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October 21, 2021 - 2:53pm



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October 21, 2021 - 11:24am
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, notify, genesee county.

Emphasizing that the Genesee County Legislature has no intention of overriding the New York State property tax cap, County Manager Matt Landers this morning said he expects the tax rate for 2022 to decrease by 53 cents from last year’s figure.

“The rate as of right now, and the only reason the rate would go up if there is any kind of change to the assessments between now and when we finalize the budget in late November, is at $9.37 (per $1,000 of assessed value),” Landers said.

That’s down from the rate of $9.80 in 2021, a drop of about 4 ½ percent.

The tax levy, or the amount to be raised by taxes, is going from $31,451,727 to $32,130,246 – an increase of slightly more than 2 percent.

Landers pointed out that municipalities such as Genesee County can’t raise their tax levies by more than the 2 percent tax cap.

He said his office is finalizing the All Funds and General Fund spending plans, but indicated both will go up compared to 2021.

“I will have those numbers when I file the budget on Friday,” he said, indicating that his office will be issuing a press release tomorrow.

Genesee County is using $1.4 million of its unexpended fund balance in 2022, down from $2.3 million utilized in 2021.

Landers said the new Genesee County Jail – with groundbreaking set for next spring – is a key part of the 2022 budget.

“We don’t have any debt service in the 2022 budget because we’ll be borrowing for the jail in '22,” he said. “Debt service will come out in 2023.”

There are line items in next year’s budget, however, for four new corrections officers – positions that are part of a jail transition team required by the state Commission of Corrections to be in place prior to groundbreaking.  

“We’ll pick four us our more experienced COs to work on that, and that’s all they work on,” Landers said. “Then, we’ll backfill and hire four positions that we create. These positions will be kept on with the new jail because there’s an expected staffing increase with the new county jail.”

The county is planning to spend about $70 million on a 184-bed jail on West Main Street Road, just east of County Building 2. The facility will include a backup E-911 Center.

Two full-time nurses will be on duty at the new jail, an upgrade from the current one full-time nurse and one part-time nurse, Landers said, and four new positions will be added at the highway department – two seasonal and two full-time positions – to focus on tree cutting.

“We’re going to dedicate a tree crew that will work year round, working on the backlog of trees that have been devastated by the ash borer,” Landers said. “Trees are in the right-of-way and need to be cleared for safety purposes.”

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October 21, 2021 - 9:23am
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, Marijuana Regulation & Taxation Act, town of batavia.

oip.jpgThe Batavia Town Board on Wednesday night voted to schedule a public hearing on a resolution that would enable the municipality to opt out of allowing cannabis retail dispensaries and on-site consumption sites through New York’s Marijuana Regulation & Taxation Act.

“I don’t think there’s enough information from the State of New York to enter into something that we could never get out of,” Town Supervisor Gregory Post said following the monthly board meeting at the Town Hall on West Main Street Road. “The bottom line is that we can always opt in to it when we have more details and it is something that we can administer.”

Post said he was concerned that “a decision made by five people (the Batavia Town Board) probably isn’t a clear and transparent representation of the whole community.”

If a local law to opt out is passed following the public hearing set for 7:10 p.m. on Nov. 17 at the Town Hall, it could lead to a permissive referendum organized by residents who disagree with its decision.

“People opposing that law could get together and find their way to the ballot and ask the community whether they want this or not,” Post said. “In my opinion, this is too early in the game … and jump into this thing not know what the down-the-road consequences and financial implications are.”

The supervisor did acknowledge that eventually opting in to the new law could be “lucrative” to the town, which would receive 3 percent of the sales tax collected on cannabis transactions. The state would get 9 percent and Genesee County 1 percent.

“The county, which will be burdened with 100 percent of the cost of mitigating through mental health services, probation and any of the issues that come up from sales to minors – all of the cost and expense to the community through the health department, ultimately will receive only 25 percent of that (4 percent to municipalities),” he explained.

Post also brought up the fact that marijuana continues to be against the law at the federal level, and that regular testing of commercial truck drivers, who have to be free of substance use, will continue.

“The federal oversight and management of some of our largest employers, such as Graham, O-At-Ka Milk, HP Hood, those that are making food and are considered strategic investments have to be compliant,” he said. “It’s assumed that you’re OK to consume these (marijuana) commodities if they’re legalized in the town, and then go to work and find out you can’t work because you failed a drug test.

“We’re seeing as many as 50 percent of the drivers failing the drug tests because their assumption is if it’s legal, then I don’t have a problem. But yet, it is a problem.”

Signed into law by former Gov. Andrew Cuomo on March 31, the MRTA paves the way to an estimated $1 billion industry with expected annual revenue of $350 million and the creation of between 30,000 and 60,000 jobs.

The legislation permits adult use of cannabis for those 21 years of age and up – people who may possess, display, purchase, obtain or transport up to 3 ounces of flower or 24 grams of concentrated cannabis.

It also expands New York’s existing medical marijuana program and immediately allows eligible users to smoke cannabis in public wherever tobacco is allowed.

Consumption is not allowed in schools, federal lands, workplaces or in vehicles as the federal government still has jurisdiction in those places.

The two types of retail sites are retail dispensaries, which could be storefronts to buy products for home consumption and adult use consumption sites, and lounge-like locations for purchase and use on-site.

Municipalities have until Dec. 31 to opt out of any dispensary or on-site consumption site within their jurisdiction.

Previously: County manager sounds off against sales tax diversion, misguided cannabis excise tax distribution

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October 20, 2021 - 3:03pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, notify, Town of Batavia budget.

greg_post.jpgThe Town of Batavia property tax rate is expected to decrease by about 12 percent for 2022, Supervisor Greg Post said today.

Post, (photo at right), in providing The Batavian his first update on budget proceedings, said the preliminary General Fund spending plan for next year is currently at $4,845,357, which includes $1,346,403 in expenditures for the Highway Fund.

While the General Fund budget is up by about $800,000 from 2021 and the town’s revenue decreased, the Town Board is looking at using $1.18 million in unexpended fund balance ($600,000 more than originally anticipated) to keep the property tax levy at the same level, Post said.

The current tax levy on the books for 2022 (the amount raised by taxes) is at $1,236,000 – the same as the number in 2021.

“Which means that because of the increased assessed value (in the town), the tax rate will go down by about 12 percent – from $2.85 to $2.51,” Post indicated. “Nothing is set in stone as we still have several weeks to work through this and we may tweak it prior to adoption.”

The sewer rate is expected to remain flat at $7.09 per 1,000 gallons used, while the water rate for both residential and agricultural consumers is projected to increase by 2 percent – to $6.32 and $5.12 per 1,000 gallons, respectively.

Meanwhile, the fire district tax rate looks as though it will remain flat, but will result in greater revenue due to the increased assessed valuation.

The Town Board has scheduled public hearings on the sewer and water rates for 7 p.m. Nov. 3 at the Town Hall on West Main Street Road, with a public hearing on the budget to follow at 7:10 p.m.

A special meeting to adopt the budget, and the sewer and water rates is set for Nov. 17 at the Town Hall.

Additional details provided by Post are as follows:

  • The strategy on the tax levy “was to keep this as flat as we can, and use up the residual money saved during COVID to purchase the things that were deferred from the last two years,” he said. “Now that we’re in full operation and projects are happening, we need to have the staff and the means to attend to that so we can continue to be in a growth mode.”
  • The town is hiring another highway department employee and a “project manager” engineer to assist with administration of Park Road Reconstruction Project. “This is similar to what we did five or six years ago,” Post advised. “When the work increases, we add staff, and when the work decreases, we reduce staff.”
  • The plan includes spending about $500,000 on a fleet of pickup trucks, something that was deferred due to COVID.  “But we might not even be able to buy trucks next year because they might not be available yet; trucks are hard to find,” Post said.
  • The town realized a surplus last year of $280,000, enabling it to use more of its unexpended fund balance, Post reported. “That was due to the efforts the staff has made to find creative ways to finance projects and get grant money to subsidize the operations,” he said. “Through this process, we still have adequate reserves and unexpended fund balances to carry us through whatever the next Apocalypse is.”
  • The board is considering pay increases averaging 3 percent, although not across the board, Post said. “That doesn’t mean that money gets spent. Those numbers are not finalized and set until the first of the year. This virtual situation has found a number of efficiencies and it has also allowed the town to service building permits, applications and plan reviews as well as administer public sector projects like Ellicott Trail and repaving and now Park Road and Route 98 improvements.
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October 20, 2021 - 2:52pm
posted by Joanne Beck in news, City Schools, audit, batavia.

Freed Maxick CPAs representative Christian Townes is expected to review the city school district’s audit during a presentation to the Board of Education this week.

The board’s meeting is set for 6 p.m. Thursday at Batavia High School’s library, 260 State St., Batavia. 

The board is slated to accept and approve the final audited report, basic financial statements, and audited extra classroom activity financial statements ending June 30, 2021. 

Time is allotted for public comments before the audit and several other presentations from district officials: Trisha Finnigan with an operations update; Scott Rozanski with a financial summary report; Kylie Tatarka with a student ex-officio report; and Scott Bischoping with an interim superintendent’s update.

Other orders of business include votes to approve several personnel-related retirements, resignations, leaves of absence, transfers, and new hires; a Memorandum of Agreement between the Batavia Custodial Association and the city school district; and an agreement between the district and Otis Elevator Company for the repair of the middle school elevator.

An inter-municipal agreement between Livonia Central School District and the Batavia district for shared remote/digital learning; and a revised agreement with Mary Cariola Children’s Center will also be up for a vote. 

The board is also expected to discuss and vote on a proposal from Campus Construction Management to conduct a feasibility study on the potential renovation costs of Batavia Middle School. The proposed cost is $3,875 and would include the impact a renovation would have on other district buildings. 

Board meetings may also be viewed online at:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8JI99xyBJt1sGdRzmCW2Kg

Anyone who would like to speak during a meeting may complete this form: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScyKRcezlrZtf_o2bN8j7DyfLhYxYrDfGl3tYJyoeTJ87ZuKQ/viewform

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October 20, 2021 - 2:04pm

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Gov. Kathy Hochul touted the hard working Western New York community today as she took part in a groundbreaking ceremony to recognize Plug Power, Inc.’s $290 million investment at the Science & Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park in the Town of Alabama.

“There is a strong work ethic here,” said Hochul, a Buffalo native who spent much time in Genesee and surrounding counties during her days as a U.S. Congresswoman and New York State lieutenant governor. “I come from just a little bit down the road – the granddaughter of a steel worker in a steel plant; my dad worked in the steel plant. In Rochester, he worked at Eastman Kodak and many other jobs.

“People are used to working hard, and employers are recognizing it. This is in our DNA. This is what they will get when they come here and invest here. They’ll get the very best people.”

Hochul was joined by Andy Marsh, chief executive officer of the Latham-based Plug Power, which is set to construct a major green hydrogen fuel production plant and a 450-megawatt electric substation that will provide power to the entire STAMP site.

Officials from the New York Power Authority were also on hand at the Genesee County Economic Development Center-coordinate event, which drew around 100 people.

The NYPA board previously approved a 10,000-kilowatt hydropower provision along with $1.5 million in funding from the Western New York Power Proceeds program, and 143 MW of High-Load Factor power that NYPA will procure for Plug Power on the energy market, drastically lowering electric bills through a reduction in electricity delivery chargers.

Other speakers were State Sen. Edward Rath, Assemblyman Steve Hawley, Genesee County Legislature Chair Rochelle Stein and GCEDC Vice President of Operations Mark Masse.

A CLEAN ENERGY REVOLUTION

Hochul said that the location “is the place where the clean energy revolution is happening.”

She thanked officials at the NYPA for “harnessing the power of the Niagara River … and (being able to) spread that energy across the state – literally, spread the energy across the state.”

“To invest here and to send a message that this project is important enough to have your investment, but also to transfer electricity here and power here, and the conversion into green hydrogen. That’s not happening anywhere else; nowhere else are they being that creative,” she said.

She drew a round of applause when she said, “It’s happening here in Genesee County. And as a result, we’ll have North America’s largest green hydrogen production facility here in the State of New York, but right here in Genesee County.”

The governor said she was “so delighted” to be back home again as this county has special meaning to her.

“I heard Mark (Masse) say I was here a few times,” she said. “I was here a few times a week – to your candy stores and your shops and your restaurants and your downtown, and had the opportunity to talk about the Downtown Revitalization Initiative and so many other transformative projects. So, when I come back home here it gives me the sense of not just (being) excited about what we’ve done in the past but the possibilities in the future. And, ladies and gentlemen, the future is starting today.”

THANKING THE 'EARLY VISIONARIES'

She credited “early visionaries” such as Steve Hyde, former Senator Mary Lou Rath, Assemblyman Steven Hawley, Genesee County Legislature Chair Rochelle Stein and local government officials.

“Thank you for never giving up, for always having the faith. Your persistence and patience has paid off. And that’s what today is all about.”

And she thanked Marsh for seeing the possibilities in Genesee County.

“It’s companies, it’s people and it’s also places, and this place has been crying out for an opportunity like this to show what it was really made out of,” she said. “And the location, I’ve always said this. This region is spectacular because of its proximity to two larger urban areas …”

Masse said interest in STAMP from corporate site selectors from the advanced manufacturing sector -- including semiconductor and clean energy -- has never been stronger.

“There’s a long queue of prospects constantly asking for information, meetings and visiting the site. Our region and our site are very suitable for companies such as Plug Power to succeed and make a lasting impact,” he said.

MASSE PROMOTES SHOVEL-READINESS

Noting that the region has 2.1 million people in a 60-mile radius with 57 colleges and universities – and 4,000 engineering graduates annually, Masse said, “The only thing holding us back now is the increasing of our capacities of existing infrastructure to make this site completely shovel-ready.”

“This would have the full water, sewer, electric at the property line for any company looking to locate here so they can move quickly to construct their facility and be up and running as soon as possible.”

Masse said he was hopeful that New York State will continue to make infrastructure investments to advance the shovel-readiness of mega-sites such as STAMP.

Marsh compared Plug Power’s expansion to George Westinghouse’s pioneering electrical network more than 100 years ago.

“Hydrogen is really important, and green hydrogen is especially important,” he said, adding that projections show that 18 percent of the world’s energy is going to come from hydrogen.

MARSH FORESEES ACCELERATION

“And right here in the field will be the first large-scale green hydrogen network, not only in New York, not only in the U.S., but around the world. Just like George Westinghouse did with electricity years and years ago.”

He called that “a great accelerator for this local economy and Plug Power believes, with its investments here, which we hope to continue to grow – with our investments in Rochester – we will see the same.”

Marsh, mentioning that Plug Power’s green hydrogen will power forklifts at several big companies, said that 25 percent of food during COVID moved through Plug Power products.

“It really made the world realize what Plug Power was doing. We were able to raise $5 billion in the public market, which supplements a lot that goes on with support in New York and other places,” he offered.

CLICK HERE for more about today's developments.

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Photo above: Gov. Kathy Hochul speaking at this morning's Plug Power groundbreaking event at WNY STAMP in the Town of Alabama. Photos below: Hochul and Plug Power CEO (center) and other regional and state officials take part in the ceremony; state, regional and local government leaders turned out for the event. Photos by Steve Ognibene.

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October 20, 2021 - 2:00pm
posted by Lisa Ace in advertisement, T.F. Brown's, food, live music, batavia.


Click here to visit our Facebook page or order food online.

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October 20, 2021 - 12:27pm
posted by Joanne Beck in Le Roy, spray park, news.

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From gentle mists to powerful downpours, Le Roy town and village residents are in for some water fun come next year.

Town and Village boards hashed out the plan for a new spray park at Wildwood Park during a meeting earlier this month, Le Roy Town Supervisor Jim Farnholz says.

“We all decided on what we liked,” he said during an interview Tuesday with The Batavian. “It’s really something for the community and answers a lot of questions. Our real hope is to open by Memorial Day in 2022.”

Those answers include what to do with a defunct wading pool with several leaks. The spray park will be installed in that space for 2,000 square feet of misting stations, aqua arches, showers, spills, and water weaves of intertwining spouts from the base outward. Activities are geared for kids of all ages and sizes, and the park will be handicap accessible, he said. 

A cooperative effort by both town and village boards, the project is estimated to cost $300,000 to be split by each municipality. The money is coming from the federal COVID-19 American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (See "Le Royans can move off the creek ..."). Based on each municipality’s assessed property value, these relief funds have a list of requirements for how the money can be spent, Farnholz said. Though the 100 or so pages of specifics were “one of the challenges for municipalities,” the town and village discovered that a spray park fit the scope of the funding. 

“One of the very clear things was that it was designated for outdoor activities, parks, and green space,” he said. 

The new park will have extended hours beyond when the swimming pool is open, will not require a lifeguard, and will provide benches, sidewalks, a flat surface, and an assortment of spray heights so that those in wheelchairs can enjoy it as well, he said. The idea was in discussion before the federal money was even received, he said. 

The board members reviewed other spray parks in Genesee and Wyoming counties but landed on one in Brighton, Monroe County, as the best fit. 

“We like it; it seemed to offer the most different kinds of … mister stations, a dump bucket, and little ones for smaller kids,” he said. “It addressed a lot of issues.”

Brighton’s spray park, amongst many others, was installed by Texas-based company Water Odyssey, he said. The town and village have agreed to move forward with the same company as “a lot of municipalities were very happy,” with it. 

Town and village public works crews will perform the tear-out and site prep for the project to save some money, he said. Other work will include dealing with wastewater and electrical upgrades, he said. 

“Once we decide on a specific plan, they can provide the site prep information,” he said. “I’m hoping for it to be in the next week or two.”

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October 20, 2021 - 11:53am
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, soccer, oakfield-alabama, elba.

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The Oakfield-Alabama/Elba girls soccer team ran into a great goalie for Canisteo-Greenwood in their final game of the season leading to a 4-2 loss in a shootout.

The Hornets finish 9-7-1.

Goalie Lily Davis made three saves.

The CG goalie made 32.

Christina Bartholomew and Macy Altamirano made their kicks in the shootout.

Head Coach David Carpino said, "We dominated play and possession but ran into a solid goal keep and hit posts and just couldn't put one in."

Photos by Kristin Smith.

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October 20, 2021 - 11:41am
posted by Press Release in DSS, crime, news.

Press release:

Elizabeth Gates, 43 of Bensalem, PA formerly of Batavia, pled guilty to one count of petit larceny in Batavia town Court on September 28, 2021.  Sentencing has been scheduled for December.

Gates was originally charged with six counts of first degree Offering a False Instrument for Filing, seven counts of third-degree Forgery and one count of third-degree Grand Larceny after an investigation by Genesee County Social Services Investigator Robert Riggi revealed that gates forged signatures on several documents and providing false information in order to qualify for SNAP benefits.

Full Restitution of $7,792.00 has been made to the Genesee County Department of Social Services, and Gates will be disqualified from receiving SNAP benefits for one year.

Corrine Navarra, 40 of Oakfield, pled guilty to one count of Petit Larceny in Batavia Town Court on October 19, 2021 and was sentenced to a one-year conditional discharge.

Navarra was originally charged with one count of third-degree Grand Larceny and one count of third-degree Welfare Fraud after an investigation by Genesee County Social Services Investigator Robert Riggi found that Navarra failed to report that her husband’s income from a new job or that she had been laid off and was receiving unemployment insurance benefits, resulting in her receiving $3,840.00 in SNAP benefits she was not entitled to.

Full restitution has been made to the Genesee County Department of Social Services and Navarra will be disqualified from receiving SNAP benefits for one year.

Anyone wishing to report suspected cases of welfare fraud in Genesee County can contact the Genesee County Department of Social Services Fraud Unit at (585) 344-2580, ext. 6417 or 6541.

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October 20, 2021 - 11:33am
posted by Press Release in Chris Jacobs, Arc GLOW, news, NY-27.

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Press release:

Representative Chris Jacobs met with Arc GLOW leadership Monday and toured the agency’s Day Habilitation Center on Barrville Road in Elba.  During the tour, he had a chance to meet individuals with disabilities who attend the program there and greet some of the staff.

Following the tour, Jacobs spent over an hour with Arc GLOW leadership including Chief Executive Officer, Martin Miskell, Board President Cheryl Englert, and Board Vice President Debrah Fischer. 

CEO Martin Miskell shared news of the recent merger of Arc of Genesee Orleans and The Arc Livingston-Wyoming, resulting in Arc GLOW, geographically the largest chapter of The Arc New York.  The disability provider’s four-county service area now covers roughly 2,400 square miles and serves nearly 2,000 children and adults with intellectual/developmental disabilities and their families and employs 1,000 staff members.

The group discussed advocacy priorities including the Better Care Better Jobs Act. This bill includes an investment in the disability service system as part of a COVID-19 economic recovery to support care for Medicaid recipients, and create more and better jobs for the workforce that provides that care.

Team members discussed the staffing shortage Arc GLOW and its sister chapters throughout the State are experiencing, and the need to secure adequate government funding to pay Direct Support Professionals a wage commensurate with their ability, experience, and performance.

The importance of employment opportunities for individuals wanting a job in the community was also brought to the table, as October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month.

Congressman Jacobs said he was honored to tour the Arc GLOW facility in Elba to see firsthand the critical services provides to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in our rural communities. “Organizations like Arc are crucial to providing essential support and educational services, as well as providing members of our I/DD community with meaningful employment opportunities. The leadership is incredibly passionate and doing a wonderful job, and I look forward to continuing our strong partnership to improve access to these services,” Jacobs said.    

Submitted photos.

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Jacobs meets Danny.

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Alicia,  Kathy, and Day Hab Specialist Kristen Ace with Jacobs as he receives a puzzle.

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Jacobs meets Day Hap Center Nurse Michele Batt.

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 Board President Cheryl Englert, Congressman Chris Jacobs, CEO Martin Miskell, and Board Vice President Debrah Fischer.

 

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October 20, 2021 - 9:14am
posted by Press Release in wall of honor, pembroke, news, veterans.

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Press release:

The Veterans Outreach Club is excited to announce that the ceremony for the opening of the Pembroke Veterans’ Wall of Honor will be held on November 21st. The Veterans’ Wall of Honor is open to those that attended Pembroke Schools through high school or left early to serve in the military. Each veteran or current military member will have an individualized plaque with his/her name, branch of service, branch insignia, and year of graduation. The plaques were designed by club members and are made here at school.

The Opening Ceremony will be held on November 21st at 1:00 pm in the High School Auditorium. This is a communitywide event and all are encouraged to attend. This is going to be a celebration of our very own heroes who have served our country. There will be an array of speakers ranging from current and former military, local and state politicians, and members of the Veterans Outreach Club. Also, being invited to attend are the Honor Guard, Patriot Guard, representatives of the local fire and police departments, Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts. Other interested local groups are welcome to attend as well.

The ceremony will also have an important and solemn commemoration in honor of Clarence J. Hall. C. Jay was a Pembroke graduate from the class of 1967. In 1969, he was drafted to serve in the conflict in Vietnam. While engaged in a firefight, C. Jay acted with great courage and was credited with saving the lives of several of his comrades. C. Jay exposed himself to hostile fire from the enemy and placed a devastating volume of suppressive rounds upon the aggressors' emplacements, allowing his comrades to take cover. While maneuvering to a more advantageous firing position, C. Jay was mortally wounded. For his unquestionable valor, while engaged in military operations, Specialist Four Hall was awarded the Silver Star. The Silver Star is America’s third-highest award for valor. C. Jay is the brother of Sandy Hall, a long-time math teacher at Pembroke. Sandy will be in attendance for the honoring of her brother. Pembroke members of the military from the Vietnam Era are being contacted to help in this commemoration. 

After the ceremony, veterans will be invited to see the Hall of Honor for the first time, then all other attendees will make their way through the Wall of Honor hallway. A reception in the gymnasium will immediately follow. We hope to see you all there. Thank you for your support. For questions or contributions, please contact Veterans Outreach Club Supervisor - Matt Moscato - [email protected] or  585-599-4525 ext. 1107 or my cell phone # 716-353-5768.       

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Comments
October 20, 2021 - 8:30am
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, notify, Le Roy Village Board, Eric Biscaro.

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Update, 3 p.m.: Le Roy Village Mayor just reported that the Village Board will not be deciding the fate of this project tonight, but plans to complete the State Environmental Quality Review process. He said he is looking into scheduling a meeting for Nov. 1 for the vote, although that date has yet to be confirmed.

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The housing development being proposed by a Batavia businessman returns to the public arena tonight when the Le Roy Village Board convenes its regular monthly meeting at Memorial Auditorium on Trigon Park.

Eric Biscaro’s plan to construct 30 duplex units for residents 50 and older on a 20-acre parcel of land off East Avenue in the village (photo at top) has drawn much attention over the past five months – and a great deal of opposition from a vocal group of citizens who live in the East Avenue, Poplar Lane, Orchard Drive neighborhood.

Those calling for the village board to turn down the project – which requires rezoning from Residential to Planned Unit Development – have given various reasons, including it’s not a good fit for the area, increased traffic and stormwater runoff.

However, there have been LeRoyans who have spoken favorably of the venture, which also includes extending East Avenue to accommodate 18 single-family building lots. Those supporting it have pointed to studies that show Le Roy (and Genesee County) lack adequate housing for seniors and also have mentioned the tax revenue the project would generate.

So, after a recommendation of approval by the Genesee County Planning Board, two previous well-attended public hearings, and some back-and-forth dialogue on The Batavian, the matter is back on the village board’s agenda, with proceedings to begin at 7 o’clock.

Mayor Greg Rogers, contacted earlier this week, said board members seem to be satisfied with traffic and stormwater runoff studies conducted by the CPL engineering firm hired by the village.

“Yes. We’ve reviewed CPL’s study of the water and traffic issues and they’re (CPL) good with that,” he said.

The pressing concern now, he said, is what to do about Biscaro’s offer to put the East Avenue extension in himself, with minimal assistance (around $30,000) in the way of stone, gravel and trucks from the village. The developer also is seeking a $7,000 cap on building permit fees (which represents about a 50 percent discount).

Rogers said that no decision has been made by the board as far as Biscaro putting the road in.

“He has proposed putting the majority of the roads in for the 60 units (senior housing complex) and the 18 building lots on an extension of East Avenue,” Rogers advised. “The board is looking at a commitment of $50,000 to $75,000 toward the road extension.”

The board is thinking about spending that much because the current village code stipulates that curbs and storm sewers come with the installation of new roads.

“That definitely will be part of the conversation Wednesday (tonight),” he said.

Biscaro, using his Clinton Crossings Adult Community as an example, contends that curbs and storm drains aren’t necessary and “do not make the neighborhood.”

“Curbs trap the water on the street and force it to the storm drains,” he said. “You all heard the complaints about water in the storm drains going into the culvert under East Avenue and on to the golf course. Why do it? It’s not necessary. Our stormwater plan already takes care of any water on that street without sending it on to anyone else.”

The owner of Armor Building Supply in Batavia, Biscaro said he has multiple plans that will meet New York State Department of Environmental Conservation requirements and will present those, as well as a Letter of Compliance, to the board.

He said the “pros” of the project far outweigh the “cons” when it comes to being a benefit for the Village of Le Roy.

Biscaro said he got involved with the village after receiving word from Rogers that the board was considering an investment of up to $1 million to extend East Avenue. The proposal also includes opening up South Avenue as an emergency exit/entrance to South Street.

“A vote for the project will lead to quality built patio homes with garages built for easy senior living with no maintenance and more importantly no worries, and a nice new street where beautiful single-family homes will be built,” Biscaro said. “Maybe someone’s children or siblings can build and stay in Le Roy.”

As he did at the last public hearing, Biscaro – who said he will be investing $9 million over the next five years -- brought up the positive tax implications for the village.

“The current annual tax receipts for that property is approximately $1,360 -- $400 to the village and $960 to the (Le Roy Central) school district,” said Biscaro, who is seeking a Payment in Lieu of Taxes agreement with the Genesee County Economic Development Center. “In just the first year alone, the village would get $2,400 and the school would receive $5,760.”

He said the cumulative totals after 10 years would equal $311,500 to the village and $747,600 to the school district.

“If the board votes against it, it’s the same $1,360 year after year,” he said.

Biscaro said he is committed to building something that will enhance the neighborhood, which has been called a “jewel” by its residents.

“The issue right now is that we have nothing at this location and very little income,” he said. “We need to work together to create something out of this scrub land section of the village, and make this development another gem of the neighborhood.”

Comments
October 19, 2021 - 10:33pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, corfu.

Two vehicles and a deer are reportedly involved in an accident in the area of 9888 Alleghany Road, Corfu.

No word on injuries.

Law enforcement dispatched.

UPDATE 10:41 p.m.: Five vehicles have now reportedly struck the deer.

 

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October 19, 2021 - 3:24pm

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As a Genesee County legislator representing the rural towns of Elba, Byron and Bergen, Christian Yunker said people are constantly coming up to him to ask when they will be getting broadband internet service in their area.

“What do I tell them?” Yunker asked on Monday, pointing his question to Paul Gavin, the just-hired executive director of the Genesee/Finger Lakes Regional Planning Council.

Gavin was at the legislature’s Public Service Committee meeting at the Old County Courthouse to introduce himself and inform the committee of some of the agency’s priorities heading into 2022.

He was joined by Jay Gsell, the former longtime county manager who was employed as G/FLRPC’s interim executive director over the past year, and Richard Sutherland, a planner with the organization that serves the nine Finger Lakes Region counties, including Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming.

Gavin’s reply focused on initiating a broadband internet gaps analysis, which could take up to six months to complete, and then lining up financing, addressing any issues that invariably will pop up, and contracting with an Internet Service Provider.

“I would tell them that we’re at least a year away,” Gavin said, adding that the process would be shortened with the use of local and/or state funds. “(By having to obtain) federal funding, it takes longer.”

Gsell, who was charged with streamlining the agency’s operations in the temporary role, said that Genesee and Wyoming counties have yet to reach a level where they can take a broadband internet plan to a third party (such as Spectrum or Empire Access).

County Manager Matt Landers said Genesee has “already informally set aside a portion of our ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act money) to go toward this.”

“I know that some of our towns are better positioned – and have some funds set aside – to implement it,” he said.

Sutherland said that New York has authorized a broadband gap study for every county, looking for citizen participation to determine internet speed, availability in certain areas and what people would be willing to pay for the service.

He said the state’s Public Service Commission is hoping to complete the study by May 2022.

Landers said Genesee can’t enact a plan without countywide data of where the gaps are with all of its providers – noting that most information is proprietary.

It’s important to know the financial means of the towns and “critical to have that data first,” he said.

Gavin suggested that counties pressure the PSC by emphasizing the urgency in getting something done and to work with the G/FLPLC to implement a strategy that works best.

A Dunkirk native, Gavin is joining the regional planning council after holding a similar position with the Gulf Regional Planning Commission in Biloxi, Miss. Previous to that, he worked for the Port of Pascagoula (Miss.) and Department of Transportation in New York and Nebraska.

He is a graduate of the Merchant Marine Academy and St. Bonaventure University. He and his wife and daughter will be residing in the Rochester area, he said.

Gavin credited Gsell for his role in the G/FLRPC’s designation as an Economic Development District.

“That’s important … as it allows you to spend economic development administration funds and, as you know, they’re really flowing from the federal government right now,” he advised.

He said the G/FLRPC is available to assist counties with grant writing, strategic planning, land planning.

“We want you to turn to us and look for us to help you. Yes, you can go to consulting firms and yes, they will do a fabulous job, and yes, you will pay much, much more for that service that we can provide for you,” he said.

Gavin and Gsell said the agency is seeking a 10 percent increase in annual county contributions, from $9,600 to $10,600. The last increase came in 2002.

“The preliminary 2022 budget draft includes many operating expense reductions and continues our long-term history of strategic yet frugal budgeting and cost containment,” Gsell reported.

Photo: Jay Gsell, left; Paul Gavin and Richard Sutherland. Photo by Mike Pettinella.

Comments
October 19, 2021 - 3:18pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Grand Jury, news, alexander, notify, pembroke, batavia, Le Roy, byron, Alabama, Stafford.

Kaleb J. Bobzien is indicted on counts of strangulation in the second degree, criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation, two counts of harassment in the second degree, two counts of criminal mischief in the fourth degree, four counts of criminal contempt in the second degree, and three counts of tampering with a witness in the fourth degree. On June 24, in the Town of Batavia, Bobzien allegedly applied pressure to the throat of another person and caused that person to lose consciousness for a period of time. He's also accused of blocking the nose and mouth of another person, a person under age 17.  He also allegedly threatened a victim. He allegedly broke a vape pen that belonged to the victim. He also allegedly damaged the backpack of the underage victim. He allegedly violated an order of protection. He allegedly tried to stop a person from testifying in the case. 

Aaron M. Hatt is indicted on counts of burglary in the second degree, criminal contempt in the first degree, two counts of endangering the welfare of a child, and aggravated family offense, criminal contempt in the second degree. Hatt is accused of entering a building on Broadway in  Alexander on April 28 with the intent to commit a crime within the building. He is accused of violating an order of protection at that time by intentionally harassing, annoying,  or threatening a person in that residence. He is accused of applying pressure to the throat of a family member.  There was a  child present at the time of the alleged offense. 

Robin S. Brooks is indicted on a count of bail jumping in the first degree.  Brooks is accused of failing to appear for a court hearing on April 20  or within  30 days of the scheduled appearance.

Cesar G. Molina is indicted on a count of driving while ability impaired by drugs as a felony because of a prior DWI conviction.  Molina is accused of driving under the influence on 29 December in the Town of Byron.

Jarrett C.  Coniglio is indicted on two counts of assault in the second degree, a  count of resisting arrest, and a count of obstructing governmental administration. Coniglio is accused of causing injury to a  police officer while attempting to stop the officer from performing his official duties on  July 23 in the Town of Alabama. He's accused of causing injury to another person with a glass bottle. 

Mark L. Farley is indicted on a count of criminal contempt in the first degree, a  count of unlawful imprisonment, a  count of harassment in the second degree, a  count of burglary in the second degree, and a count of criminal contempt in the second degree, On Dec. 31, Farley allegedly violated an order of protection at a  residence on  Harvester Avenue by striking or threatening another person. He allegedly restrained another person. He allegedly went into the building with the intent to commit a crime. 

James D. Weathers is indicted on a count of criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree.  Weathers is accused of knowingly possessing a loaded Glock 19  handgun while in the Town of Stafford on  Oct. 31, 2020.

Connor L.  Andrews is indicted on a count of criminal possession of a  controlled substance in the fifth degree, a count of driving while ability impaired by drugs, and three counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance 7th degree. Andrews was charged after being stopped in the Town of Le Roy on May 3. He was allegedly found in possession of cocaine, meth, Alprazolam, and Oxycodone.

Timothy J.  Passage is indicted on a count of criminal possession of a forged instrument in the first degree.  Passage is accused of trying to use a counterfeit $20 bill at the Tim Horton's in Pembroke on March 20.

Jamie A. Dutton is indicted on a  count of criminal mischief in the third degree, criminal trespass in the second degree, and criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree. Dutton is accused of damaging the property of another person valued at more than $250 on Feb. 27 at a location in the City of Batavia. He was allegedly unlawfully in a property with permission and in possession of cocaine.

Comments
October 19, 2021 - 3:00pm


NEW LISTING: 5650 Little Canada Road, Bethany. Super solid and move-in ready country ranch! This 3 bedroom home is neat and well maintained with many nice updates. New flooring throughout upstairs, bath remodeled in 2015, new well pump August of 2021 and public water coming very soon! Roof and Generac generator both installed a little over 10 years ago. Basement is partially finished and would need very little to update and increase your living space! High and dry with an awesome little workshop and lots of great storage. Sitting on almost 1 full acre there is a newly installed back patio overlooking deep back yard. Conveniently located to most major routes this is definitely one to check out! Click here for more infomation and call Lynn Bezon at Reliant Real Estate today - call 585-344-home (4663).

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October 19, 2021 - 2:10pm
posted by James Burns in news, terry hills, GoArt!.

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GO Art! Of Genesee and Orleans Counties held the 2nd annual Golf Ball drop at Terry Hills Golf Course and Banquet Facility on Tuesday morning. The event had been delayed by weather. Event sponsor Zeliff Aviation dropped a few thousand golf balls on a beautiful fall day over the course. Jerianne Bruce was the grand prize winner of $2,000 and Dave Beatty and Mathew Johnson were runners-up winning prizes donated by Terry Hills. 

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Comments
October 19, 2021 - 1:49pm

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Photos: Tim Yaeger, left, coordinator, and Gary Patnode, deputy coordinator, of Genesee County Emergency Management Services check out the features of the department's new Autel Robotics EVO II drone that will be used to assist in emergency situations. The 8-pound device can fly to a maximum height of 400 feet, has hovering capability and a memory feature that enables it to return from the point that it was launched. Currently, Dan Coffey, a New York State fire instructor and deputy fire coordinator for the Center Battalion, is the only authorized pilot, but others will be trained to operate it. Photos by Mike Pettinella.

Previously: Emergency Management Services receives its first drone 

Comments
October 19, 2021 - 12:37pm
posted by Joanne Beck in news, Le Roy, ice skating rink, outdoor recreation.

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Le Roy’s town and village officials are tackling outdoor recreation from both perspectives: liquid and frozen water. 

A new spray park is to begin sprinkling by or before June 2022 at the current wading pool site at Wildwood Park (See "Le Roy residents will be gettin' misty ..."). But long before that, a temporary winter recreation will be in place before the end of this year, Le Roy Town Supervisor Jim Farnholz says.

“Our hope is to have that up by December,” Farnholz said Tuesday to the Batavian.

A rectangular-shaped ice skating rink will be available at Bunnel Park, weather permitting. Beyond the makeshift structure filled with water, all that’s required are brisk temperatures to freeze it. Then lace up and glide to your heart’s content. 

Farnholz mentioned the more romantic — and nostalgic —  notion of couples and families skating on Oatka Creek. Those days have ended with fluctuating climates and safety concerns for people going out on the creek.

“It’s tough to make sure it’s frozen all the way,” he said. “(The rink) will have much longer access and much earlier access.”

Funding for the ice skating rink will come from federal COVID-19 relief funds, officially called the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, he said. 

Due to complications from COVID-19, Congress moved to pass the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 to provide $350 billion for state and local governments. The Act officially became law in March 2021. This bill provides additional relief to address the continued impact of COVID-19 on the economy, public health, state and local governments, individuals, and businesses. For local governments, the funding amount was determined by population, and these municipalities are to receive their allocations in two installments – the first half 60 days after enactment and the other half one year later. 

Photo: File photo from 2018 of hockey on the Oatka Creek.

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