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August 24, 2013 - 12:19am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, graham corp..

Tonight at T.F. Brown's I met Howard Johns, who retires after five more days of work from a 43 1/2-year career at Graham's. Johns was at Brown's with a group of coworkers celebrating his career as a set-up helper, supervisor and manufacturing engineer. Pictured with Johns, at the front of the picture are, from left, Justin Stramitis, Carrie Bell, Pete Corbelli, Pete Brade and Steve Censak.

August 24, 2013 - 12:08am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Oliver's Candies.

A picture of the marquee under the Oliver's Candies sign has been making the rounds on Facebook. Is "Molly Pops" a mistake, people want to know.

It is not.

A molly pop, according to general manager Jeremy Liles, is a "peppermint molasses sucker covered with chocolate." And he adds, "Very good stuff!"

That's a nominee for understatement of the year.

I stopped by late today to get a picture and as I left, an Oliver's employee offered to let me take a sample sucker.

I took my first bite as I walked through the parking lot toward my truck. I immediately turned on my heel and headed back into the store. I bought a package of eight. Tonight, I shared one with Billie. She insisted that I share the rest.

"It's terribly delicious," she said.

August 20, 2013 - 5:07pm

Rochester media is buzzing today about a purported announcement by the Seneca Nation looking to open a casino in Henrietta.

WHAM 13 is among the stations reporting that the tribe wants to expand to the Rochester suburb.

Michael D. Kane, president and CEO of Western Region OTB, said this afternoon, there will be no Seneca-owned casino in Henrietta, at least not any time soon.

"Under the current statutory scheme, they will not be able to put a casino in Western New York," Kane said. "Without a statutory change, which isn't likely to happen in today's environment, they cannot do what they're looking to do."

Kane said he isn't really sure what prompted the Seneca's to announce an interest in a casino in Henrietta when something like that happening at this time is more of a dream than even a hope.

"If casino gaming became regulated in New York State rather than prohibited, then perhaps they could fashion some agreement with the federal government to do it," Kane said. "From my point of view, there's no change in enforcement from today than there was yesterday."

Western OTB runs Batavia Downs Racetrack and Casino which, under terms of an agreement between the Senecas and Gov. Andrew Cuomo, is blocked from expanding into a full-fledged casino.

According to WHAM, the Senecas have hired Flaum Management to "coordinate the development" of a casino.

"This is an exciting day," CEO David Flaum said. "I am profoundly grateful for Seneca Nation for choosing me. I hope to assist them in bringing a casino here."

Kane said Flaum has been a consultant for the Senecas for 12 years.

Also, see the Rochester Business Journal: Seneca Nation to work with Flaum on gaming, hospitality development here.

August 20, 2013 - 4:24pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, economy, jobs.

Genesee County's unemployment rate improved slightly from June to July, according to data released today by the NYS Department of Labor.

The rate for July was at 6.1 percent, a tick lower than June's 6.2 percent. Both numbers are more than a percentage point better than the 7.5 percent rate in July 2012.

Only Ithaca, at 5.6 percent, has a lower unemployment rate than Genesee County. Glens Falls is also at 6.1.

The labor department reports 2,000 people without jobs in the county, compared to 2,400 a year ago.

Elsewhere in GLOW:

  • Livingston: 6.8 percent
  • Orleans: 8.5 percent
  • Wyoming: 6.7 percent

The state's rate is 7.6 and the nation's is 7.7.

August 20, 2013 - 3:54pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, downtown.

At Monday's meeting, the City Council rejected on a 6-2 vote a plan to spend $35,000 to build a dumpster enclosure on School Street.

City administrators have been looking for a way to clean up the collection of dumpsters used by nearby businesses and sought approval to use VLT money (money from slot machines at the Batavia Downs Casino) for the project.

Council members said that money should be spent elsewhere or saved.

"That money should be used for other things," said Councilwoman Rose Mary Christian, "like reducing our budget or the fact that we need new sidewalks or resurfacing our city streets, just helping our taxpayers all the time instead of businesses all the time. And I have nothing against businesses, but nobody helped me pay for a dumpster."

Pier Cipollone also said taxpayers should benefit from the VLT money, not private businesses.

"The VLT money will end up in the budget," Cipollone said. "It will end up in a contingency fund that will offset sidewalk construction, infrastructure improvements which would, in the end, decrease the tax levy."

City Manager Jason Molino agreed to try and rework the enclosure to reduce its cost by $10,000 eliminating any direct contribution by either business owners or taxpayers.

The measure defeated Monday night also called for spending $30,000 to mill and resurface the parking lot around the proposed dumpster enclosure.

(Based on story by The Batavian's news partner, WBTA.)

August 14, 2013 - 7:25pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, downtown, Yo Twisters.

Batavia's new frozen yogurt shop, Yo Twisters, on Jackson Street, officially opened late this afternoon, and as soon as Mercedes Rivera, left, and Tesla Phelinger heard the shop was open they headed right down.

They had sampled the frozen yogurt before and couldn't wait to try it again.

At Yo Twisters, when a customer walks in, he or she is directed to the back the store where the frozen yogurt machines are -- 15 of them. You can mix and match any flavors you like, and then top with any of a large variety of toppings.  You then pay according to the weight of your cup. 

August 13, 2013 - 11:15pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Quick Fix Snack Shack.

You've heard of ice cream trucks coming down your street, but what if that ice cream truck could also bring you Big Pauly's pizza, or a hot dog, or chips and a soda?

That's kind of the thought Victor Thomas had when he decided to start his new business, the Quick Fix Snack Shack.

It's a snack shop on wheels.

Just like an ice cream truck, Thomas rolls down residential streets playing ice cream truck music (and some modern songs sampled to sound like ice cream truck music) in the hopes you'll want a snack.

Thomas started his new business two weeks ago and has taken it through Batavia, Le Roy and Elba. When we ran into each other today, he was headed to the yogurt plants to see how he might do with the lunch crowd for the first time.

He hopes to add other food items as the business grows, including this winter, soups, hot cocoa and coffee.

August 13, 2013 - 11:58am
posted by Billie Owens in business, Le Roy.

Information from Le Roy Christian Community Project:

With fall just around the corner and the new school year quickly approaching, the Le Roy Christian Community Project (LCCP) needs your support!

Local businesses and citizens are asked to be a sponsor or contribute donations for our Annual Live and Silent Auction, which is set for Sept. 21. This is our largest fundraiser of the year. Donations of merchandise or gift cards are greatly appreciated.

These contributions support the children and youth of Le Roy and help them become responsible adults through the work of the LCCP. When you contribute to this event, you are not only contributing to a community organization, you are advertising your company and merchandise.

To make a contribution, contact the LCCP:

  • Address -- 7 E. Main St., Le Roy 14482
  • Phone -- 768-7540
  • Web address --

The LCCP is a grassroots organization that has been serving Le Roy and its surrounding communities since 1998. We believe that children and youth are vital community assets that must be nurtured and cared for by their communities.

We offer a variety of programs for them, including an After School Program, Summer Day Camp, and a Teen Drop-In Center. These programs and activities provide a "safe haven" where children and youth can find mentoring, academic support, recreational opportunities (such as dance and theater instruction), social skill building and ways to give back to the community through service projects. The programs are offered at little or no cost to participating families.

August 9, 2013 - 12:22pm
posted by Billie Owens in business.

United Memorial Medical Center has agreed to assume responsibility for the distribution of the Medical Record for retired pediatrician, Dr. Irene Burns’ patients and to assist in transferring medical information to new providers in a timely manner.

The transition process began several months ago and to date, the majority of patients have seamlessly transferred to area practices.

Until Sept. 30, to request records of patients formerly managed by Dr. Burns, please contact Darlene Sergeant at (585) 344-5335. Faxed requests may be sent to (585) 815-6744.

After Sept. 30, all remaining records will be moved to United Memorial’s Batavia Family and Pediatric Care. To transfer records after this date, please contact Batavia Family and Pediatric Care Center at (585)344-4800, option 1, or fax requests to (585) 344-7370.

August 8, 2013 - 3:12pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, NY-27, chris collins.

Rep. Chris Collins met with a few Batavia business owners today to discuss issues small business. Collins said meetings such as this help keep him grounded and focused on issues that will help grow the economy.

The clear message from today's meeting, he said, was that small business owners are uncertain about the direction of the country, worried about tax codes, health care, availability of capital and finding a well-trained work force.

He noted economic growth has been floundering at 1.6 percent for years.

"There was a confirmation here today that uncertainty plays a big role and that uncertainty is tied directly to Washington," Collins said.

He said the message for small business owners who couldn't attend the meeting is that he's trying to do his part to get the country moving forward in a commonsense way.

That means tax reform that lowers the marginal tax rate for all small business owners to maximum of 25 percent," he said. "(It means) making sure the government doesn't shut down but that we deal with the deficits and debts of our country; bringing a level of certainty to unleash the investment that's waiting to be made if people were confident the government wasn't going to shut down, and I will continue to fight for the repeal of ObamaCare."

August 8, 2013 - 8:17am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Alpina Products.

Press release:

Artisan dairy manufacturer Alpina Foods teams up with Udi’s Gluten Free Foods, America’s leading gluten-free brand, to provide wholesome, certified gluten-free granola for its Alpina Greek with Artisan Granola brand Greek yogurt.

“There’s just nothing like Alpina Greek with Artisan Granolas in stores right now,” says Gustavo Badino, Alpina Foods’ General Manager. “Partnering with Udi’s to prepare our proprietary blend of granolas helps us raise the bar for quality in the yogurt aisle, while also satisfying a niche in the market for a more fulfilling Greek yogurt option by offering consumers the only convenient, all-in-one yogurt and certified gluten-free-granola option.”

Established in 2008, Udi’s Gluten Free Foods has become a trusted brand for people seeking delicious, certified gluten-free baked goods. The company’s reputation for nutritious and flavorful handcrafted granola makes it an ideal partner for Alpina Foods.

“We’re excited to partner with a company that’s just as committed to providing consumers with quality foods as we are,” says Denise Sirovatka, VP of Marketing. “Our partnership with Alpina Foods is the first of its kind for us, and we look forward to seeing the success of this new relationship.” 

Each unique granola blend was created by a health and wellness chef to be paired with the different flavor varieties of Alpina Greek with Artisan Granolas. Udi’s will prepare the proprietary mix-ins at their certified-gluten free facility.

Alpina Greek with Artisan Granolas will be available on store shelves in early August.   Flavors will include: Blueberry with Almond Berry granola, Strawberry with Almond Berry granola, Vanilla Bean with Chai Spice granola, Honey with Chai Spice granola, Mango with Tropical Chia granola, Peach with Tropical Chia granola, and Plain with Superfoods granola.

Alpina brand yogurts are currently available in a wide variety of retailers throughout the U.S., including Wegmans Food Markets; Duane Reade; Delhaize Group store Hannaford; Sweetbay; other national and regional food retailers. Alpina yogurts are distributed by Lipari Foods in the Midwest and Dora’s Naturals in New York. For a full list of retailers, visit

August 6, 2013 - 8:39am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, downtown, football, sports, buffalo bills, City Slickers.

Yesterday, Buffalo Bills Head Coach Doug Marrone put his team through a long and physical practice. It was the first day of scrimmages. By the time it was over, players were tired and running late, but still, several did show up as planned to City Slickers for the taping of Sports Cube TV.

Above former #1 draft pick Marcell Dareus during his interview.

Also joining the party were Aaron Williams, Migel Bradham, Zebrie Sanders, Marcus Dowtin, Crezdon Butler, Jamie Blatnick, Kortnei Brown and Dominque Ellis.

Dareus with promoter Tim Walton.

DJ Macy Paradise

Sports Cube host Muki.

To purchase prints, click here.

August 5, 2013 - 4:28pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Sumner Street, lemonade stand.

Five-year-old Gabriella has begun her budding business career, selling "lemonade" on Sumner Street, Batavia.

Well, it's not really lemonade. It's ice tea, but that's the sign her mom made for her, she explained.

After I took the picture above, she proudly showed me the money she's made today (below).

August 3, 2013 - 8:24pm
posted by The Batavian in business, Oakfield, Sponsored Post, Oakfield Fitness.

Oakfield Fitness and Cross-Training Center has expanded to include a fully appointed cross-training room with dumbbells, squat racks, wall balls, ropes, step-up boxes and other training devices.

There is an experienced cross-trainer providing assistance and training Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 6 to 8 a.m.

The gym is fully equipped with a weight room including dumbbells, free weights and universal machines and a cardio area with treadmills, bikes and rowing machines.

The monthly fee for the weight room and cardio area is $30. To use the cross-training room is an additional $30 a month (total, $60 a month).

There's no sign-up fee.

The gym is open to members 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

For more information and to inquire about a membership, visit, or call (585) 948-8000.

August 1, 2013 - 11:13pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, sports, 5K, GLOW Corporate Cup.

Some 500 people participated in the first ever GLOW Corporate Cup 5K race, which started and ended in Centennial Park this evening.

Brandon Reaert, of Oakfield, won the race with a time of 17:43.

Runners signed up in teams from companies throughout the GLOW region.

Once the race was over, participates hung out in Centennial Park for After GLOW, the "largest office party" ever, at least locally. Companies were encouraged to set up their own tents and tables and enjoy live music.

August 1, 2013 - 10:49pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, downtown, Health Care, Insource Urgent Care.

Insource Urgent Care, the revolutionary health care provider that chose Batavia for the first location for its new chain of clinics, held its official grand opening today.

The celebration included a ribbon-cutting ceremony with Insource President Mark Celmer, center, Dr. Magdi Credi and VP of Operations Melissa Marsocci.

August 1, 2013 - 9:24pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, agriculture, Alabama.

The high price of corn the past few years has local farmers trying to figure out how to increase their yields, according to Drew Klotzbach, owner of Alleghany Farm Services, and one way is to improve the drainage of the field.

The better the draining, especially in wet years such as this one, the more corn that will grow.

One of the specialties of Klotzbach's company is installing drainage tiles and he said he's seen an increase in demand locally in recent years.

"It's just a way to improve production," Klotzbach said. "They've got to improve the land. They're not making more land, so ..."

Klotzbach hosted an open house today for interested parties on a farm field next to his business lot on Route 77 in Alabama. Along with his son and employees, he demonstrated his GPS-guided trenching and tile-laying machines.

"It's all about getting the water off the ground faster," Klotzbach said.

The tiles -- more like hoses these days -- are perforated and collect water and drain it off into retention ponds.

"In dry years, it will even help bring up water from the bottom," Klotzbach said.

August 1, 2013 - 3:58pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Health Care, UMMC, Insource Urgent Care.


Disruptive Innovation: An innovation through technology or process that takes root in an underserved portion of the market to create new business opportunities.

Incumbent: The market-leading business in an industry.

Unmet Need: When a business planner identifies a hole in the marketplace, where consumers -- either consciously or unconsciously -- have a need that a new product or service can meet.

Job to be Done: Much like an unmet need, the jobs-to-be-done metaphor helps a business planner target a market segment for a new product or service. The job-to-be-done metaphor is based on the idea that customers don't really buy a product or service, they hire the product or service to help with a specific task they want to accomplish.

Clayton  Christensen: Harvard Business School professor and creator of the term "disruptive innovation." His groundbreaking works are "Innovator's Dilemma" and "Innovator's Solution." He's also written a book on innovation in health care, "The Innovator's Prescription."

From the perspective of the folks who run Insource Urgent Care in Downtown Batavia, their first-of-its-kind clinic is apparently seen as a competitive threat by the executives at United Memorial Medical Center.

A threat that must be crushed.

If their perception is correct, it highlights the fear disruptive innovators can strike in the hearts of incumbent businesses, especially if that business has enjoyed a monopoly position in the market.

Since UMMC officials are not talking about the tensions between Insource and UMMC, we only have the perspective of Insource's owners, which they're willing to discuss, and is also part of a federal anti-trust suit filed by Insource on June 25.

The suit alleges that UMMC conspired with HealthNow, the region's BlueCross BlueShield franchise, to eradicate the hosptial's pesky new competitor.

UMMC, according to the lawsuit, has even tried to muscle other health care providers in the county in an effort to deny Insource the partners it needs to deliver its services.

HealthNow is the dominant health insurance company in Western New York and UMMC has held a monopoly position for emergency and hospital care in Genesee County since the year 2000 merger of Genesee Memorial and St. Jerome's.

Melissa Marsocci, VP of operations for Insource, who is a native of Batavia and well versed in the literature of disruptive innovation, said she wasn't surprised by the response from UMMC to the arrival of her new company. She wishes it had been different, that cooperation rather than competition would have been the watchword, but that's not the case.

"Being from here and knowing the corporate culture over there, I knew we weren't going to be welcomed with open arms," Marsocci said. "Whenever I go anywhere else (to open a clinic), I don't know that, but here, we're just little bugs to them."

Insource is a company designed around innovation. It's model uses more efficient processes for delivering patient care and employs technology to reduce costs while improving quality.

Insource is also willing and able to deliver what it believes is world-class care while accepting lower profit margins per patient.

The result, according to Marsocci, is faster and easier access to top specialists and lower costs for uninsured patients.

The Lawsuit

Key points raised in Insource Development Services of Batavia, LLC. vs. HealthNow New York, Inc. and United Memorial Medical Center.
  • UMMC operates two urgent care clinics, one at St. Jerome's and one in Le Roy. The suit alleges these clinics keep irregular hours and are frequently closed.
  • Services offered by these clinics are allegedly limited and patients are frequently referred to UMMC's emergency room.
  • HealthNow allegedly entered into discussions with Insource two years ago about opening an urgent care clinic in Batavia and encouraged Insource to take on the project. When Insource and HealthNow -- which covers 50 percent of the insured in Genesee County -- were about to agree to terms for rates, the suit alleges, HealthNow broke off communications unexpectedly and without explanation.
  • The suit alleges ER care at UMMC costs at least $1,500, below the now-common high-deductable plan of $3,000, and Insource provides the same service for $150.
  • The suit alleges that HealthNow and UMMC entered into an agreement to restrict competition in Genesee County.
  • UMMC allegedly used anti-competitive practices to drive Lakeside's urgent care clinic out of Le Roy.
  • UMMC has used "agents" to contact healthcare providers in Genesee County to discourage their cooperation with Insource.
  • Insource alleges that UMMC is acting to protect its monopoly position in Genesee County.

In its lawsuit, Insource claims a typical emergency room visit to UMMC costs at least $1,500. The same service through Insource would cost $150.

"I think people deserve a choice," Marsocci said. "Isn't free enterprise what America is all about? Competition is good. It ups the quality, or should, so why not? Why should United Memorial have a monopoly?"

The typical urgent care model is kind of like a doc-in-the-box. The clinics are usually only opened in high-volume communities -- such as well-populated suburbs or densely populated urban neighborhoods. They treat minor injuries and illnesses and do very little in the way of referrals. They're not the place to go if you're seriously ill.

Insource can provide health care as basic as a physical for a high school athlete, up to arranging a consultation with a heart surgeon.

In other words, from a patient perspective, the company can do everything UMMC does, but without the overhead.

When a business planner with an eye toward disruptive innovation looks at a potential opportunity, the planner will try to identify an unmet need and a job to be done.

The unmet need in Genesee County, according to Marsocci, is the lack of top-tier specialists. It's not that they're not here, but there are fewer of them.

And, many local residents -- like it or not, it's true, notes Marsocci -- also lack faith in specialist referrals through UMMC.

This isn't a problem unique to Genesee County or UMMC. It's common in rural counties across the United States.

For the local patient who needs or wants care with a top-tier specialist, the only option until now has been to drive 30 or 40 minutes to Rochester or Buffalo.

"The care here, unfortunately, and I can say this because I've lived in Genesee County all my life, the care here has been substandard for years," Marsocci said. "I don't mean that disparagingly, but I'm saying, call a spade a spade. When I need care beyond primary care, I travel. I have been in those situations where I used a local specialist and it didn't end positively for me, and I've had those times where I was lucky. But you learn through a couple of experiences and you're not going to do it again, so I go east or west."

The job to be done, then, for Insource, is to connect patients who need specialized service with specialists without making them drive for miles and miles.

Computers, laptops, smartphones, tablets, closed-circuit cameras, LCD screens and the Internet -- all the tools of telemedicine -- means those miles, and the wasted time that goes with them, disappear.

The example Marsocci used was of a patient who came to Insource in early Jully complaining of debilitating back pain.

Initially, the concern was that he had a kidney stone, but a CT scan found a growth on his spine. A surgeon and specialist in spinal problems who will soon be one of Insources subtenants was consulted using telemedicine tools. The doctor confirmed the diagnosis and told Insource to have the patient call him on his mobile phone the next day -- July 4 -- for a follow-up consultation.

Two weeks ago, the patient had surgery to remove the growth.

"If that man had gone to any other urgent care, they would not have wanted to spend any more time on him than they had to," Marsocci said. "If they didn't have access to a CT then they knew they were wasting time on him and not getting paid. They would just want to get him out the door.  He would have to go to the emergency room then, which means he's going to spend a lot of money for something we did perfectly well here."

"It's pretty exciting to say he had surgery probably before he even would have seen the spine surgeon had he went anywhere else," Marsocci added.

All of these improvements -- better access to specialists, lower costs -- just make good business sense.

"Why can't the people in this community have the same level of care as the people in Buffalo or the people in Rochester?" Marsocci asked.

The response from local doctors to Insource, even those associated with UMMC, has been uniformly positive, Marsocci said. Insource refers patients to local doctors and to UMMC on a daily basis. The goal is to get the patient the best treatment possible, and that often means local doctors and local specialists are the best resources for local patients.

And local health care providers have found Insource a valuable resource, even referring patients to Insource, she said.

If all this makes so much sense, why aren't established urgent care companies around the nation providing the same service? Why isn't UMMC?

Mark Celmer

Yesterday, Mark Celmer, president of Insource, spoke with The Batavian's news partner, WBTA, about the lawsuit. Here's what he said.

“I do find it absolutely reprehensible that any member of Genesee County that’s insured by HealthNow can travel 40 miles to Erie County and go to any of 22 urgent care sites and be fully covered for their urgent care visit, but they cannot come to the newest one on Main Street, Batavia. I find that just absolutely reprehensible.”

“I would like HealthNow to say, ‘Genesee County residents: if you want to go to the urgent care center at the Jerome Center, if you want to go the urgent care center in Le Roy, if you want to go to the emergency room at United Memorial, or if you want to go to Insource Urgent Care Center on Main Street, Godspeed, let’s get going.’ ”

As we said, we lack UMMC's perspective on this competitive climate, but we do know about the patterns of disruptive innovation.

In any classic case of disruptor vs. the disrupted, the incumbents either under-value the disruption or feel trapped by their established business model. The incumbent sees no way to extricate itself from its present business model, no matter how threatening the disruptive innovation might be.

Newspapers, for example, have found it difficult to transition to an online news model because higher profits are found in their dead tree editions. 

While it costs less to produce digital news, the revenues are also substantially lower -- The New York Times publisher once said it was like converting print dollars into digital dimes -- and profit margins are slender to nonexistent (especially if newspapers want to maintain their current newsroom cost structure). Even as readers flee from printed newspapers, incumbent publishers are loathe to go to an online-only business model.

It's very difficult for an incumbent to give up a profitable line of business in favor of a business model that means lower revenue and less profit, especially when successful models are few and far between.

Sailing ship builders couldn't do it when the steam engines came along; Detroit couldn't do it when Japanese cars hit the market; mainframe computer makers couldn't do it when personal computers were first being sold; and, Kodak couldn't do it when digital cameras became popular (and Kodak INVENTED the digital camera).

"We're trying to make sense of where everything should be -- lowering costs, improving quality, improving satisfaction, improving access," Marsocci said. "That's where we find ourselves as disruptive innovators. Nobody in the urgent care business wants to spend the amount of time that we did putting together a formal telemedicine program or the way we do things with continuity of care, having subtenant specialists in our center.

"They want the low-hanging fruit," she added. "It can be a very lucrative business, so they want to find a place in a heavy-traffic shopping plaza and just put up a center and see how many patients they can see each day and make as much money as they possibly can. Where we're really focused on what we're preaching. Continuity of care."

NOTE: Early yesterday evening, The Batavian sent an e-mail to Colleen Flynn, spokeswoman for UMMC, and outlined the nature of the article we were writing about the lawsuit and invited UMMC to comment on the topics raised in this article. The Batavian received no response to the e-mail.

August 1, 2013 - 8:45am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, GCEDC.

Rachael J. Tabelski, communications director for Genesee County Economic Development Center, released the following details on the four projects that will be considered by the GCEDC board this afternoon. The board meets at 4 p.m. at the MedTech Centre, 99 MedTech Drive (across from the college).

1. (GCEDC) Proposed sales tax and property tax abatement -- Graham Corp.
Graham Corporation would like to renovate the "old" plant area, located at the corner of Harvester Avenue and Howard Street in the City of Batavia. A new bay will be constructed (12,439 square feet) that will enclose the area between two manufacturing bays located facing Harvester Avenue along with renovations of office and manufacturing areas. In addition, a new building (3,800 square feet) will be constructed on the 20 Florence St. property. This new building will be used for X-ray inspections of welds done during the fabrication process. Graham currently has 311 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees and expects to add 30 more over three years after the certificate of occupancy is obtained for these renovations. Board Action Request: Approval of an initial resolution to accept the application, and schedule a public hearing as benefits exceed $100,000. The application for the expansion project includes a sales tax exemption ($240,000) and property tax abatement on the incremental increase in assessed value ($243,396). Historical Look: The last expansion project that Graham undertook and the GCEDC assisted was in 2011. At the time, Graham had 278 FTE’s and pledged 30 new jobs in three years for a total of 308 FTEs. According to its 2013 application the company has exceeded its employment goals and plans to keep growing.

2. (GCEDC) Proposed sales tax and mortgage tax exemption and property tax abatement -- Guthrie Heli-Arc, Inc. 
Guthrie Heli-Arc, Inc., is a federally certified repair facility for transportation vessels. For the past 22 years its has operated out of a rented facility in Bergen. That facility has been sold, and the lease will terminate. CLR Industries, LLC, real estate holding company, has purchased a facility at 6276 Clinton Street Road in Stafford. The company plans on moving into the Stafford facility after a 7200-square-foot addition to the existing structure is completed. The addition is necessary to accommodate workflow. Board Action Request: Approval of a final resolution to approve incentives for the proposed project. The application for the expansion project includes a sales tax ($14,400) and mortgage tax exemption ($3,750) and property tax abatement on the incremental increase in assessed value ($58,902).

3. (GCEDC) Proposed RLF  for business expansion Pellegrino Auto Sales
The company is seeking a 16’x48’ expansion to the current facility and office renovation of 12’x38' at 4060 Pearl Street Road in the Town of Batavia. This will allow for three times the office space for future growth. The company is investing $150,000 and pledging 2.5 FTEs and retaining 5.5 FTEs. Board Action Request: Approval of a $75,000 from the revolving loan fund.

4. (GGLDC) Proposed RLF from the Batavia Micropolitan Area Community Redevelopment Loan Fund -- Jackson Square, LLC.
The former Carr's warehouse was built around 1880 in what is today known as Jackson Square. The company is looking to convert the former warehouse into a mixed-use, commercial and residential site. The ground floor will have flex office/light industrial and four new market rate apartments on the second and third floors. The City of Batavia is current owner of building and will transfer the title to the Batavia Development Corporation for sale to 13 Jackson Square, LLC. It is our understanding that the City of Batavia is looking to assist the project with its 485-A real property tax exemption. Board Action Request: Approval of a $100,000 from Batavia Micropolitan Area Community Redevelopment Loan Fund. Historical look: Board approved final resolution in July 2013 for sales tax ($24,816) and mortgage tax exemption ($2,994) contingent upon 13 Jackson Square, LLC, purchasing the building.

July 31, 2013 - 10:07am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, GCEDC, graham corp., Guthrie Heli-Arc.

Press release:

The Board of Directors of the Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) will consider two projects at its Aug. 1 board meeting. The board anticipates reviewing two revolving loan fund applications at this meeting as well.

Graham Corporation is seeking sales and property tax abatement for an expansion of its existing facilities. A new bay will be constructed (12,439 square feet) that will enclose the area between two manufacturing bays facing Harvester Avenue along with renovations of office and manufacturing areas. In addition, a new building (3,800 square feet) will be constructed on the 20 Florence St. property. This new building will be used for X-ray inspections of welds done during the fabrication process.

The total capital investment of the project is estimated to be approximately $5,500,000, with the proposed tax incentives contributing $483,396. Graham currently has 311 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees and expects to add 30 more over three years after the certificate of occupancy is obtained for these renovations.

The estimated economic impact of the project is 17.30:1. For every dollar of tax relief granted, the company will invest $17.30 into the local economy. Because the proposed incentives exceed $100,000, the board will first consider an initial resolution to be followed by a public hearing.   

The last expansion project that Graham undertook – also with assistance from the GCEDC – was in 2011. At the time Graham had 278 FTEs and pledged 30 new jobs in three years for a total of 308 FTEs. According to its 2013 application, the company has exceeded its employment goals and plans to continue growing.

Guthrie Heli-Arc, a federally certified repair facility for transportation vehicles, is seeking sales and mortgage tax exemption and property tax abatement for an expansion and relocation project. For the past 22 years, the company has operated out of a rented facility in Bergen. That facility has been sold, and their lease will terminate. CLR Industries, LLC, a real estate holding company, has purchased a facility at 6276 Clinton Street Road in Stafford. Guthrie Heli-Arc plans on moving into the Stafford facility after a 7200-square-foot addition to the existing structure is completed. The addition is necessary to accommodate workflow.

The total capital investment of the project is estimated to be approximately $300,000, with the proposed tax incentives contributing $77,052. Guthrie Heli-Arc estimates that the project will allow the company to create two new jobs while retaining six others. The estimated economic impact of the project is 9.4:1. For every dollar of tax relief granted, the company will invest $9.40 into the local economy. 

All GCEDC Board meetings are open to the public. Meetings are held on the second floor of the Dr. Bruce A. Holm Upstate Med & Tech Park, located at 99 MedTech Drive in the Town of Batavia, across from Genesee Community College. The meeting is anticipated to convene at 4 p.m.


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