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April 19, 2016 - 9:54am
posted by Howard B. Owens in infrastructure, genesee county, Highway Department.

An increase in funding from the state and lower asphalt prices will help the county catch up on road repaving over the next five years, Highway Superintendent Tim Hens told the County Legislature's Public Service Committee Monday afternoon.

This year, the county will have slightly more than $2 million available for road and bridge projects, that's a 25-percent increase over last year.

The state is sending the county an additional $382,000 as part of a Pave NY program initiated this year and intended to increase funding to local governments for five years.

At the same time, the cost of asphalt has dropped by about 20 percent, Hens said.

"This will let us catch up over the next five years and get us where we ought to be," Hens said.

Maintenance has been deferred on many roads in recent years because of tight revenue and high asphalt prices.

That will help with the roads, but what about the bridges?

The county is responsible for 284 bridges (including culverts) and about 50 percent are deficient, Hens said.

The county needs about $15 million for bridge repair and maintenance, and while the state is starting a Bridge NY program, it won't meet all of the county's needs.

"Eventually, the county will probably have to bond some money or do something long term in the millions of dollars to catch up on those bridges," Hens said.

Many of the county's bridges are 65 to 70 years old.  

"They're running out of life and you take a bridge here or there on some of those rural roads and some of the detours get pretty long really quick," Hens said.

March 3, 2016 - 1:53pm
posted by Billie Owens in hawley, infrastructure, news.

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) sharply criticized Gov. Cuomo on Wednesday over his proposed plan to widen the disparity between Upstate and Downstate infrastructure funding in this year’s budget. Some say the New York City area could receive as much as $4 billion more than Upstate for things like airport reconstructions, the Tappan Zee Bridge and budget deficits at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA).

“What the governor and my legislative colleagues from Downstate do not understand is that the vast majority of Upstate residents use automobiles as their primary form of transportation,” Hawley said. “There is no such thing as a subway or readily available taxi in Western New York. Everyone from our children who ride the bus to school, to our parents who drive to work, to our farmers who transport produce to market uses local roads, bridges and highways. Deficient infrastructure puts families at risk every day and continues to cause expensive repairs to the suspensions and tires of automobiles. We are part of New York too and deserve our fair share!”

Hawley’s comments come after recent news articles surfaced illustrating how Downstate politicians are trying to secure more funding for pet projects during budget negotiations. A recent story regarding the Rochester area has brought to light the desperate state of its bridges.Local highway superintendents and other public officials have echoed Hawley’s calls for more adequate funding of Upstate infrastructure.

“The Town of Hamlin, like many small rural towns, desperately needs their fair share of infrastructure money,” said Town of Hamlin Highway Superintendent Steven Baase. “There is no mass transit here, so everything relies on the condition of roads and bridges. The price of rebuilding or maintaining roads is skyrocketing, but we still have to comply with the tax cap. We are falling farther behind in road repairs and something has to give. Please reinstate the infrastructure parity between Upstate and Downstate in the budget. It is imperative!”

February 11, 2016 - 12:59pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, infrastructure.

washavesewerfeb112016-2.jpg

With blueprints spread out in front of him on a long table, the city's director of public works, Matt Worth, walked a group of Washington Avenue residents through plans for an upgrade to the sewer system along their street this summer.

The impact on residents during construction should be minimal, Worth said, but, hey, it's a construction project.

"It's going to be a busy summer," Worth said. "I'd like to tell you it's not going to be disruptive, but I'd be kinda kiddin' ya. It's going to be noisy and loud and (with) bumps and things like that, but hopefully, when it's all said and done, the end product is going to be very good."

When it's done, residents will have a new sewer line, many will have new water service hookups and the street from Ross Street to Ellicott Avenue will be completely repaved.

The entire project will cost about $1.4 million and is part of the city's capital project, paid for with rate increases, to improve the water and sewer system, which in many parts of the city is buckling under the strain of age.

Once started, the project will take four months to complete.

During construction, residents along Washington should always have sewer service, Worth said.

The contractor will work to keep disruptions to a minimum. If a driveway is blocked, it will only be for a day and the contractor will provide advance notice. The sidewalk will be kept clear and walkable and a engineer will be on site at all times to ensure the project goes smoothly.

"Construction projects like this are dirty," Worth said. "They create dust. If it rains, they create mud. There are bumps and bruises and stuff, however, the contractor is expected to require to maintain the project in a safe manner."

Residents shouldn't need to worry about driving into a big hole, Worth said.

Where the sewer line crosses a connect from a residence to a water main, the connection from the main to the shutoff valve (by the property line at the sidewalk) will be replaced.

Which raised a question from a resident about replacing the water line to the house. Worth said if the line is galvanized, it might be best to replace it with copper pipe. The galvinized pipe isn't a health issue, Worth said, but the circumference of the pipe could be greatly constricted, reducing water pressure. 

"Quite often, the homeowner does use this as an opportunity to change the pipe all the way to the house," Worth said. "You would hire a plumber to do that."

The project might also uncover problems with sewer connection, such as damaged clay tile or roots growing through the line. If workers discover anything like that when connecting the new line to the homeowner's line, they will let the homeowner know.

"If (the line) is cast iron and has worked as a sewer it's likely to continue to work as a sewer," Worth said.

Washington Towers won't be affected by the project because all of their connections are on State Street.

The doctors' offices along Washington all share common sewer and water lines, so there is only one connection to deal with.

Water service should not be affected, unless the connection line needs to be replaced, in which case the homeowner will be given advance notice, water will be shut off for only a few hours during the day, and there should be no water discoloration.

"However, there's going to be large excavation equipment digging adjacent to where all this is and unfortunately sometimes bad things happen," Worth said "If there is a water main break or a significant event, yes you could very well see conditions like that."

The contractor will reseed the parkway, but the quality of the grass will really depend on the attention and care given to it by the homeowner.

"If the homeowner is there and waters it every other day, you're going to have grass and it's going to stabilize and it's not going to be a headache for you," Worth said.

washavesewerfeb112016.jpg

January 26, 2016 - 11:15am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, infrastructure.

Press release:

There is a water main break on Union Street in front of Notre Dame High School, a Water Department crew has responded to begin the repairs. Water service on Union Street will be affected in this area, and water discoloration may be noticed in the surrounding areas. Union Street will be closed to traffic between Richmond Avenue and Soccio Street until repairs are complete.

The repair of the water service line on Washington Avenue has been completed.

UPDATE: 4:50 p.m.: Union Street has reopened. The Break is repaired.

January 25, 2016 - 3:17pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, infrastructure.

Press release:

The City of Batavia Water Department will be making a repair on a broken water service line on Washington Avenue Tuesday morning at 9 a.m. Water service should not be interrupted to make this repair. Please try to avoid the area between Bank Street and Summit Street as travel lanes may be restricted.

January 22, 2016 - 8:45am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, infrastructure.

Crews are on scene now of a water main break at the intersection of Washington Avenue and Madison Avenue, Village of Le Roy.

There is no ETA available for when repairs will be completed.

December 3, 2015 - 3:02pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in chris collins, infrastructure, NY-27.

Press release:

“Investing in America’s infrastructure will help grow our economy and improve the day-to-day lives of Western New Yorkers,” Congressman Chris Collins said. “This bipartisan legislation makes tremendous strides in modernizing America’s transportation policy, supports good-paying jobs, and implements vital reforms to jumpstart infrastructure projects in our region.”

Several key provisions of the legislation will benefit Western New York. The bill:

· Provides certainty to states and local governments by funding highway projects for five years;

· Exempts dairy trucks from certain federal trucking weight limits, allowing them to efficiently transport their products;

· Streamlines existing regulatory requirements for transportation projects, increasing efficiency and expediting the process;

· Funds the 5340 High Density States program, which guarantees New York’s mass transit agencies access to the funding they need;

· Reauthorizes the Export-Import Bank, protecting more than 3,700 jobs in Western New York and 25 exporting small businesses in New York’s 27th District; and

· Converts the current Surface Transportation Program (STP) to a block grant program, which will provide states and local governments more flexibility in their transportation spending. Fifty percent of the program’s funding is specifically targeted toward local governments and that grows by 5 percent over the five-year span of the bill.

Full text of the legislation can be read here.

December 2, 2015 - 3:01pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, infrastructure.

Press release:

The City of Batavia Water Department is repairing a broken water main on South Swan Street. South Swan Street will be closed to traffic from Ellicott Street to Sumner Street until repairs are completed.  

There will be a water service interruption for residents from Ellicott Street to Sumner Street. Other residents in the area may experience low water pressure or discolored water, which should return to normal once repairs are complete.

November 19, 2015 - 10:04am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Law Street, chestnut street, batavia, infrastructure.

Press release:

Law/Chestnut Street between South Jackson and Walnut streets in the City of Batavia will be closed to “local traffic only” during the day today due to a water line repair. It is not expected that water service will be interrupted or affected.

September 22, 2015 - 10:00am
posted by Howard B. Owens in perry road, Pavilion, Le Roy, infrastructure.

Statement from Tim Hens, county highway superintendent:

Perry Road is closed 150 feet south of 9596 Perry Road between Cole Road and Black Street Road for an emergency culvert replacement. The road will be closed for approximately three weeks. County Highway is making the repairs.

Low water due to the recent dry weather allowed for a more detailed inspection on the culvert. The inspection revealed significant deterioration below the normal water level that could result in a collapse of the culvert. 

September 16, 2015 - 11:37am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Pavilion, infrastructure.

Press release: 

The New York State Department of Transportation today announced the bridge that carries Route 20 over Oatka Creek in the Town of Pavilion, Genesee County, is being closed for repairs today, Sept. 16, while bridge workers make repairs. The bridge is expected to reopen by Friday, Oct. 2.

The structure is located about a half mile west of Route 19.

A detour will be posted using State Route 19 and State Route 63.

This bridge is being closed following a recent inspection that identified significant steel deterioration.

September 15, 2015 - 1:32pm

Press release:

On Monday, Sept. 14, the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council (FLREDC) approved its 2015 Progress Report, which includes the Council’s list of priority projects it is recommending for funding in Round V of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) initiative.

The Progress Report, which provides an annual update for the nine-county region (Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Orleans, Seneca, Wayne, Wyoming and Yates counties), will now be finalized and submitted to New York State by the Sept. 21st deadline.

Following the Progress Report vote, the FLREDC also held a special public forum on its draft Upstate Revitalization Initiative (URI) plan, at which it proposed approximately two dozen initiatives to be highlighted within the URI plan as example projects for possible funding – should the Finger Lakes be selected as a URI winner. These initiatives focus on four main URI goals identified by the FLREDC: job growth, increasing regional wealth, attracting private investment and reducing poverty.

In a written statement FLREDC Co-chairs, University of Rochester President Joel Seligman and Wegmans Food Markets CEO Danny Wegman, said: “This year, Governor Cuomo has presented Upstate communities with unprecedented opportunities to leverage public funding for projects that can help transform our regional economy. By providing these priority projects and initiatives for public review we seek to ensure they embody the strategic and diversified approach necessary to grow our region.”

Included below is a summary of the highlighted initiatives proposed for the URI plan and the full list of endorsed Priority Projects being recommended for capital grant funding from Empire State Development (ESD) this year in Round V of the REDC awards. Note that while the Priority Project list herein does not include projects seeking CFA awards from State agencies other than ESD, those projects still have the opportunity to receive funding.

URI Highlighted Initiatives

The FLREDC released the following proposed initiatives to be included in the URI plan. These initiatives are highlighted in the plan to serve as example opportunities for possible public and private investment in key strategic areas identified by the plan, but are not specific funding recommendations:

  • Agriculture & Food Production – Support of FLX Food, an initiative focused on organics and the future of the food ecosystem; an Eco-Brewing District created by North American Breweries around their facility downtown Rochester at High Falls; and a new initiative to cultivate sustainable food production, capitalizing on expertise already at Rochester Institute of Technology and Cornell University.
  • Next-Generation Manufacturing & Technology – Several projects highlighted in all three key hub locations, including: (1) Eastman Business Park (EBP) – Sweetwater’s biorefinery project; improvement of technology assets at EBP specifically addressing capacity to grow companies in energy storage, materials and nanotechnology; establishment of an AIM Photonics Manufacturing Center at EBP; (2) Downtown Innovation Zone – Rochester Regional Fund to invest in key downtown assets; redevelopment of the Inner Loop, which will include 17 acres of new developable parcels; (3) Science and Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park (STAMP) – Project Eagle to bring a solar manufacturing facility as the park’s first tenant; confidential nanoscale manufacturing project considering STAMP as a site.
  • Pathways to Prosperity – Monroe Community College’s Finger Lakes Workforce Development Center (FWD Center) at EBP; support for the Rochester-Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiative (RMAPI) based around the creation of a coordinated system for those in need; expansion of Hillside Work-Scholarship Connection; and programs to help ex-offenders and the working poor receive job training and placement.
  • Entrepreneurship & Development – Creation of a Finger Lakes Venture Fund to provide critically necessary capital to startups; buildout an urban development ecosystem for business efforts in the urban core; SUNY Geneseo’s Center for Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Economic Development, which will provide a new central location for expanded business services.
  • Higher Education & Research – UR’s Goergen Institute for Data Science to meet the growing need for data scientists; RIT’s Center for Advanced Technology in Additive Manufacturing and Multifunctional Printing for 3D printing commercialization and product development; UR’s Neurorestoration Institute to expand the areas preeminence in this growing field.

2015 FLREDC Priority Project Recommendations for CFA Round V -- Genesee County

  • Town of Alabama    Water Project to Support STAMP     $1,500,000
  • Genesee County IDA    Le Roy Food and Technology Park    $1,000,000
  • Genesee County IDA (Gateway LDC)    Ag Park Infrastructure    $500,000

This year, the 10 Regional Councils will once again compete for awards from up to $750 million in state economic development resources through Round V of the REDC competition. Additionally, through the new Upstate Revitalization Initiative (URI), seven regions – Finger Lakes, Southern Tier, Central New York, Mohawk Valley, North Country, Capital District, and Mid-Hudson – are eligible to compete for three $500 million awards, disbursed at a rate of $100 million per year for five years.

The three Upstate winners of the URI will receive approximately $130 million each this year ($100 million in URI funding, and an estimated $30 million from Round V of the REDC competition). Aside from those regions, three regions will earn “Top Performer” distinction in the REDC competition and will receive approximately $105 million each. Finally, the remaining four regions will receive approximately $90 million each through the REDC competition – which is more than the average amount awarded to the top place finisher in prior years. This approach ensures that no region is a “loser,” while also maintaining the competitive nature that has worked so well to bring local business, academic, and community leaders together to develop long term, impressive economic visions for their regions.

Show Your Support for the FLREDC URI Plan
The FLREDC today also launched a new website where anyone can sign up in support of the draft URI plan: www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov/content/flredc-uri-support-form
Detailed comments for the URI plan will continue to be accepted until September 18th on the website: http://regionalcouncils.ny.gov/content/flredc-uri-public-response-form

About the Regional Economic Development Councils
The Regional Economic Development Council initiative (REDC) is a key component of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's transformative approach to State investment and economic development. In 2011, Governor Cuomo established 10 Regional Councils to develop long-term strategic plans for economic growth for their regions. The Councils are public-private partnerships made up of local experts and stakeholders from business, academia, local government, and non-governmental organizations. The Regional Councils have redefined the way New York invests in jobs and economic growth by putting in place a community-based, bottom up approach and establishing a competitive process for State resources. After four rounds of the REDC process, nearly $3 billion has been awarded to more than 3,100 job creation and community development projects consistent with each region's strategic plans, supporting the creation or retention of more than 150,000 jobs. For more information on the Regional Councils, visit www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov.

About the Upstate Revitalization Initiative
In January of this year, Governor Cuomo announced the Upstate Revitalization Initiative (URI) and the partnership between the Regional Economic Development Councils to invest $1.5 billion in Upstate New York. The URI is an opportunity for communities to address the economic challenges of their regions and work together in bringing jobs back Upstate. The URI is a separate competition and deadline from the REDC process. The URI includes up to $500 million for three regions to implement over a five-year period. The following regions may submit one revitalization plan by Oct. 5, 2015: Finger Lakes, Southern Tier, Central New York, Mohawk Valley, North Country, Capital District and Mid-Hudson.

September 3, 2015 - 10:47am
posted by Howard B. Owens in infrastructure, batavia.

Press release:

The City of Batavia Water Department will be repairing a broken water main today on State Street. State Street will be closed to traffic from Denio Street to the City line until repairs are completed.

There will be a water service interruption for residents from Denio Street to the City line. Other residents in the area may experience low water pressure or discolored water, which should return to normal once repairs are complete.

UPDATE 5:14 p.m.: DPW sent us an update 15 minutes ago that said water was restored on State Street after a leak was fixed and now they are working to repair the road.

July 28, 2015 - 3:41pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Union Avenue, batavia, infrastructure.

unionrepairjuly282015.jpg

City crews are just finishing up water main repair work on Union Street. The leak location was just yards from a leak that occurred during the winter.

Water service was restored to the area about 2 p.m.

Union Avenue should reopen shortly.

July 28, 2015 - 6:44am
posted by Howard B. Owens in infrastructure, batavia.

Press release:

There is a water main break on Union Street in front of Notre Dame High School, and a Water Department crew has responded to begin repairs. Water service on Union Street will be affected in this area, and water discoloration may be noticed in the surrounding areas. Union Street will be closed to traffic between Richmond Avenue and Soccio Street until repairs are complete.

July 6, 2015 - 3:11pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in infrastructure, roads, County Highway Dept..

From Tim Hens, county highway superintendent:

Routine oil and stone work to begin tomorrow on Bank Street Road north of Five Corners (Townline Road) and Transit Road (Bank Street to Route 262) in the towns of Batavia, Elba and Byron.

Additional roads getting oil and stone within the next two weeks include:

  • Bennett and Simonds roads, Town of Darien
  • South Lake Road  (Cochocton to Route 5), Town of Pembroke
  • Akron Road, Town of Pembroke
  • Knowlesville and Ham Road, Town of Alabama
  • Barrville Road, Town of Elba
  • North Byron Road (Barrville Road to Route 98), Town of Elba
  • Creek Road (City of Batavia to Putnam Road), Town of Batavia
  • Attica and Darien-Alexander Townline roads, Town of Alexander
  • Covell and Hartwell roads, Town of Pavilion

Motorists are urged to travel at 35 mph or lower while oil cures and until loose stone can be swept from the roadway.

June 30, 2015 - 11:53am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Bataiva, water, infrastructure.

blastingzonetobjune2015.jpg

Driving along Bank Street Road, you might notice "Blasting Zone Ahead" signs.  

Workers are removing bedrock to create a channel for the Town of Batavia's new water main being installed along Bank Street Road and Batavia Elba Townline Road.

You can find out more about the project on the Town of Batavia's Web site.

The town is installing 26 miles of water main this summer, according to Tom Lichtenthal, assistant engineer for the town.

Lichtenthal said there is bedrock along the pipeline's path that is from one foot to three or four feet below the surface. The channel for the pipe needs to be six feet deep and about three feet wide.

The blasts, Lichtenthal said, really aren't too severe. An observer wouldn't see much happening above ground and residents might feel a slight vibration.

Blasting is expected to take place along the two roadways for at least a month, perhaps longer.

April 29, 2015 - 11:15am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, infrastructure.

Press release:

The City of Batavia Water Department will be making a repair on the water system Thursday April 30th on Pearl Street near Roosevelt Avenue. Low water pressure or water service interruption may occur on Pearl Street in the area of Dewey Avenue to Brooklyn Avenue and possibly some adjacent areas while repairs are completed. There may also be a period of water discoloration in the immediate area as a result. Traffic patterns are expected to be maintained, but will be slow near the repair area.

April 14, 2015 - 1:46pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, infrastructure.

Press release:

The City of Batavia Water Department will be making repairs to a water main on Clifton Avenue near Ellicott Street on Wednesday, April 15th. This work may result in water service being interrupted in the areas of Clifton Avenue, James Street, William Street, and Ellicott Street near Clifton Avenue and Otis Street. Residents should be aware that temporary discoloration of water or low water pressure may result for a period of time while repairs are made.

April 9, 2015 - 11:43am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Mike Ranzenhofer, infrastructure.

Press release:

State Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer has announced today that the 2015-16 State Budget makes a record level of investment to support local highway, road and bridge repair projects.

The new State Budget allocates a total of $488 million in statewide funding, including $438 million for the Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement Program (CHIPS) and $50 million for Extreme Winter Recovery.

“Municipalities all across Genesee County will receive more funding than ever before to help repair our local infrastructure. The final budget maintains a record level of funding as part of the CHIPS program for a third consecutive year, while allocating extra dollars for a second year to address potholes and road surface damage from the harsh winter,” said Ranzenhofer.

Municipality Breakdown: CHIPS + Extreme Winter Recovery

Municipality

2014-15 Budget ($)

2015-16 Budget ($)

Year-over-year Change ($)

Percent Change

City of Batavia

337,343

344,621

7,278

2.16

Town of Alabama

95,945

98,439

2,494

2.60

Town of Alexander

99,405

101,953

2,548

2.56

Town of Batavia

115,241

118,134

2,893

2.51

Town of Bergen

55,025

56,435

1,410

2.56

Town of Bethany

86,815

88,979

2,164

2.49

Town of Byron

107,622

110,483

2,861

2.66

Town of Darien

117,649

120,711

3,062

2.60

Town of Elba

85,738

88,026

2,288

2.67

Town of LeRoy

111,698

114,569

2,871

2.57

Town of Oakfield

56,278

57,693

1,415

2.51

Town of Pavilion

115,242

118,177

2,935

2.55

Town of Pembroke

106,478

109,164

2,686

2.52

Town of Stafford

106,160

108,891

2,731

2.57

Village of Alexander

9,861

10,110

249

2.53

Village of Bergen

21,685

22,201

516

2.38

Village of Corfu

14,920

15,316

396

2.65

Village of Elba

9,842

10,075

233

2.37

Village of Le Roy

83,020

85,146

2,126

2.56

Village of Oakfield

31,203

32,010

807

2.59

In addition to these initiatives, the State Budget designates $7.2 billion in capital funds over two years for the State Department of Transportation to support state-of-the-art infrastructure and an additional $1 billion in funds to repair and replace roads and bridges.

“For far too long, New York’s crumbling infrastructure has been put on the back burner. The new budget makes a substantial down payment on addressing this issue. These critical investments are important to keeping motorists and their passengers safe and to moving our economy forward,” Ranzenhofer said.

The New York State Legislature started the CHIPS program in 1981. The CHIPS program provides funding for the repair of highways, bridges and roads operated by local governments.

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