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October 27, 2021 - 7:53pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Genesee County Park, Bethany, fall, news.


It was a rare sunny fall day so this afternoon, I took Nellie Bly (my dog) to Genesee County Park -- one of my favorite places in the county -- for a walk and some pictures.



October 27, 2021 - 7:14pm
posted by Press Release in liberty pumps, bergen, business.


Press release:

The Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) joined state and local partners in celebrating the latest expansion by Liberty Pumps at a groundbreaking event today.

Liberty Pumps hosted the celebration at the site of their upcoming Materials Center. The 107,00 square-foot expansion is anticipated to support 30 additional jobs at the family- and employee-owned manufacturer.

“We’re excited to begin another project that will benefit our approximately 300 employees, and add to our presence in Genesee County,” said Charlie Cook, CEO and Chairman of Liberty Pumps. “This project will relieve congestion in our current structure and free up much-needed manufacturing space for large pump systems. That’s become a significant part of our business, and we’re pleased to better support our customers with this addition.”

The addition to Liberty Pumps’ facilities, 7000 Apple Tree Avenue, continues the company’s growth in Genesee County. Since opening in 1965, Liberty Pumps has become a leading manufacturer of sump, effluent, and sewage pumps and systems for residential, commercial, municipal, and industrial applications.

The project breaking ground will be the third expansion by Liberty Pumps since 2000 at Apple Tree Acres, a 185-acre business park developed by the GCEDC.

Upon completion, Liberty Pumps will have approximately 350,000 square feet of facilities at Apple Tree Acres.

"With each expansion and investment, Liberty Pumps has shown a path to grow our economy, reward our talented workforce, and support our community," said GCEDC President & CEO Steve Hyde. "We're excited that another milestone is fast approaching. This groundbreaking celebration is just the start of more great activity in Bergen and at Apple Tree Acres. We thank Liberty Pumps for leading the way."

Photos by Howard Owens



Assemblyman Steve Hawley.


Shelly Stein, chair of the Genesee County Legislature with Charlie Cook, CEO of Liberty Pumps.


Town of Bergen Supervisor Ernie Haywood


October 27, 2021 - 3:43pm
posted by Press Release in batavia, Halloween, news.

Press release:

The City of Batavia will observe Halloween activities until 8:00 PM on October 31st only.

Below are some tips to keep everyone safe, Have a Safe and Happy Halloween!

Walk Safely 

  • Cross the street at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks. 
  • Look left, right, and left again when crossing, and keep looking as you cross. 
  • Put electronic devices down and keep heads up and walk, don’t run, across the street. 
  • Teach children to make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them. 
  • Always walk on sidewalks or paths. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible. Children should walk on direct routes with the fewest street crossings. 
  • Watch for cars that are turning or backing up. Teach children to never dart out into the street or cross between parked cars. 

Trick or Treat With an Adult 

  • Children under the age of 12 should not be alone at night without adult supervision. If kids are mature enough to be out without supervision, remind them to stick to familiar areas that are well lit and trick-or-treat in groups.  Keep Costumes Both Creative and Safe 
  • Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers and, if possible, choose light colors. 
  • Choose face paint and makeup whenever possible instead of masks, which can obstruct a child’s vision. 
  • Have kids carry glow sticks or flashlights to help them see and be seen by drivers. 
  • When selecting a costume, make sure it is the right size to prevent trips and falls. 

Drive Extra Safely on Halloween 

  • Slow down and be especially alert in residential neighborhoods. Children are excited about Halloween and may move in unpredictable ways. 
  • Take extra time to look for kids at intersections, on medians, and on curbs.  - Enter and exit driveways and alleys slowly and carefully. 
  • Eliminate any distractions inside your car so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings. 
  • Drive slowly, anticipate heavy pedestrian traffic, and turn your headlights on earlier in the day to spot children from greater distances. 
October 27, 2021 - 12:20pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news.

Domique Sinclair Betantourt, 19, of Wilkins Street, Rochester, is charged with trespass. Betantourt is accused of being on the GCC campus after being banned from the campus following an earlier incident.  She was released on an appearance ticket.

Anthony Joseph Maye, 21, of Bovee Road, Begen, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or higher, inadequate plate lamp, and refusal to take breath test.  Maye was stopped at 3:02 a.m., Oct. 23, on Clinton Street Road, Stafford, by Sgt. Mathew Clor.


October 27, 2021 - 12:09pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day, advertisement.

Reminders of how the Deal of the Day program works:

  • To make purchases, you must be registered. Deal of the Day uses a registration system that is not connected to the registration for commenting on The Batavian (the main user login in the upper left of the homepage).
  • Once re gistered you must sign in using the "sign in" link in this box.
  • You click on the orange button, which appears if the item is not sold out, and it takes you to a PayPal button. This allows you to pay either with your PayPal account or with a credit card/debit card. The login for PayPal is completely separate from our accounts.
  • The first person to successfully complete the PayPal transaction wins the gift certificate.
  • You are eligible to buy the same item only once in a four-month period. We use the registration system to track this for you so you don't have to.
  • Only one gift certificate from the same business PER HOUSEHOLD is allowed in each four-month period. We do not have a way to automatically track duplicate purchases within a household; however, if we notice such a purchase, we reserve the right to cancel the purchase and refund the purchase money. Each individual buyer must use his or her own PayPal account for purchases. It's important that participating businesses not be asked to redeem multiple gift certificates from the same person/family at the same time.
  • Gift certificates should be used within 30 days of receipt.
  • Problems, questions, concerns about the Deal of the Day? Email Billie Owens:   [email protected]
October 27, 2021 - 11:53am
posted by Press Release in Dellinger Avenue, batavia, news.

Press release:

Dellinger Avenue from West Main Street (NYS Rt.5) to Washington Avenue is closed to all traffic for a utility repair.  The closure is expected to be in place for the day.  Residents of Dellinger Avenue South of #11 Dellinger Avenue should access their property from West Main Street.  Residents North of #11 Dellinger Avenue should access their property from Washington Avenue.

All motorists that regularly use these streets are asked to seek alternative routes while the closures are in place.   

UPDATE: The road has reopened.  


October 26, 2021 - 9:31pm


Depending upon the closing date of the home that she and her daughter, Raelene, have purchased on Holmes Avenue, Rose Mary Christian is about to close the door on a nearly 30-year career as a member of the Batavia City Council.

Because Christian (in file photo above) is moving from her Williams Street home of 22 years in the Sixth Ward, which she represents, to the First Ward, she will be ineligible to continue on the governing body.

“I would think that we will close on the house within a month,” she said earlier this evening.

If the transaction is finalized before Council’s next meeting on Nov. 8 and Christian is in her new residence, it would mean that Monday night’s meeting was her final hurrah.

During her tenure, she was known for her willingness to speak her mind – ruffling feathers along the way – and fought valiantly to keep taxes down and for her constituents in the Sixth Ward.

The Sixth Ward covers the area south of Main Street and east of Liberty Street, extending to the Genesee County Fairgrounds on East Main Street.

Christian said she will miss the interaction with the residents and her colleagues.

“You know what I’m going to miss is the people in this ward. Am I going to miss Council? Yeah, I’m going to miss some of those people – quite a bit,” she said. “I might have not been able to override them that many times, but I gave it my best. I voted what I believe, you bet I did. And if I voted for four budgets, that’s saying a lot.”

According to the City Charter, someone will have to be appointed to replace Christian and complete her term, which is up for election in two more years, she said,

Christian switched affiliations from Democrat to Republican about 18 months ago, and thinks that could be an issue.

“There will be a problem with it because of the fact that I was a Democrat when I won the last election – and that was my eighth term to be elected,” she said, noting that she served the community for 29 ¾ years.

A check of the City Charter, Chapter 3, Section 3, reads as follows:

“Vacancies in the office of Council member shall be filled by election for the remainder of the unexpired term at the next general election occurring not less than 60 days after the occurrence of the vacancy. Such election to fill a vacancy where it occurs after the last day to file nominating petitions for the primary election shall be filled upon nominations made in the manner provided by law for the filling of vacancies in primary nominations occurring after the primary election.

“Pending such election and qualification of a Council member to fill a vacancy, Council shall fill the vacancy temporarily by appointment of a qualified person who shall be of the same political affiliation as the Council member whose place has become vacant and, if he or she was a ward Council member, a resident of the same ward.

"In the event that Council shall fail to appoint within 30 days after the vacancy, such appointment must be made by the Council President. This appointment must be made within 10 days under the same conditions as to political affiliation and residency noted in the paragraph above."

Going by the paragraph in boldface -- but yet to be confirmed by the city attorney, City Republicans would make the appointment since Christian now is a registered Republican.

Christian said that city leaders have scheduled a farewell party for her on Nov. 22 at City Hall Council Board Room. At the conclusion of that event, which runs from 5:15 to 7 p.m., City Council will present her with a proclamation in recognition of her service.

October 26, 2021 - 6:59pm
posted by Press Release in st. james, batavia.


Press release:

Saint James Episcopal Church, 405 E. Main Street is selling nine-inch apple and pumpkin pies for $9 each.  Available options are apple unbaked frozen, apple ready to eat, pumpkin baked frozen, pumpkin ready to eat.  Pick up at the church's Pie Sale and Basket Raffle on Friday, November 19, 4-6 pm, or Saturday, November 20, 10 am-12 pm.  You are encouraged to pre-order by calling or texting 585-356-5359.  A limited number will be available if you forget to pre-order.

October 26, 2021 - 6:55pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Stafford, red osier, business.


Steve Foster and Tim Adams cut the ribbon on the Valerie-Lynn Memorial Garden Patio at The "Original" Red Osier Landmark Restaurant.  The patio was built in honor of Valerie Di Falco and Lynda Bird. It will provide the patrons of the restaurant with another option to enjoy the space. It is complete with outdoor heaters, seating, a patio bar, a full menu, and special patio appetizers.

Photo courtesy the Chamber of Commerce.

October 26, 2021 - 6:38pm
posted by Press Release in Halloween, STOP-DWI, news.

Press release:

The statewide STOP-DWI Impaired Driving High Visibility Engagement Campaign runs October 30th – November 1st.

This weekend the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office and the Village of Le Roy Police Department will participate in a coordinated effort with the STOP-DWI program to bring awareness to the dangers of impaired driving.

Halloween is meant to be scary, but not when it comes to driving. When it comes to drunk driving Halloween can turn the roads into a horror fest. While families spend time trick or treating and hosting parties with loved ones, law enforcement officers and STOP-DWI programs across New York State will participate in special efforts to stop impaired driving, prevent injuries and save lives.

The STOP-DWI Halloween High Visibility Engagement Campaign is one of many statewide initiatives promoted by STOP-DWI NY and the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee.  The Statewide STOP-DWI High Visibility Engagement Campaign also targets Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day/End of Summer, Thanksgiving, Holiday Season, Super Bowl weekend and St. Patrick’s Day.  Highly visible, highly publicized efforts like the STOP-DWI High Visibility Engagement Campaign aim to further reduce the incidence of drunk and impaired driving. 

Impaired driving is completely preventable.  All it takes is a little planning.

October 26, 2021 - 5:54pm
posted by Press Release in oakfield-alabama, schools, education, news, agriculture, FFA.


Press release:

The Retired Educators of New York Teacher Grant Committee awards the Hudson-Kramer Memorial Grant annually to an educational professional in memory of Ross C. Hudson and Florence Coulter Kramer who were public school teachers and outstanding members of the New York State Retired Teachers Association. The purpose of the grant is to fund an innovative project or program in a New York State public school. Oakfield-Alabama's FFA program that is run by Todd Hofheins was selected to receive the grant this year to support his vision for raising market animals to support the local food pantry. The student who will be overseeing the project purchased with the grant money is Owen Zeliff (8th Grade). Owen comes from the family who have started the food pantry that has been so beneficial to our community, and we are sure he’s again excited to give back! Mr. Hofheins is a very busy teacher, but he agreed to sit for a Q and A session with our student reporter, Lily Haacke, to talk about the grant.

(Lily Haacke ) : What is the project that you will use the grant funds for? 

Mr. Hofheins:  The OA FFA students currently raise market animals in our school barn but have expressed an interest in helping our local food pantry while also educating the community by explaining the health benefits of using fresh beef.  Funds from the grant will be used to purchase a market steer (bought as a calf and raised by our FFA) to provide the Oakfield Community Center/Food Pantry with fresh beef.

(Lily Haacke ): That sounds like a great project, How did the idea come about? 

Mr. Hofheins: Oakfield-Alabama FFA Strives to develop student members that are well rounded in Agricultural knowledge and involved with different Community Service opportunities. Several FFA members were involved with a community garden last Summer 2020 and noticed a high demand from local families for fresh foods to offer for a complete and healthy meal. This sparked an interest to raise a market steer and donate the fresh beef to the Food Pantry.  

(Lily Haacke): Do you see this as an area of need in Oakfield-Alabama? 

Mr. Hofheins: Yes. Many families do not have access to fresh meat due to transportation issues. Others have lower or fixed incomes and fresh beef has become too costly to purchase from the supermarket. Instead, people rely on more affordable but less healthy processed foods which deteriorates their health.

(Lily Haacke ): Is it possible that demand outweighs supply? What will you do if there isn’t enough beef to meet the demand?

Mr. Hofheins: The Oakfield-Alabama-Elba FFA Alumni has offered to help with expenses if needed. Also, the Oakfield-Alabama FFA is also applying for a “Living to Serve” grant to offset the other money needed to raise and finish this project.

(Lily Haacke): Mr. Peterson (Middle School and High School Principal) has bragged about OA students having “authentic experiences” as part of their education here, is this an example of that?

Mr. Hofheins: Absolutely! This project helps support FFA students as part of their supervised agricultural experience by teaching calf selection, animal husbandry, nutrition, showmanship, marketing, and community service. 

*This article was written by Lily Haacke as part of a class called OA Pride. The class (taught by Mrs. Tracy Schlagenhauf) includes project-based learning where students take the lead in researching and showcasing positive achievements within the Oakfield-Alabama school and community. The photos were taken by Alexis Main, a student in Mr. David Carpino’s digital photography class.


October 26, 2021 - 5:32pm
posted by Press Release in batavia society of artists, arts, news.


Press release:

The Batavia Society of Artists will host Artist Shauna Blake on Tuesday, Nov. 9th at Go-Art/Seymour Place, 201 E. Main St., Batavia at 7 pm.  Shauna will demonstrate Acrylic Pour Painting on an ornament. Everyone who comes gets to make one of their own to take home. Please call or text Teresa Tamfer to reserve your spot at (585-506-2465.  Non-Members welcome for a $5.00 fee.

BIO: Shauna Blake, Artist

Shauna Blake started painting in her early teens and has devoted her entire working life to her artwork. She has a love for nature and the outdoors and uses the inspiration and energy it provides to create her art.

She paints in a wide variety of mediums including, watercolors, acrylics, pen and ink, and silk dyes.

In 1994 she graduated from The Art Institute of Pittsburgh with a major in Graphic Design and Illustration. She worked in the Graphic Design field for 7 years before joining her husband, Brendan in his glass art business in 2001. Here she expanded her art by studying and creating lampwork glass beads.

Shauna currently sells her hand-painted silk scarves, silk ribbons, and art prints worldwide on her website. www.QuintessenceSilk.com and on the popular Etsy handmade crafts site online.

October 26, 2021 - 4:57pm
posted by Press Release in Richmond Memorial Library, batavia, news.

Press release:

Join the Richmond Memorial Library in assisting families in need in our community.

The RML Teen Programming Group will sponsor a food drive collection from November 1st-November 19th, 2021 at Richmond Memorial Library, 19 Ross St, Batavia.  Below are some suggestions of acceptable items. Please make sure all items are not past expiration and are non-perishables!  A donation bin will be located in the foyer of the library and donations can be dropped off during regular library hours.  Donations will be delivered to the Salvation Army.  Questions can be directed to Teen Services Librarian Felicia Cecere ([email protected]) or at 585-343-9550 ext. 1516 or Library Assistant Ellen Brokaw ([email protected]).

Suggested Items for Donation:

Boxed Stuffing Mix, Instant Mashed Potatoes, Jars of Gravy (or Gravy Mix Packets), Canned Yams, Cranberry Sauce, Canned Vegetables, Cornbread Mix, Canned Pie Fillings, Pie Crust Mix, Box Dessert Mixes, Drink Mixes, Coffee, Tea, Crackers, Foil Baking Pans, Paper Products.

Richmond Memorial Library is located at 19 Ross St in the City of Batavia. The library is open Mon-Thurs 9 am - 9 pm and Fri & Sat 9 am - 5 pm. For more about the library, visit batavialibrary.org

October 26, 2021 - 4:17pm
posted by Press Release in dog bite, batavia, news.

Press release:

The Genesee County Health Department is seeking information about the location of a dog and its owner following a dog bite incident around 6:00pm on Saturday, October 23. The owner was walking the dog on a leash on Clifton Avenue in Batavia (near James Street).

The dog is described as a medium-sized white dog with patches of black throughout the body. The dog had medium hair length, similar to a border collie mix and was approximately 40 to 50 pounds. The dog had ears that were flopped over and after the incident, there was damage to the left ear.

The dog’s owner is described as a white male, in his 30’s. He was around 5’8” to 5’10”, medium build, and wearing glasses. The owner has been seen walking the dog in this area before. After the incident, the owner and dog turned back and headed towards Farrall Park area.

It is important to locate the dog to determine whether or not it is current on its rabies shot. If the health status is not identified, post-exposure rabies shots will be offered to several victims.   

If you have information about the location of the dog and its owner, please contact the Genesee County Health Department at 585-344-2580 ext. 5555.

October 26, 2021 - 7:56am


Updating the City of Batavia’s building permit fees will even the playing field and produce revenue for the municipality that more accurately reflects the amount of time and effort spent by Inspection Bureau employees on residential and commercial projects.

That’s the view of Assistant City Manager Jill Wiedrick, who proposed a new fee schedule at Monday night’s City Council Conference Meeting at the City Hall Council Board Room.

Wiedrick, asserting that she knows a little bit about construction inspection and code enforcement “to be dangerous,” offered a list of reasons why she thinks the time is right for a revision of permit charges for undertakings such as roofing, fencing, siding and home/business additions.

Working in conjunction with the city’s Bureau of Inspection, Plumbing Board and Bureau of Maintenance, she said the updated fee strategy emphasizes easy calculation (via Energov computer software), fairness, flat fees, signed contracts and penalties for work done without a permit.

Actually, Wiedrick knows more than “a little bit” about the subject as she returned to Batavia in July after serving as the City of Rochester’s manager of zoning. Previously, she worked for the Genesee County Planning Department for seven years and before that worked as a construction inspector.

Charged with evaluating the city’s current state of affairs concerning inspection and permit fees, she said she discovered inefficiencies in the time spent by staff and the way in which fees were determined.


“A lot of us think that once those drawings (for the work) are submitted (to the city), that’s the end of the story,” Wiedrick said. “I get my permit and I move on with my life. Unfortunately, that’s not the end of the story. Many times, when our crew gets the permit into the office, it’s reviewed at least twice, maybe three times.”

Wiedrick said in most cases the submitted drawings are missing key information or don’t meet code standards – instances that trigger more work and additional inspections at the location.

“Typically, for residential permits for an addition, the inspection might go out there five times. They’re checking out first what does the soil look like, the forms for the foundation, then see the foundation being poured – they’re out there a number of times,” she said.

Under the current system, city inspectors have to take notes at the site and come back to the office to input the information into a computer. Wiedrick said that with Energov software, this can be done by using a laptop at the property being renovated.

“What it’s (Energov) going to do is provide the opportunity for code enforcement officers to do things in the field live,” she explained. “It’s going to make them 1,000 times more efficient … and the process easier for them and the public. It will advance our inspections department immensely.”

As for the current fee schedule, which hasn’t been updated in at least 15 years, she said it is challenging for the staff and the public to figure out the right permit fees, and often the city receives checks for permit fees in the wrong amount.


Key aspects of the permit fee structure as of today include the following:

  • Based on the cost of the project, along with the square footage, with no flat fee permits.
  • Often inaccurate costs of project provided to staff, resulting in incorrect permit fee.
  • Schedule penalizes use of higher end materials for projects.
  • Work without a permit is not penalized.

The proposed new schedule would focus on the following:

  • Can be calculated by Energov and the public.
  • Fair to all.
  • Many permits are proposed to be a flat fee.

“Who doesn’t love flat fee permits?” Wiedrick said. “You know exactly what you’re paying for whatever your project is. A flat fee permit also says you can put in whatever sort of high end products that you’d like to use for that project and not be penalized for that.”

  • Require a signed contract when work is performed by a contractor, ensuring the proper fee is assessed.

“This happens across the board in every municipality,” she said. “Somebody knows they’re doing a $10,000 deck … and they’ll come in and say, I’m only spending $2,500 and we base the permit fee on that $2,500 and everybody knows that the deck is $10,000 deck but we don’t have the ability at this point to say, no, no, no, I know how much that’s going to be. The proposed fee schedule takes that out.”

  • Project not found on the list of flat fee permits, the value is multiplied by 1.25 percent to determine the fee.
  • Work without a permit will result in the permit fee being multiplied by three.

“At this point, if I’m a contractor or a person, I’m going to take my chances, I’m going to gamble,” she said. “I’m going to do my project and if I get cited, I know that I’m just going to pay the permit fee – no big deal. And if I don’t, I keep that permit money.”


Upon completing her presentation, Council member Rose Mary Christian quickly spoke against a change in the fees – mentioning the “economy, inflation, food, utilities and gas.”

“I’m looking at these figures here, for instance, an addition to a piece of property – a commercial one where right now it’s $550 (based on 1,400 square feet, $105,000 project), and it will be $1,260. That’s quite a jump,” Christian said. “With everything that’s going on, I think that this is the wrong time to bring this to us. There’s a lot of people out there that are hurting right now and this is going to hurt them even further … I’m not in favor of this by no means.”

Wiedrick countered by saying that another reason for the proposed changes is to cover the city’s expenses for providing the service.

“One of the things that’s happening right now is when a resident does a project or there’s a commercial project, essentially with the current fee schedule, all of the residents of the City of Batavia are subsidizing those projects,” she said. “So, if I never put up a deck in the entire time I’m living in Batavia, I still – because the fees are not commensurate with the work that has to go into it – am subsidizing other work that’s happening.

“The idea was to raise the fees so we’re ensuring that we’re covering those costs and we’re actually keeping pace with the other municipalities.”

Christian replied, “I don’t care what other municipalities are doing. I care about what’s happening here in Batavia.”

City Manager Rachael Tabelski noted that some of the fees in the new schedule are being reduced for residents while some are increasing for various commercial projects.


“The majority of the commercial projects that we’re seeing are businesses that are thriving and using grant money funneled through the city and we continue to have so much staff time spent on them,” Tabelski said, later adding that contractors “laugh at our fee schedule – at how low our pricing is … but yet how many hours they take from our Inspection office.”

Christian changed her tune a bit, stating that she “can agree” to the commercial work charges (although she cited a proposed commercial fee change in her initial argument).

“But as far as residents go and people from the city, no, I don’t agree with it,” she added.

Council President Eugene Jankowski Jr. said his takeaway was that an attempt was being made to establish fees that were in line with the cost of the work being performed by Inspection Bureau staff.

“The Inspection office is fully funded by the General fund; it cannot be funded by the water fund or the sewer fund, so it is a direct result of property taxes,” Tabelski said. “We only have those employees … because of property taxes and to try to offset some of that in a small way, especially on commercial type activities … this would be somewhat helpful.”

Council member Robert Bialkowski said that while he didn’t have a problem with the new fee schedule, he did call for educating the public on the need to obtain building permits.

“There’s a lot of work being done on evenings and weekends, and a lot of work that’s not visible from the street … roof replacements and all that – where there’s no permits issued and the people know they need to get a permit,” he said. “There’s contractors that are a little on the shaky side that know they can evade the permits because it won’t be visible from the street.”


Council member John Canale agreed, adding that the perception from commercial contractors and developers is that the “City of Batavia is the hardest one to get along with. (But) I’ve worked with those guys (Inspection Bureau) and I think they’re very easy to get along with.”

“The business world sees us as an unfriendly environment,” he continued. “I hear that all the time. I heard it for years when my father was a councilman. That Batavia is business unfriendly. We’re not. So, if we do a few things proactively, I think we can clean that reputation up a little bit.”

Wiedrick said that inspections is a tough line of work.

“I’m probably one of 10 people in New York that is passionate about inspections because I know how important it is. I’m a big cheerleader for our team because they do a good job,” she said, crediting Code Enforcement Officer Doug Randall for his contribution to the new fee schedule study.

In the end, Jankowski said he looks forward to receiving input from residents and to work on the educational component. The proposal was forwarded to a future Council Business Meeting (possibly Nov. 8) for a possible vote.

Photo: Assistant City Manager Jill Wiedrick, left, speaking to City Council about the proposed permit fee schedule revision. Photo by Mike Pettinella.

Previously: City Council to consider permit fee schedule update

October 25, 2021 - 10:01pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, notify, Genesee Symphony Orchestra, Batavia City Council.


City Council President Eugene Jankowski Jr. reads a proclamation from the City of Batavia in commemoration of the Genesee Symphony Orchestra's 75th year as Sherry Mosher, left, GSO board member, and Melzie Case, symphony musician, look on at tonight's City Council meeting. Founded as the Batavia Civic Orchestra in 1947, it is one of the oldest civic orchestras in New York State. The proclamation credits the GSO for "enriching the community through high quality performance, educational opportunities, guest artists and partnerships." Photo by Mike Pettinella.

October 25, 2021 - 9:29pm

Batavia City Council members and city management tonight exhibited varying degrees of trust in the Buffalo development company charged with turning the eyesore on Ellicott Street into the multi-million dollar Downtown Revitalization Initiative project known as Ellicott Station.

Council, during its Conference and Special Business Meetings at the City Hall Council Board Room, had the task of considering two resolutions in connection with the mixed-use endeavor on property that once was the home of Soccio & Della Penna Inc. construction and Santy’s Tire Sales:

  • Whether to take receipt of a $500,000 Restore New Grant that would support Savarino Companies in its demolition, rehabilitation and adaptive re-use of the former National Grid electric building;
  • Whether to approve a resolution requiring the developer to enter into an “undertaking agreement” that would protect the city by transferring all or a portion of the obligations of the grant to Savarino Companies.

Although City Manager Rachael Tabelski emphasized that if Savarino doesn’t perform the work, it won’t get the grant, some Council members were skeptical to the point of believing that the project will never get off the ground.

Rose Mary Christian called the Brownfield Opportunity Area in its current blighted condition as “disgusting and deplorable.”

“I don’t have any faith in this company,” she said, while voting “no” to both measures.

Fellow Council member Robert Bialkowski said he had “great concerns” as he voted yes, while Council President Eugene Jankowski agreed, but feared that squashing the grant proposal could jeopardize the start of demolition.

“It’s my opinion that there’s a lot of small, complicated parts to this project of that magnitude,” he said following the meeting. “You have a large project that’s a brownfield, and on top of it you’re trying to put together all of the funding for it. It’s not an easy task.”

Jankowski admitted that he “got his hopes up” early on when the project was submitted, but understands that outside factors such as working with New York State, COVID and cost overruns likely contributed to the delay.

“At this point, we need to give them the opportunity to start construction in November like they said, and I am going to be optimistic that that’s exactly what’s going to happen.”

During the meeting, Tabelski said that Sam Savarino, company president, told her that the final closing with the New York State Office of Community Renewal, which has jurisdiction over the project, is scheduled for the first week of November.

The Batavian received that same information when talking to Savarino prior to environmental testing that was conducted on the property last week.

“I have no doubt that when they start, they will finish (the project),” she said, noting that Savarino Companies has paid the Batavia Development Corp. for the transaction of creating a Limited Liability Company and paid the city for permit fees and extension fees. “The developer does projects all over the state and he doesn’t want to lose the trust of the OCR.”

Unfortunately, after five and a half years since the announcement of the Ellicott Station residential/commercial/entertainment venture, the same can’t be said for some of those serving on City Council.

For the record, Council did vote 7-1 to pass both resolutions related to the grant.

Also, tonight, the board approved a resolution to accept a $7,500 STOP-DWI grant from Genesee County to combat impaired driving through the utilization of specified high-visibility engagement campaigns.

October 25, 2021 - 6:30pm

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October 25, 2021 - 3:00pm

The City of Batavia has issued a summons to the owners of Northside Meadows to appear in Batavia City Court next month to answer criminal charges in connection with Batavia Municipal Code violations at the three-building, 24-unit apartment complex at 335 Bank St.

According to documents obtained by The Batavian through the Freedom of Information Law, the summons lists a court date of 10 a.m. Nov. 18 to address offenses pertaining to ongoing roof, drainage and fire classification violations.

Correspondence dated Sept. 29 from Doug Randall, City of Batavia code enforcement officer, indicates that on June 29, 2021 through Sept. 27, 2021, the following violations did exist:

  • Roofs and drainage. The asphalt roof coverings are deteriorated, missing material, and not maintained in a sound and tight condition on the two (center and rear) residential buildings located on this property.
  • Fire classification: General. Two of the residential buildings – center and rear buildings – are covered with gray plastic tarps. The tarps are not approved roof covering materials.

The notice states that “since notification of 7/1/21 and 9/10/21 (similar violations), the defendant has failed and/or refused to satisfactorily correct cited violations of the City of Batavia Municipal Code and/or New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code.”

Additionally, “… the structures at 335 Bank St., Batavia, continue to be in violation of the Property Maintenance Code and Building Code of NYS. That pursuant to B.M.C. (Batavia Municipal Code) 51-45 B, each day that the violation continues is a separate violation.”

The violation notice sent out on Sept. 10 after a re-inspection of the premises called for Northside Meadows Association to correct the violations by Sept. 27. Should this action result in a conviction, the owner would be subject to a maximum fine of $250 and/or 15 days in jail for each and every day that you remain in violation.

Contacted today, property manager David Renzo of V&V Development Corp. of Batavia, said he was aware of the latest inspection violation notice but did not know about the summons. He said he wants to get the roofs fixed as soon as possible and also to pay more than $160,000 in back taxes owed to the city.

“I’m trying to devise a plan to get them paid and get the roofs done,” he said. “We got the blacktop done, but we still are going back and forth with USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) on trying to figure out a plan on how to get the roofs done and the taxes paid.”

A previous violation notice from the city did reveal that the sidewalks and driveways at Northside Meadows were in violation, but that does not appear on the latest notice.

“We fixed the driveways by funding that out of operations,” he said.

Renzo said he has a roofing contractor lined up to do the work.

“I had to submit a plan of action (to the USDA),” he said. “My first plan was to request additional funding to get it done. And I requested to pay it off in three or four years. However, they’re saying that it would be a burden on the project, and that we have to establish some other kind of financing – either through them or through a third party or bank.”

He said he working on a “Plan B,” so to speak, adding, “We’re going to figure this out one way or another. We can’t let it go any further.”

As far as the tax situation, the City Clerk’s office reported that $167,544.26 is owed to the city in back taxes.

Tax bills have been paid recently at two other subsidized housing sites managed by V&V Development – Le Roy Meadows and Corfu Meadows.

The Genesee County Treasurer’s office confirmed that a payment of $615,851.84 was received on Aug. 26 for taxes on Le Roy Meadows and a payment of $62,195.13 was received on Sept. 27 for taxes at Corfu Meadows.

Renzo said that roof work on three of the 10 buildings at Le Roy Meadows, 16 Genesee St., has been completed, with the remaining seven to be done on an “as needed basis.”

Previously: City inspection violation notices call upon Northside Meadows management to rectify roof, driveway issues

Previously: Le Roy Meadows manager says plan will address $600,000 in back taxes, needed repairs

October 25, 2021 - 12:08pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in sports, Bowling, Genesee Region USBC Masters, Medina Lanes.


Medina’s Curtis Foss captured his sixth Genesee Region USBC Masters Tournament title on Sunday at Medina Lanes, holding off a spirited challenge from Batavian Jim Pursel to claim the $550 first prize.

Foss, 34, took a 53-point edge over Pursel into the position round final game of the eight-player Peterson Point round-robin match play finals. That meant that Pursel, 54, would have to beat Foss by 24 pins in the last game to claim his first Masters crown.

In Peterson Point competition, bowlers receive 30 points for a victory and plus or minus points based on their score when compared to 200.  So, if a bowler rolls a 220 game and wins the match, he would get 50 points.

Pursel, who averaged 247.7 for his eight games yesterday, defeated Foss, 238-237, in the decisive game, but it wasn’t enough to win the tournament as Foss finished with 572 Peterson Points to 550 for Pursel, who earned $280.

The final match was close throughout with both bowlers registered a string of strikes in the last half of the game. Foss entered the 10th frame on a three-timer and then spared and got nine on the last ball for the 237.  Pursel also had three in a row going into the 10th, and added two more strikes and nine for the 238.

“It was exciting,” said Foss. “Jim kept the pressure on me that’s for sure.”

Foss started the day with a bang by topping Scott Culp of Honeoye Falls, 267-234, in the opening match between No. 1 and No. 2 seeds from Saturday’s semifinals.

The high-revving right-hander went on to win six of his next seven matches, including a 279-214 victory over Pursel in game six.

Culp, the 2016 Masters champion, kept on his heels, however, riding a 289-258 win over Batavian Geoff Harloff in game six to pull within 50 points of Foss.

Game seven was a big one for Pursel as the 109 Peterson Points earned for his 279-160 win over Medina’s Hayden Allis put him within striking distance of Foss, who gained just 33 points with his 203-180 victory over Alex Allis of Medina.

Using Roto Grip Idol Pearl and Storm Axiom Pearl balls in the finals, Foss – who didn’t miss a spare in his 16 tournament games -- pointed to games six and seven as keys to his victory.

“The sixth game was huge, especially because Scott started with the first 10 strikes (en route to the 289), so I needed a big score,” Foss said. “In the seventh game (against Alex Allis), the pair we were on, 17-18, was really tricky and I was able to get four strikes at the end to get to 200 (actually 203) and win.”

Pursel put up big scores throughout the day, but ran into tough luck in his first three matches, losing 215-211 to Harloff in game one, 254-247 to Culp in game two and 269-255 to Jim Foss of Medina in game three before rallying to win four of his last five matches.

“I bowled well; a couple carries here and there could have made the difference, but all the bowlers got tapped at times,” said Pursel, another bowler who generates a lot of revolutions on the ball. “Give Curtis credit, he’s a horse and he’s tough to beat in these things. I have no problem losing to Curtis.”

Batavian Jason Quilliam placed third with 443 points, averaging 226 for the finals while compiling a 7-1 match play record. He posted victories over Culp in games seven and eight to jump into the third spot, good for $220.

Culp placed fourth with 433 points and won $190. He was followed by Jim Foss (321 points, $180), Harloff (304 points, $170), Alex Allis (182 points, $160) and Hayden Allis (177 points, $150). All of the finals are right-handers.

Other cashers from Saturday’s semifinals were Mark Brown of Attica, $110; John Ross of Middleport, $100; Matt Balduf of South Byron, $90, and Devon Leach of Batavia, $80.

Curtis Foss won his first Masters tournament in 2008 at Mancuso’s, and followed that with victories in 2009 at Oak Orchard Bowl in Albion, 2014 at Medina Lanes, 2015 at Letchworth Pines in Portageville and 2019 at Scopano’s Lanes in Oakfield. The tournament did not take place in 2020.

The two-day tournament drew 42 entries.

Previously: Culp, Foss are 1-2 heading into Masters bowling finals

Submitted photo: Mike Johnson, center, Genesee Region USBC president, congratulates Curtis Foss, left, and Jim Pursel after an exciting Masters Tournament finals.


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