraut

Grand Champion Steer – Shianne Foss

Reserve Champion Steer – Becky Kron

4-H Goat Show

Senior Showman – Melissa Keller

Junior Showman – Cody Ehrmentraut

Novice Showman – Jade Winn

Champion Nigerian Dwarf Doe – Jade Winn

Champion Market Goat – Melissa Keller

Photo from 4-H Sheep Show -- Ben Kron with his Supreme Champion ewe.

Photo from 4-H Sheep Show -- Becky Kron with her Supreme Champion ram.

4-H Sheep Show

Senior Showman – Melissa Keller

Junior Showman – Madelynn Pimm

Novice Showman – Hunter McCabe

Master Showman – Melissa Keller

Supreme Champion Ram – Becky Kron

Supreme Champion Ewe – Ben Kron

4-H Hog Show

Senior Showman – Melissa Keller

Junior Showman – Katelynn Rumsey

Novice Showman – Camden Baris

Master Showman – Melissa Keller

Champion Gilt – Melissa Keller

Champion Non-Sale Market Hog – Melissa Keller

Photo from 4-H Dairy Show. From left: Genesee County Dairy Princess Rebecca Slattery, Maggie Winspear, Mary Sweeney, Judge Shane Schultz, Dairy Princess Runner-up Miah Werth.

4-H Dairy Cattle Show

Senior Showman – Emily Mikel

Intermediate Showman – Colton Slattery

Junior Showman – Hudson Luft

Novice Showman – Justin Deleo

Master Showman – Emily Mikel

Reserve Master Showman – Mary Sweeney

(*EDITOR'S NOTE: Photos for the 4-H Hog Show and the 4-H Goat Show will be published next week along with a press release about auctions.)

July 17, 2017 - 9:26pm
posted by Maria Pericozzi in Genesee County Fair, genesee county, news. agriculture.

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The Genesee County Fair opened Monday at 9 a.m. and will be open through Saturday. There is a $5 admission per carload and the daily schedule is located here

This year, as always, there are carnival rides, food, farm animals, livestock competitions, music performances and large farm equipment. 

Monday is "Emergency Responder Night"; Tuesday is "Senior Citizen Day"; Wednesday is "Children's Day"; Thursday is "Veterans Day"; Friday is "Community Day and Thrill Night"; and Saturday is "Farm Bureau Day and Bring Your Tractor to the Fair Day." 

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June 30, 2017 - 2:07pm
posted by Billie Owens in genesee county, public health column.

From county health officials:

It is officially summer, a popular time for home renovations. Home renovations can be a complicated undertaking and renovating an older home presents its own unique set of challenges. Specifically, homes built before 1978 could contain lead-based paint and other lead sources which pose a health hazard, especially to children.

“The biggest problem with renovations involving lead is the dust that is produced during sanding, cutting, and demolition. Dust can settle on various surfaces and be inhaled into the lungs or ingested through common hand-to-mouth activities,” said Brenden Bedard, director of Community Health Services for Genesee and Orleans counties.

The first step in any home renovation project is to decide if you are going to hire a contractor or if you are going to “Do-it-yourself.” Please note that, in most cases, landlords are required to hire a professional and cannot do the work themselves. In either case, safe work practices need to occur in order to protect you and your family.

Hiring a contractor:  When hiring a contractor, ask about their work practices to minimize lead hazards. Also, you should verify that your contractor is certified by the EPA. The EPA’s Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule requires contractors working on buildings built before 1978 to be certified by the EPA, use renovators that are properly trained, and follow safe work practices. Finally, make sure that the details of your renovation are clearly laid out and that everyone involved understands what will be happening during setup, renovation, and cleanup

Do-it-yourselfer:  If you are a homeowner undertaking a renovation project yourself, you need to be educated on proper work practices to keep you and your family safe from dangerous lead dust.

Consider hiring a certified lead inspector before you begin your project to determine if your home contains any lead in the work area.

Work safely by removing any furniture, rugs, and other household items before you begin the project which could get covered with dust and use plastic covering to seal off doors and vents to prevent the spread of dust outside of your work area.

Use the correct equipment including certified respirators, HEPA vacuum cleaners, protective clothing, etc. to minimize the risk involved.

When the work is finished, clean-up must be done properly. Use of a vacuum cleaner, with a HEPA filter, wet wiping, and wet mopping to remove any dust and debris from all surfaces is important. It is also important to remember that lead dust may not be visible to the naked eye; just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it’s not there! Contractors need to use a cleaning verification card to confirm cleaning was done properly. You can also choose to have a lead-dust test performed. Testing should be done by a lead professional. Contact the National Lead Information Center at 1-800-424-LEAD for more details (If using a contractor, lead-dust testing should be discussed before the project begins.).

If done properly, home renovation should be a safe process for you and your children. Of course, don’t forget about your pets! Pets are just as susceptible to the effects of lead and should be considered when planning your project. For more information about home renovation involving lead and for a more complete list of safe work practices, visit the EPA website at https://www.epa.gov/lead. Your local health department can also provide educational materials and advice with regards to lead.

For information about health department services contact:

June 30, 2017 - 1:19pm

A Special Weather Statement was issued a few minutes ago by the National Weather Service stating: "An area of strong thunderstorms will bring torrential rains to Northern Wyoming and Southern Genesee counties. 

"Strong thunderstorms were clustered near Attica, or eight miles south of Batavia, moving east at 15 mph.

"These storms will bring very heavy rainfall to Attica and nearby locations with more than an inch of rain possible in an hour or less. Locations impacted include... Darien Lakes State Park, Le Roy, Bennington, Attica, Pavilion, Stafford, Covington, Alexander, Wyoming and East Bethany. This includes Interstate 90 near exit 47. Torrential rainfall is also occurring with this storm, and may cause localized flooding. Do not drive your vehicle through flooded roadways."

These conditions are expected until 2 p.m.

June 26, 2017 - 4:16pm
posted by Billie Owens in weather, news, genesee county.

A hazardous weather outlook was issued today for portions of Western New York, including Genesee County, by the National Weather Service.

It says "An anomalously cold upper level trough crossing the region combined with warm lake temperatures will result in the development of lake effect rains tonight and into Tuesday, potentially resulting in localized flooding, particularly across low-lying flood-prone areas."

June 16, 2017 - 1:58pm
posted by Maria Pericozzi in news, Boys State, genesee county, Le Roy, corfu, batavia, Oakfield, byron.

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The Genesee County representatives for the American Legion Boys State of New York met on Thursday night in Le Roy, before they depart on June 25. 

The American Legion Boys State is a weeklong program that immerses high school youth in citizenship and leadership training. While at Boys State, they learn the practical aspects of government in New York and participate in physical fitness, teamwork and other activities under the guidance of counselors and Marines. 

This year, Boys State will be held at SUNY Morrisville.

Bryce Bordonaro, Ryan Driscoll and Thomas Mellon are representing Le Roy; Jacob Brower is representing Waterport; Ethan Fischer, John Kindig, Nathan Loria and Joseph Marchese are representing Batavia; John Igoe is representing Oakfield; Nathan Knickerbocker is representing Byron; and Tyler Wood is representing Corfu.

(Photos by Maria Pericozzi.)

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