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Alabama

January 26, 2016 - 6:22am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Alabama.

Ashly Marie Majchrzak, 26, of Pittsford Street, Rochester, is charged with possession or transport for sale of untaxed cigarettes, unlawful possession of marijuana and no seatbelt. Majchrzak was stopped at 11:28 a.m. Monday on Route 77, Alabama, by Deputy Joseph Corona for allegedly not wearing a seatbelt. She was allegedly found in possesion of 1,400 untaxed cigarettes and a quantity of marijuana.

January 20, 2016 - 4:34pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in 1366 Technologies, STAMP, Alabama, business.

Press release:

The Genesee County Economic Development Center and 1366 Technologies have developed an online intake form for local companies interested in pursuing potential supply chain/operational opportunities. The 1366 Technologies solar wafer manufacturing facility will be constructed in the town of Alabama and is scheduled to open in 2017.

“There is a tremendous amount of talent and skill in the Genesee County area. We’re excited to begin the process of identifying those companies across the region that will contribute to the success of our project and our operations in Alabama,” said Brian Eller, COO, 1366 Technologies.

The form can be accessed atwww.1366tech.com or www.wnystamp.com.

“The exciting thing about economic development is not only the direct jobs created by companies like 1366 Technologies, but the indirect jobs that are created through supply chain opportunities,” said GCEDC President and CEO Steve Hyde.

informANALYTICS, an economic development software tool, calculated that approximately 1,600 indirect jobs will be created. The overall economic impact of the direct, indirect and induced jobs is expected to be in the range of $1.5 billion.

One of the ways in which 1366 Technologies will conduct outreach to the supply chain network is through the marketing and business networking assistance of Buffalo Niagara Enterprise (BNE) and Greater Rochester Enterprise (GRE), both of which played a key role in attracting the company.

“Because of the highly skilled and talented workforce in the Finger Lakes and Western New York regions, 1366 Technologies is not going to have any problems finding the right partners to make their operations in New York State a tremendous success,” said Mark S. Peterson, president and CEO of GRE.

“The launch of the 1366 Technologies intake form provides great opportunities for Western New York companies and their employees to capitalize on this exciting high tech industry,” said BNE President and CEO Thomas A. Kucharski. “It also reinforces the longer term value of our economic development efforts by reminding us that 1366 Technologies’ economic impact extends well beyond their initial investment and job creation. That benefit will continue to grow with the success of this great company in our region.”

January 19, 2016 - 11:30am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Alabama, batavia, Stafford, Le Roy.
mug_crosson_ingrid_2016_0.jpg
Ingrid Crosson

Ingrid E. Crosson, 43, of South Wales, is charged with burglary, 2nd. Crosson is accused of entering a residence in Stafford and stealing a laptop, German air pistol, small pocketknife, three jars of coins, and a pillow case valued at more than $600. Crosson was identified through a note she left at the scene. Following arraignment in Town of Batavia Court, Crosson was released on her own recognizance.

Michele Anne Stamp, 51, of North Street, Batavia, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .18 or more, speed not reasonable and prudent, and moving from lane unsafely. Stamp was involved in a motor-vehicle accident at 7:03 p.m. Sunday on Lewiston Road, Alabama. She was transported to the Genesee County Jail where she submitted to a chemical test. She allegedly tested for a BAC of .21. She was arrested by Deputy Andrew Hale.

Nicholas S. Gillett, 25, of Italy Valley Road, Middlesex, is charged with criminal possession of a weapon, 4th. Gillett was arrested as the result of an investigation in the Town of Bergen. He was allegedly found in possession of a rifle in violation of probation as a result of a felony conviction.

Andrew K. Wright, 25, of Main Street, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Wright allegedly pushed a woman and struck her several times with a broom during an argument. He was jailed on $500 bail.

Timothy C. Pabone, 42, of Oak Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of a weapon, 3rd, menacing, 2nd and DWI. Pabone was reportedly involved in an argument at 12:38 p.m. Saturday at 220 W. Main St., Batavia, over where a vehicle was parked. Pabone allegedly brandished a knife and threatened another person. He then allegedly tried to flee the scene in a vehicle, driving through a back yard and over the parkway. He was also charged with unlicensed operator, aggravated unlicensed operation, 2nd, failure to stop at stop sign, failure to keep right, unregistered motor vehicle, driving without insurance, switched plates, and improper registration sticker. Pabone was jailed without bail.

Nicholas Allen Clark, 26, of Hutchins Street, Batavia, is charged with possession of hypodermic instrument. Clark was arrested following a complaint at 2:04 p.m. Saturday of a person injecting himself while driving a vehicle on Liberty Street.

Shawna M. Pursel, 38, of Oak Street, Batavia, is charged with criminally using drug paraphernalia, 2nd. Pursel was allegedly found in possession of a glass pipe commonly used for smoking crack cocaine.

Joseph W. Gottstine, 26, of Beaver Meadow Road, of Java Center, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear on a traffic violation.

Raymond L. Morgan, 44, of State Route 31, Lyons, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance. Morgan was arrested on a warrant. He is currently incarcerated in Wayne County on an unrelated charge.

Victor D. Guy, 29, of West Main Street, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear on a traffic violation.

Cheryl M. Lyons, 50, of East Main Street, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear on a petit larceny charge. She was released under supervision of Genesee Justice.

Cheryl A. Kowalik, 55, of Alexander Road, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant stemming from a charge of issuing a bad check.

Samuel Anthony Nigro, 64, of Ellicott Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of a weapon, 3rd. Nigro was allegedly found in possession of a billy club during a home visit by a probation officer. Nigro has a prior felony conviction. He was jailed without bail pending review by Superior Court. Upon review, he was released under supervision of the Probation Department.

Melissa M. Lesage, 36, of Lake Street, Le Roy, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear on a traffic citation. She was released on $500 bail.

Terry E. Smith, 38, of West Main Street, Batavia, is charged with side window tint, no plate lamp, unlawful possession of marijuana, criminal possession of a controlled substance, and aggravated unlicensed operation, 3rd. Smith was stopped at 2:04 a.m. Jan. 10 on McKinley Avenue by Officer Matthew Wojtaszczyk.

Samantha L. Tate, 23, of East Main Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny and conspiracy, 6th. Tate was arrested on a warrant stemming from an alleged shoplifting incident at 415 E. Main St., Batavia.

Joey A. Evans, 25, of Maple Street, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant for allegedly violating released under supervision conditions. Evans allegedly failed to appear for required meetings. He was jailed on $1,000 bail.

Loretta L. Baer, 44, of School Street, Batavia, is charged with resisting arrest and obstructing governmental administration, 2nd. Baer was jailed on $1,000 bail.

Frank J. Yanik, 39, of Pearl Street, Batavia, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, and failure to stop at stop sign. Yanik was stopped at 1:21 a.m. Saturday on Liberty Street by Officer Peter Flanagan.

January 18, 2016 - 11:33am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Le Roy, Alabama.

Gayno Star Standsblack, 44, of Wehrle Drive, Williamsville, is charged with felony DWI, aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, 1st, moving from lane unsafely, no seatbelt, and driving without an interlock device. Standsblack was arrested following a report of a suspicious vehicle off the road on Meadville Road, Alabama, at 2:07 a.m. Saturday by Deputy Jason Saile. Standsblack was jailed without bail.

Joseph Paul Capuano, 63, of Clarissa Street, Rochester, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .18 or higher and speeding. Capuano was stopped at 5:38 p.m. Saturday on South Lake Road, Le Roy, by Deputy Andrew Hale.

January 16, 2016 - 2:20am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, Alabama.

A car has reportedly hit a tree stump in the area of 7238 Meadville Road, Alabama.

There is one occupant, reportedly unconscious.

Alabama fire and Mercy EMS responding.

UPDATE 2:53 a.m.: Alabama fire is back in service. A male subject is being investigated for possible DWI.

January 13, 2016 - 10:22am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Basom, Alabama, batavia, Pavilion.

Terrance D. Bauer, 54, of Church Street, Basom, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, and unlawful possession of marijuana. The Local Drug Task Force executed a search warrant at Bauer's residence and allegedly found cocaine and marijuana and various smoking devices and scales. Bauer was issued an appearance ticket.

Elizabeth Michelle Grattan, 26, of Maple Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Grattan is accused of shoplifting from Kohl's Department Store, allegedly stealing merchandise valued at $99. Grattan was jailed on $1,000 bail.

A 16-year-old from Pavilion is charged with criminal mischief, 4th, and harassment, 2nd. The youth was allegedly involved in an altercation at Pavilion Central School, punching another person in the face, resulting in minor injuries and a broken phone.

January 8, 2016 - 10:56pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, Alabama.

A one-car accident, car into a tree with a possible fire under the car, is reported in the area of 215 Bloomingdale Road, Alabama.

Alabama fire and Mercy EMS responding.

UPDATE 10:57 p.m.: It's not believed there are any injuries.

UPDATE 10:59 p.m.: A first responder reports flames showing.

UPDATE 11:13 p.m.: A chief on scene reports the car is now fully involved.

UPDATE 11:18 p.m.: Bloomingdale is closed at Tesnow and at Wright roads.

UPDATE, Saturday morning: The Sheriff's Office has released a statement about the accident, which is under investigation. Craig M. Meyer, 30, of Cherry Street, Batavia, was reportedly driving a 1999 Ford SUV when the vehicle left the roadway, drove through a field and then collided with several trees in the yard of 218 Bloomingdale Road. Meyer was removed from the vehicle by several witnesses as the vehicle began burning. He was transported to ECMC by Mercy EMS.

January 6, 2016 - 1:59pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in STAMP, Alabama, business.

1366hearingjan52016.jpg

After the questions, concerns, challenges and outright objections to 1366 Technologies coming to the Town of Alabama to build silicon wafers to capture the energy of the sun, resident Dave Dunn said, "I think we've all forgot one thing here tonight: Thank you for coming here."

That statement drew a round of applause from most of the 75 or so people who attended the public hearing Tuesday night on proposed tax incentives to help Bedford, Mass.-based 1366 Technologies build its $700 million facility on 105 acres of the planned high-tech park known as STAMP (Science & Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park).

There were only a handful of speakers during the hearing, and only a couple more who raised objections during a follow-up question and answer period, including one man who stormed out during an impassioned speech by Steve Hyde, CEO of the Genesee County Economic Development Center, on the need for economic development to help keep our children in Western New York.

The state is planning on spending more than $5 million on land acquisition and infrastructure to make STAMP possible, and 1366 could receive another $56 million in incentives from New York along with tax abatements of more than $35 million through GCEDC.

It is those local incentives that the GCEDC Board will be asked to approve in an upcoming vote and last night's public hearing was required in advance of it.

Mark Masse, VP of business development for GCEDC, opened the hearing with an overview of the financing and financial impact of the proposed 1366 project.

The venture is expected to lead to 1,000 jobs at the plant within a few years, with another 1,593 jobs generated by companies that will provide services and support to the new company, and some 2,600 jobs created by local economic growth.

That's more than 6,500 local jobs within 10 years, Masse said.

Entry-level jobs will start at $16 an hour, with production jobs going up to $24 an hour based on duties and experience.

The 1366 payroll is expected to reach nearly $40 million. The indirect payroll could exceed $60 million and induced jobs would add another $30.3 million in payroll, for an anticipated increase in local payroll of $130 million. (CORRECTION: In my notes, I left off some zeros. The payroll numbers have been updated to correct that mistake.)

To help finance the project, GCEDC is proposing a PILOT -- payment in lieu of taxes. That's a break on the property tax. There would be property tax due on the current assessed value of the 105-acre parcel, but there would be no new taxes on the increase in assessed value over the first two years of the project. The taxes would then gradually increase over the next eight years. 

There are also proposed tax abatements on the sales tax on construction materials as well as relief from the mortgage tax.

Masse then turned the floor over to Brian Eller, chief operations officer for 1366, who shared some of his company's plans and an overview of what 1366 will manufacture.

Eller explained that 1366, working with scientists at MIT, have developed a whole new manufacturing process for silicon wafers -- the main component of solar panels, that the company believes will be cheaper to manufacture and produce less waste than the process used by every other company in the world.

Silicon is the second most plentiful mineral on Earth and is usually extracted from sand. For solar wafers, manufacturers receive ingots of silicon that are typically cut and ground into square objects. 

That's an extremely wasteful production process, according to a video Eller played for the audience. Much of the silicon is wasted, as well as the blades and diamond-tipped twine used to cut the wafers.

The process developed at MIT involves melting the silicon and rolling out flat wafers, much like modern glass manufacturing.

The process is a third faster and a third cheaper than current techniques, and no silicon goes to waste, and it uses less energy.

The goal of 1366 is to use its technology to produce wafers that eventually make solar power as cheap to consume as coal energy.

What 1366 isn't doing is making entire solar panels. They are only making the wafers, and they aren't making solar panels.

Elon Musk's Solar City plant, going up in Buffalo, will make rooftop panels, but 1366 isn't producing wafers for rooftop panels, so there isn't currently an opportunity for the two companies to work together directly. The wafers produced by 1366 are intended for industrial solar energy farms, which currently makes up 70 percent of the worldwide solar energy market.

One speaker during the public hearing expressed concern that 1366 would get all of these tax breaks, build this big building, and then pull out like Pepsi did with the Quaker Muller Dairy plant.

There are, however, some significant differences between the Quaker Muller operation and 1366's plans. Pepsi and Muller entered a market that we now know was saturated in an industry that is so competitive that profit margins are always squeezed. There was no chance for Muller's imitation Greek yogurt to achieve a dominant market position.

In his best-selling business book, "Zero to One," venture capitalist Peter Thiel says new businesses should be built around innovations that are a 10-times improvement over anything currently in the market. Thiel also advises startups to aim for only a segment of a market and achieve dominance in that segment before growing. Pepsi and Muller appear to have violated both of those guidelines by entering a market that already had dominant manufacturers, such as Chobani, Dannon and Fage, and aiming for a share of the entire market, not just a segment where it might have a chance to dominate. 

Eller thinks that 1366's lower cost, less wasteful process is that 10-times improvement Thiel recommends (though he hadn't yet read Thiel's book when asked about it) and that 1366 is going after a segment of the market where it can achieve dominance.

Only a portion, less than $100 million, of $700 million required to build the 1366 Technologies plant to full capacity is coming from public investment. There is also a $150 million loan guarantee backed by the Department of Energy. When the project was announced at Genesee Community College in October, company CEO Frank van Mierlo indicated he was investing his own money in the project. The company has reportedly raised $70 million in venture capital from investors such as Hanwha Chemical, a major user of silicon wafers, as well as from Ventizz Capital Fund, North Bridge Venture Partners and Polaris Venture Partners. The company has not discussed any other efforts to raise additional capital or the timing of capital needs. They would not need the entire $700 million in the bank to start construction.

Construction is expected to start in May or June.

The first jobs should be filled in the fall or early winter of this year, with hiring continuing through the middle part of 2017 and then more jobs added as production capacity is increased.

Eller will move to here from Bedford to join the ranks of the locally employed, along with as many as five current 1366 managers and executives, though the company will remain headquartered in Bedford. That's also where the company will continue research and development operations.

There was a bit of discussion between Eller, Masse and meeting attendees about workforce development and who will get hired at the new plant. 

Lorna Klotzbach had several objections to the proposal, among them were questions about whether there were really sufficient potential employees in the region. She also shared with some other speakers a concern that STAMP was converting farmland and wildlife refuge into industrial land.

Al Files, who would later get up in a huff and storm out during Hyde's speech, said he thought it made a lot more sense to build where there's already big buildings and infrastructure.

"In my opinion, I think it's stupid," Files said. "We're wasting all of this property when it could be built in Rochester, Buffalo or Batavia."

Eller said 1366 was attracted to STAMP, out of 300 locations considered, for two primary reasons. First is cheap and clean hydroelectric power, and then there is the regional workforce. Eller said the company hired a consultant who studied a number of variables for several possible plant locations and STAMP scored the highest for workforce potential.

Creating local jobs and reversing two generations of economic decline is what STAMP is all about, Hyde said.

"At the end of the day, what drove us to work so hard to attract a company like 1366 to our community and our region is creating jobs for our kids so they can either stay here or come back home," Hyde said. "All the rest of these questions are good and relevant, but if we take a little look at the big picture, we’ve all been losing tax base and these guys are going to start that trend of turning that around. 

"We can’t guarantee that companies are going to be successful, but even with the situation in Batavia, where Muller Quaker was, we built that ag park, two companies came in and spent over $200 million there. The market didn’t work. They entered the market late. They ended up having to shut down and that’s a disappointment, but the beauty is, one of the best dairy companies in the nation is coming in because that ag park is there and they're filling it back up and probably hiring more people than Muller ever would have. The investment model that we’ve used over the last decade is working. It’s creating good jobs for our people and our community. It’s creating tax base.

"I just wanted to paint a little bit of the bigger picture," Hyde added a few sentences later. "We’re absolutely fortunate to have a company like 1366 be willing to come here and start to build that high-tech, entrepreneurial ecosystem. It will mean a lot of jobs for our kids. … I’ll tell you right now if we get a thousand jobs from this company over the next decade, and that turns around to be about four thousand jobs all over this area, you’re going to see an economic boom around here that we haven’t seen in 50 years."

At which point, Files interjected, "This is an agricultural area. This is not a manufacturing area."

Hyde said projects like 1366 will take the pressure off of ag to support the entire local economy, and that the land the plant will use is less than 3 percent of the available acreage in Genesee County, and it's the least productive land in the county.

"We looked at all of that," Hyde said.

But Files was no longer in the room to hear it.

1366hearingjan52016-2.jpg

I couldn't find online the video Eller showed, but in looking for it, I found this interesting video.

January 4, 2016 - 10:35am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, Alabama.

A one-car accident is reported in the area of 2224 Lewiston Road, Alabama.

A person reportedly suffered a back injury.

Alabama Fire and Mercy EMS responding.

UPDATE 11:03 a.m.: Alabama is back in service.

December 29, 2015 - 5:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in STAMP, Alabama, business, GCEDC.

Here's a portion of a press release from Empire State Development about a series of grants recently approved.

Empire State Development today announced that its Board of Directors recently approved $101.1 million in economic development resources for 23 projects that are spurring growth and opportunity in every region of the state. The funding supports projects that are creating 634 new jobs and retaining 1,531 existing New York State jobs – many of which have already been created or retained. The approved assistance is leveraging more than $822 million in private investment and other public funding to support local businesses and projects that are strengthening local economies today, while building a strong foundation for future economic growth and job creation.

“The funding approved by the Board is supporting regionally significant projects that are fostering growth and creating new opportunities statewide,” said Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Howard Zemsky. “Whether it’s by aiding business expansion and retention, supporting local revitalization projects, or bolstering regional tourism, the funding approved today will boost economic activity from New York City to the Finger Lakes.”

...

Finger Lakes Region 
Western New York Science, Technology and Advanced Manufacturing (Finger Lakes Region - Genesee County) – $5,000,000
The Genesee County Industrial Development Agency, doing business as Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC), will use a grant of up to $5,000,000 for the cost of land acquisition,  engineering, and soft costs related to infrastructure development for 1366 Technologies, Inc., the first tenant of the Western New York Science, Technology and Advanced Manufacturing Park (STAMP) in Alabama, NY. 1366 Technologies is a solar energy company with an innovative approach to manufacturing the silicon wafers that are the building block of solar cells. The company chose the STAMP site out of 300 possible locations due to the site’s positive momentum and commitment to growing manufacturing interests. This project will be completed in August 2016 and aligns with the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council’s plan in that it supports advanced technology and manufacturing and is identified as key to the region in the Industrial Development and Infrastructure category. 

December 24, 2015 - 1:18pm
posted by Billie Owens in Oakfield, Alabama.

(Submitted photos and info from Karen Reamer.)

The dynamic members of Girl Scout Troop 42182, from Oakfield and Alabama, sponsored a Toy Drive for the second year in a row on Saturday, Dec. 19th. The girls are Cadettes and are earning their Silver Award.  

The girls collected donations for gently used and new toys and clothing from the residents of Oakfield and made them available to anyone in need. They also invited Santa Claus and had crafts and cookies for the kids while their parents shopped.

A special thanks to the Oakfield Dollar General for donating new toys.

 
December 18, 2015 - 11:01am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, Alabama.

The drivers of both cars involved in an accident at Route 77 and Judge Road at 5:57 p.m., Thursday, were transported to ECMC with injuries, according to a Sheriff's Office accident report.

Both were conscious and alert at the time of transport, according to the report.

Tarah N. Mruczek, 29, of Ackerson Road, Basom, was westbound on Judge Road and James A. Hitt, 69, of Portage Road, Medina, was northbound on Route 77 when Mruczek allegedly failed to stop at the stop sign. 

Hitt's vehicle was knocked into a utility pole as a result of the collision.

If citations were issued, they are not listed on the report.

(Initial Report)

December 18, 2015 - 10:05am
posted by Howard B. Owens in 1366 Technologies, GCEDC, STAMP, Alabama, business.

Press release:

The Board of Directors of the Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) authorized a public hearing for 1366 Technologies, Inc., and approved a final resolution for an amendment to an original application for assistance from Manning Squires Hennig Co., Inc., at the agency’s Dec. 17 board meeting.

1366 Technologies, Inc., plans to build its first commercial Direct Wafer™ production plant at the Science and Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park (STAMP) in the Town of Alabama.

The project includes the construction of a new 130,000-square-foot manufacturing facility that will grow to eventually create 1,000 full-time jobs and approximately another 5,000 construction and indirect and induced jobs. The total economic impact is preliminarily estimated to be in the range of $1.5 billion over the next 10 years.

1366 Technologies, Inc., is seeking approval for approximately $34.7 million in sales, mortgage and property tax exemptions. The planned capital investment will total approximately $700 million.

“As the largest economic development project in the history of Genesee County, 1366 Technologies will undoubtedly be a game changer in establishing our region as a major high-tech manufacturing hub,” said GCEDC Chairman Paul Battaglia. “This project also will create hundreds of manufacturing jobs and indirect supply chain jobs not to mention hundreds of jobs throughout the construction process.”

The GCEDC board also approved amended incentives for Manning Squires Hennig Co., Inc., a well-known general contractor in Finger Lakes and Western New York regions. The company will expand its corporate offices and maintenance facilities in the Town of Batavia by up to 5,000 square feet, as well as renovate its existing shop and office space.

The project was approved for sales tax, mortgage tax and property tax exemptions totaling $215,529 in incentives. The project’s capital investment is approximately $2.2 million.

“We are pleased to see continued investments being made to improve the facilities of existing companies like Manning Squires Hennig in the Town of Batavia,” said Steve Hyde, president and CEO, GCEDC. “We remain committed to help existing businesses in the County expand their operations in our ongoing efforts to enhance the business climate throughout the region.”

In other agency business, the board approved a 2-percent salary increase for all GCEDC staff for 2016, as well as an increase for the GCEDC office manager.

December 17, 2015 - 6:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, Alabama.

An accident has been reported at Judge Road and Route 77, Alabama.

Two vehicles are involved.

It's believed to be minor injuries.

Alabama fire and Mercy EMS dispatched.

UPDATE 6:13 p.m.: A landing zone has been set up for Mercy Flight.

December 15, 2015 - 11:45am
posted by Howard B. Owens in wind farms, Alabama, zoning, business.

UPDATE 8:05 p.m.: This story has been corrected to include the right address of the property to be leased from landowner Sam Scarborough, and to reflect the proper per-foot incentive price for the proposed met tower.

A Houston-based energy company would like to figure out if there's enough wind blowing through Alabama to justify building windmills around farmland, so the company is proposing erecting a temporary, 311-foot meteorological tower.

While the town has zoning code that covers wind towers and communications towers, there's no code covering meteorological, or "met," towers.

The ambiguity has delayed a decision by the town board on whether to grant a variance, through what is known as an Incentive Zoning Application, for the tower.  

An incentive application involves the company paying an annual fee for the ability to vary from the zoning law.

In this case, EDP Renewables North America, operating as Alabama Ledge Wind Farm, LLC, already agreed to pay a $5-per-foot incentive to construct a tower that exceeds the allowable height.

Over five years, that payment comes to about $18,000.

Town officials think the tower, which will be on land leased from a local farmer, Sam Scarborough, on Gorton Road, should be at least 1,000 feet from Gorton Road.

The current proposed location is 668 feet from Gorton Road.

Using a calculation pulled from the communication tower provisions of the law for setback (the distance from the road), the town is proposing an additional incentive fee of $20 per foot.

That would drive up the five-year cost of incentives to nearly $50,000.

Jim Muscato, attorney for EDP, thinks that fee is unreasonable and excessive.

"The purpose of incentives on a project is to look at what incentives are necessary to allow the project to go forward and come up with a reasonable accommodation for the impacts associated with the project," Muscato said. "What we're talking about here is a met tower where the associated impacts are fairly modest."

While Muscato believes the 1,000-foot setback, as opposed to a setback that doubles the height of the tower, or 622 feet, is excessive, he said his company is willing to go along with that setback definition if the incentive fee is reasonable. He would like the board to propose a reasonable incentive fee.

Town Board Member Kevin Fisher suggested that $20 might be reasonable, but he doesn't have an enough information to know at this point. He doesn't know what the market price might be, and he doesn't know how much of an impact the tower might have on town residents. He hasn't heard from constituents enough to know.

"I don’t think it’s fair to us to say, 'You guys should accept it because you don't have met tower regulations or zoning laws,' " Fisher said. "We didn’t have any reason for any of this stuff until you walked in the door."

Ronald Gilbert, planning board chairman, was in the audience and he reminded the board that some years ago, EDP, operating then as Horizon Energy, proposed a wind farm in Alabama, which is how the current zoning code came to be written, and it was Horizon officials who said then no zoning code covering met towers was necessary because a met tower wouldn't be part of the wind farm.

Town Attorney Mark Boylan said the conversation made him a little uncomfortable because the town is looking at establishing a requirement for incentives based on two sections of zoning code that do not deal directly with met towers. That introduces an element of an arbitrary decision.

When he hears the other attorney, he said, using words such as arbitrary and reasonable and unreasonable and he's offering a compromise, then, Boylan, said he's concerned about the potential for litigation if the applicant finds the board's decision unacceptable.

Muscato said he doesn't mean to imply his client is contemplating litigation, but then added, "I think what a court is going to assess is that a $50,000 payment over five years of a permit is either not calculable or reasonable or whether it is considered arbitrary. Even if we can't get past the thousand feet or two times the height, we're willing to talk about a more reasonable calculation that would be reasonable for what an incentive payment for a setback would be."

The town board tabled the zoning incentive application so more research can be done and they can put more thought into the request. It will be taken up again at the January meeting.

Only two residents turned out for the public hearing portion of the meeting, David Bencic and Randy Chalmers.

Bencic delivered a page-and-a-half statement that raised questions and concerns about any future wind farm in the area. Many of his questions were answered in the course of his presentation.

Chalmers' statement was much shorter.

"I'm really kind of against them (wind turbines), if you want to know my opinion," Chalmers said. "That's all I've got to say."

December 11, 2015 - 4:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, STAMP, Alabama, Le Roy.

Five projects in Genesee County are receiving more than $2.1 million in state aid, the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council announced.

The aid is part of $500 million awarded to the council by the Governor's Office.

From the announcement:

Buildout of major sites in Genesee County, including: $1,500,000 to the Town of Alabama to help build water infrastructure to serve the STAMP site; $920,000 total for the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park in Batavia and the Le Roy Food and Technology Park; $750,000 for the soon-to-be built Genesee Biogas facility at the Batavia Agri-Business Park; and $500,000 to revitalize the Newberry Building in Downtown Batavia.

From the announcement:

The Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council (FLREDC) was named an Upstate Revitalization Initiative (URI) Best Plan Awardee for its new strategic plan, entitled “United for Success: Finger Lakes Forward.” This means the region will receive $500 million over five years, in addition to economic development funds announced through Round V of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Council competition. In total, more than $2 billion in economic development resources was awarded statewide through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative and REDC competition.

“We are proud that Governor Cuomo and New York State have singled out the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council as a ‘best plan awardee’ and that we will receive half a billion dollars to move the region forward,” stated Joel Seligman and Danny Wegman, co-chairs of the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council. “This is recognition that Governor Cuomo believes in the Finger Lakes and is giving our region the attention it deserves. With this infusion of funding in our pockets, we are united for success and ready to move our communities forward.”

The Finger Lakes Region’s URI plan consists of three industry clusters, or pillars, that will act as the core drivers of job and output growth: optics, photonics and imaging; agriculture and food production; and next generation manufacturing and technology. 

December 10, 2015 - 11:37am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Bethany, Alabama.

A teenage child sex abuser will spend three years in prison following his sentencing in County Court on Tuesday.

Storm U. Lang, 18, entered guilty pleas in July to two counts of sexual abuse, 1st, and a count of sexual abuse, 2nd.

Lang was sexually involved with three different victims on separate occasions when he was 17 years old. He was arrested for subjecting a 7-year-old to sexual contact in the Town of Alabama in October. In November, he also subjected a 12-year-old child to sexual contact in the Town of Alabama and a 5-year-old child to sexual contact in the Town of Bethany.

Lang will be on post-release supervision for 10 years once he's served his three years in state prison.

December 4, 2015 - 5:25am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Alabama, accident.

A person may have suffered a leg injury in a motor-vehicle accident in the area of 215 Bloomingdale Road, Alabama.

The car reportedly struck a tree.

Alabama fire and Mercy EMS dispatched.

November 20, 2015 - 6:00pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, batavia, elba, Le Roy, Alabama, West Bergen.

Sarah Wilson, 31, of West Main Street, Batavia, is charged with two felonies and a misdemeanor following a joint investigation by the Genesee County Department of Social Services and the Genesee County Sheriff’s Department. Wilson is charged with one count of criminal possession of a forged instrument, 2nd, one count of offering a false instrument for filing, 1st, both of which are felonies, one count of petit larceny. The investigation started after a Social Welfare Examiner at Genesee County Social Services noticed several inconsistencies in a medical statement Wilson had submitted to the department, which Wilson claimed had been completed by a local doctor. The investigation that followed revealed the medical statement allegedly had not been completed or signed by the doctor. Wilson was arrested by Sheriff's Investigator Joseph Graff and jailed on $1,000 bail. She is scheduled to reappear in Batavia Town Court at 2 p.m. on Dec. 8.

Lee A. Baxter, 31, of Central Avenue, Batavia, is charged with obstructing governmental administration, 2nd, third-degree assault, and unlawful possession of marijuana. Baxter was arrested at 2:40 p.m. on Nov. 19 following a reported on a domestic incident which had allegedly become physical. Batavia police patrols arrived and allegedly observed a physical altercation between "Baxter and another female." Baxter was put in Genesee County Jail on $2,000 bail. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Arick Perkins, assisted by Officer Chad Richards.

Cody A. Bush, 29, of Walnut Street, Batavia, is charged with two counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance, a Class C felony. It is alleged that he sold a quantity of suboxone, which is a controlled substance, in and around the City of Batavia and the Town of Elba  to an agent of the Genesee County Local Drug Enforcement Task Force. The DA's Office assisted in the investigation. The defendant was already in GC Jail on related charges when he was arrested Monday by Sheriff's deputies and arraigned in City Court on one count and then transferred to Elba Town Court where he was arraigned on the other count. He was taken back to jail.

Patrick Antonio Griffin, 46, of Saint Petersburg, Fla., is charged with: first-degree aggravated unlicensed operation; operation of a motor vehicle with a BAC of .08 or more, first offense; driving while intoxicated, first offense; unlawful possession of marijuana; operation of a motor vehicle by an unlicensed driver; and having non-transparent window tint. Griffin was arrested at 1:09 p.m. on Nov. 14 on Ledge Road in Alabama. He was put in Genesee County Jail in lieu of $2,500 bail. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Joseph Corona.

William David Conner, 64, of Harris Road, Le Roy, was arrested at 6:31 p.m. on Nov. 14 on Linwood Road in Le Roy and charged with: driving while ability impaired by alcohol, drinking alcohol in a motor vehicle while on a public highway, failure to dim headlights, and having inadequate tail lamps. He is to reappear in Le Roy Town Court on Dec. 21. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Joseph Corona.

Michael William Godden, 38, of Edgemere Drive, Rochester, was arrested Nov. 18 at 11 p.m. after being stopped on Route 490 in West Bergen. He is charged with driving while intoxicated, first offense, refusal to take a breath test, and operating a motor vehicle without an inspection certificate. He was released under supervision of Genesee Justice. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Joseph Corona.

A 17-year-old male who resides in Batavia is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd, and fourth-degree criminal mischief. He was arrested Nov. 18 after allegedly breaking a window at his mother's residence and then proceeding to yell at her and call her names, in violation of an order of protection which had been issued on Oct. 29 and was valid until 10/29/16. He was jailed in lieu of $500 bail. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Jamie Givens, assisted by Sgt. Dan Coffey.

Frank F. Sposato III, 21, of Irwin Place, Huntington, was arrested today at 1:49 p.m. and charged with speeding and second-degree aggravated unlicensed operation. He was arrested following a traffic stop at 20 W. Main St. in Batavia and put in jail in lieu of $250 bail. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Eric Foels.

Kevin R. Larsen, 38, of Hall Street, Batavia, was arrested on Nov. 16 on a bench warrant, which was issued following an incident that occurred on Nov. 5 on Swan Street. He was put in jail in lieu of $1,000 bail. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer James DeFreze, assisted by Officer Eric Hill.

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