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November 24, 2021 - 2:16pm


Press release:

Genesee/Orleans Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse announced today that its new 20-bed detoxification center is tentatively scheduled to open for business on Jan. 10, 2022.

An “open house” for the public to view the two-story, 20-bed facility, which is attached to the rear of the Atwater Community Residence at 424 East Main St., will take place on Jan. 6, said John Bennett, GCASA executive director.

“This is truly ‘A Place of Help’ in the GLOW Region – providing a continuum of care under one roof that enables local residents in need to stay close to home for their treatment,” Bennett said.

The 8,600-square foot detox center will be fully staffed by medical and substance use counseling professionals, specially trained and certified to assist those who require short-term services.

Javen Construction of Penfield was the general contractor for the project, which broke ground last January. The design of the center complements the look of the historic Atwater Community Residence.


Top photo: GCASA's new Detox Center that is attached to the Atwater Community Residence (background). Bottom photo: The front entrance of the facility. Submitted photos.

November 24, 2021 - 12:00pm

November 24, 2021 - 10:23am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, le roy hs, sports, volleyball.


Le Roy High School's Section V champion volleyball team was presented with certificates from the Board of Education at the start of Tuesday's meeting honoring their accomplishment.

Photo submitted by Tim McArdle.

November 24, 2021 - 10:17am
posted by Howard B. Owens in veterans, pembroke, news.


Specialist Four Clarence "C. Jay" Hall, a graduate of Pembroke HS, was mortally wounded in Vietnam on Oct. 7, 1969, while allowing his comrades to achieve cover while under heavy fire.

As a result, he was posthumously awarded the Silver Star.

He was honored in another way on Tuesday when Assemblyman Stephen Hawley and State Senator Ed Rath unveiled a marker commemorating a portion of Route 77 through Pembroke as SP4 C. Jay Hall Memorial Highway.

“The story of ‘C. Jay’ Hall’s sacrifice and bravery in the face of danger encapsulates the selfless spirit of our service members and is one that should be remembered for generations,” said Hawley. “Seeing the sign honoring his sacrifice unveiled today was a proud moment after working for so long to make it a reality, so I want to thank all of the local and state legislative partners I’ve worked with in the last year who helped make it happen for their dedication to getting this bill passed, as well as our local veteran organizations, who were of tremendous assistance in advocating for its creation.”

Rath also praised Hall's service and sacrifice in Vietnam.

"Ronald Reagan said, 'we're forever indebted to those who gave their lives so that we can be free,'" Rath said. "Our debt to C. Jay Hall can never be prepared but our gratitude and respect must last forever and endure the test of time.  Naming and dedicating this roadway will remind all who pas here as free citizens,  the sacrifice that Specialist 4 Clarence Jay Hall paid to guarantee our freedom."





Matthew Moscato, advisor to the Pembroke Veterans Outreach Club, with student Megan Stiles, who came up with the idea of honoring Hall and brought the idea to the Club and did much of the research that brought the project forward to the Legislature and other local leaders.

November 24, 2021 - 9:48am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, Oakfield, notify.

Celina Andreanna Desinord, 19, of Ridge Road, Rochester, is charged with attempted criminal mischief 4th, aggravated unlicensed operation 2nd, harassment 2nd, and unlicensed operation.  At 12:50 a.m., Nov. 21, Deputy Jacob Gauthier observed a vehicle running in the parking lot of the Crosby's at 5267 Clinton Street Road, Batavia, and the operator asleep in the driver's seat. Upon investigation, the driver was identified as Celina Desinord, who allegedly presented a suspended identification card when asked for a driver's license.  Desinord was placed in the back of a patrol vehicle and her vehicle was searched. A deputy reportedly found suspected narcotics. The substance is being sent to a lab for testing.  The deputy spoke with Desinord. She is accused of spitting on the deputy. While the deputy was completing an appearance ticket, Desinord allegedly kicked the rear passenger window as well as the divider between the front and back seat at least 71 times.  She also allegedly spit several times on the divider and the window.  She was issued an appearance ticket.

Justin L. Pyatt, 33, of Silver Springs, is charged with criminal possession of stolen property 4th and petit larceny.  Pyatt is accused of using a stolen credit card to make purchases in the City of Batavia.  He was issued an appearance ticket.

James Carl Malone, 24, of South Pearl Street, Oakfield, is charged with criminal mischief 4th.  Malone is accused of taking the mobile phone of another person in order to stop that person from calling 9-1-1 during a dispute in an incident reported at 2:19 p.m., Nov. 19.

November 24, 2021 - 9:29am



While they say that everyone can be replaced, finding someone with the compassion, knowledge and personality of physical education teacher Carmen Del Plato certainly will be a tall order for the Batavia City School District.

Del Plato, who grew up as part of a large and close-knit Italian-American family on Batavia’s southside, retired on Tuesday after 23 years with the district – 13 at Jackson Primary and the last 10 at John Kennedy Intermediate.

About 100 friends, family and colleagues celebrated his career last night at Eli Fish Brewing Company on Main Street.

JK Principal Brian Sutton said the Vine Street school won’t be the same without the energetic and resourceful Del Plato in the classroom.

“Mr. Del Plato is borderline irreplaceable. He's one of a kind,” Sutton said. “There is nothing that Mr. Del Plato wouldn't do for the kids here at John Kennedy.

“I tell everyone he almost flies under the radar because he does all the little things. He walks through the cafeteria, helps kids with their lunch. He talks to students about more than just PE (physical education) when they're in the gymnasium. He really connects with the kids and holds them to a high expectation and high standard -- and they meet it.”

Sutton, in his second year as principal, said he leaned on Del Plato and admired his approach to teaching.

“Mr. Del Plato has a wealth of experience in Batavia and knowledge … I really turned to him a lot to get a feel for the building and things that he's seen and tried to learn from his experiences, while also just observing him and the way he conducts himself as a professional,” he offered. “It’s really unfortunate (he’s retiring) although I'm very happy for him that he has taken this next step and he will definitely be missed.”

Fellow physical education teacher Dan Geiger, who worked with Del Plato for the past decade, called him “a tremendous assets to our district and our community.”

“Carmen can still name all the families in the neighborhoods from the time he grew up and it is just going to be a huge loss for the district,” Geiger said. “He’s got such great connection to the kids and to the families. The excitement he brings -- the great level of discipline and respect that kids have for him. It's just a sad day for our district, but I can't be more happy for him.”

Del Plato, in acknowledging his well-wishers, revealed a spirit of thankfulness as he looked back on his time with the school district – recalling the inauspicious beginning that almost didn’t happen.

“I have a lot to be thankful for. First of all, I am thankful for my job,” he said. “Back in 1998, I was coaching three sports and Pep Johnson was retiring and Buddy (Brasky) was moving from Jackson to the high school and a job came open. And I applied for the job. And I'm was at the blind school (New York State School for the Blind) doing summer school, and I called to see if they were calling for interviews.”

Del Plato said he was told that calls for interviews were made, but his phone wasn't ringing.

“I didn't even get a call for an interview. And I was so distraught. I mean, I was coaching three sports. I was kissing everybody's butt. And I didn't get an interview,” he said, drawing a big laugh. “That very same day (former Athletic Director) Nancy Viola called my wife and said, ‘Why didn't Carm apply for the job?’

“And my wife (Debra, a teacher at Williamson Middle School) said, ‘He did apply for the job; he hand delivered the application.’ She (Viola) goes, ‘I’ll call you right back.’ So, Nancy did some of her magic and I get an interview, I think the next day. Thank goodness, Skip Bonacquisti was on the interviewing committee and I got hired. It was that close, and I might not have gotten the job. I’ll never forget that. Thank you, Nancy Viola.”

Del Plato said he was thankful that his first job was at Jackson school – a block away from his home – and that he was able to work with one of his buddies, Val Zinni, a longtime custodian in the district.

He mentioned that it was a thrill to see the kids grow from kindergarten to fifth grade. Included in that group were his son and daughter.

“I got the chance to teach my son, Joey, and my daughter, Marcella, and I didn’t give anybody any extra special treatment,” he said. “If I had your son or daughter, they had to be able to tow the line, especially my kids. They couldn’t call me daddy at work.”

He shared that one day his son forgot his sneakers and had to sit in timeout.

“I sent his mother a nasty letter,” he joked, again to the delight of his audience. “And my daughter knew the rule that she couldn’t call me daddy. One day … she was at the end of the line and as she was walking out, she whispered, ‘Hi daddy.’ I said get out of here.”

Del Plato thanked his aides and spoke about his “partner in crime” Geiger.

“Dan likes to take risks. I don't like to take risks. So, when I want to do balloons with the kids, he wanted to do dog sled racing with the kids. When I want to do ribbons with the kids, he wanted to put a zip line across the gym. But I think we both made each other better teachers,” he said.

Geiger said he learned a lot from Del Plato, including how to pronounce every vowel (in the names) of Batavia’s southside residents.

“I learned a lot about the Italian background,” Geiger said. “I do know a few Italian words but I’m not sure if I should say them because he really never tells me the true (meaning), so I could get in trouble. But I can't thank Carm enough for all the time spent together. He's really helped me develop as a teacher and as a person.”

Del Plato actually has 35 years in the New York State retirement system, starting in 1986 at Genesee Valley BOCES' alternative education program and moving to the NYSSB in 1988, where he served for five years as a childcare and teachers' assistant. He worked at Geneseo Central School, Geneseo State College and St. Anthony's School in Batavia from 1993 to 1998.

Photos by Steve Ognibene


Physical education teacher Dan Geiger presents Del Plato with a gift.


Mike Bromley, Batavia City School District director of Health, Physical Education and Athletics, gives Del Plato a special ball that he ordered for his gym classes.


Bromley recognizes Del Plato's contributions with a Blue Devil Forever plaque. "In grateful appreciation of your outstanding dedication and mentoring and nurturing the many, many students in the Batavia City School District from 1998 to 2021."


Del Plato and Val Zinni performing as Elwood and Jake -- The Blues Brothers, which has been a hit in Batavia for many years. 



November 24, 2021 - 9:13am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day, advertisement.

Reminders of how the Deal of the Day program works:

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  • 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 Howard Owens:   [email protected]
November 23, 2021 - 8:03pm
posted by Joanne Beck in news, John Kennedy Intermediate School, thanksgiving.


John Kennedy Intermediate School Principal Brian Sutton took a little extra time to get dressed Tuesday. He sported some fancy headgear: a whimsical cloth turkey of bright yellow, orange and red, with two legs dangling over Sutton’s ears. 

He briefed excited groups of students of the day’s events in between roast turkey, expressing gratitude and just having fun. 

“Today we actually have quite a few things happening,” he said to students gathered outside. “You’ll have a half hour to do all of the activities.”

Sutton and the school community, including parents and other family members, took those 30 minutes in each group of second, third and fourth-graders to enjoy the sunshine, mindfulness exercises, a soothing cup of hot chocolate, and each other.

There were stations for the kids to visit and perform activities, which included writing something they were thankful for on index cards. Teachers carved turkey for students to enjoy beforehand, followed by a Gratitude Walk, second grade Macy’s Day parade and reading aloud the index cards filled with Thanksgiving sentiments. A book drop provided opportunity for students to bring in and/or take a book to read during the upcoming break. 

A collection effort led by school counselor Eric Knapp motivated staff and students to donate enough food items so that a dozen Batavia City School District families would have a Thanksgiving dinner. Assisted by city police and fire department members, the meals were delivered later Tuesday. 

The day was focused on one central element, Sutton said.

“It’s a great opportunity for them to reflect on what they’re thankful for, what they’re grateful for, and reflect on what’s important at this time of year,” he said. 



Top photo: John Kennedy Intermediate School Principal Brian Sutton instructs students before they participate in several activities related to Thanksgiving Tuesday at the Vine Street School. Photos by Steve Ognibene

November 23, 2021 - 3:00pm

November 23, 2021 - 2:29pm

Published reports today indicate that Samsung Electronics Co. has decided to build a $17 billion semiconductor plant in Taylor, Texas, ending speculation that South Korea’s largest company would be locating the facility in New York State and, possibly, at the Western New York Science & Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park in the town of Alabama.

A story from Bloomberg Wire stated the chip-making plant will be constructed in the Central Texas city, which is about 30 miles from Samsung’s giant manufacturing hub in Austin.

A news conference led by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott reportedly is scheduled for 5 this afternoon.

Sources close to the project said the plant would create about 1,800 jobs and chip production is expected to start at the end of 2024.

As late as September, U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer – during an appearance at STAMP to promote Plug Power’s decision to build a green hydrogen facility there – said that Samsung officials toured the 1,250-acre site owned by the Genesee County Economic Development Center and that he was communicating “on a regular basis” with the company’s president.

A resolution posted on the Taylor, Texas, website reveals that the city is offering Samsung more than $300 million in tax credits for the first 10 years – and additional incentives for two subsequent 10-year periods, plus a tax waiver of 92.5 percent on all new property built on the site for the first 10 years.

November 23, 2021 - 1:16pm
posted by Press Release in STOP-DWI, news.

Press release:

The Genesee County STOP-DWI Coordinator announced today that the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office, the City of Batavia Police Department and the Village of LeRoy Police Department will be participating in a coordinated effort with the STOP-DWI program this week to bring awareness to the dangers of impaired driving.

Thanksgiving is one of the busiest travel times of the year, and unfortunately, more people on the roadways means the potential for more vehicle crashes.  In a combined effort to bring awareness to the dangers of impaired driving, prevent injuries and save lives law enforcement officers across New York State and STOP-DWI programs will be participating in special engagement efforts. The statewide STOP-DWI High Visibility Engagement Campaign start on Wednesday, November 24th  and will end on Sunday, November 28th. 

While STOP-DWI efforts across New York have led to significant reductions in the numbers of alcohol and drug-related fatalities, still too many lives are being lost because of crashes caused by drunk or impaired drivers.  Highly visible, highly publicized efforts like the STOP-DWI High Visibility Engagement Campaign aim to further reduce the incidence of drunk and impaired driving. 

November 23, 2021 - 1:14pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in jobs, unemployment, news.

There are currently more than 1,000 Genesee County residents drawing unemployment, according to data released by the state's Department of Labor today.

There are 28,300 people in the local labor force and of those, 27,200 are employed, making the current unemployment rate for October 3.6 percent.

The same as last month and down from a year ago when it was 4.6 percent.  

A year ago, there were more than 1,300 people drawing unemployment.

The GLOW area unemployment rate is 3.7 percent, down from 4.7 percent a year ago.

The state's unemployment rate is 6 percent, down from 8.3 percent a year ago.

As for the total number of jobs in the county, there are currently 21,300 non-farm jobs, up from 21,200 a year ago.

November 23, 2021 - 1:03pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Rose Mary Christian, video, batavia.
Video Sponsor

After 30 years of service to the City of Batavia and its residents, Councilwoman Rose Mary Christian retired Monday with a reception in her honor before the regularly scheduled City Council meeting. 

At the start of the meeting, she was presented with proclamations recognizing her service.

Photos and captions by Mike Pettinella.



Council members Kathleen Briggs and Eugene Jankowski Jr. present a proclamation to Christian, signifying her as an "advocate who had the best interests of the City of Batavia at heart."


Legislature Chair Rochelle Stein is joined by legislators Marianne Clattenburg, John Deleo and Gary Maha as the county honored Rose Mary Christian for her dedicated service. Those in attendance, including two of Christian's daughters and a grandson, chuckled on a few occasions when Stein referred to her as Mary Rose while reading the proclamation. Rose Mary is seated at left with her daughter, Raelene, and Ron Gibble.


Assemblyman Steven Hawley, before reading a proclamation that highlighted Christian's "faithful, conscientious and valuable service to the City of Batavia," compared Christian to former legislator Florence Gioia as someone "who believes in folks" and wanted to do all she could to help her neighbors.

November 23, 2021 - 12:21pm



City of Batavia Maintenance Superintendent Ray Tourt on Monday night said the Genesee Transportation Council and New York State Department of Transportation seem to be on board with a revised – and more expensive – plan to rehabilitate and reconstruct Harvester and Richmond Avenues.

Deficiencies in the structure of Harvester Avenue from Colorado Avenue to Ellicott Street have forced the city to change its strategy from one of rehabilitation to reconstruction, Tourt said during City Council’s Conference Meeting.

This modification increases the total cost of the Transportation Improvement Project from $2,041,000 to $3,691,000, he reported, but the federal funding level remains the same at 80 percent.

“This is an 80 percent federally-funding project with a 20 percent local share,” Tourt said. “We are optimistic that the project may see Marchiselli funds from New York State (usually 15 percent) to further offset the local funding. CHIPS (Consolidated Highway Improvement Program funds) will be used for the remaining local share of 5 percent (about $184,000).”

Work is expected to begin in the spring of 2022.

Photos provided by Tourt to The Batavian from the geotechnical report show the difference in the structure of the two segments of Harvester Avenue.

In his memo to City Manager Rachael Tabelski, Tourt indicated that the portion from Colorado Avenue to Ellicott Street was a “better candidate for a partial reconstruction” because it has only three inches of bituminous concrete on no prepared base while the road from East Main Street to Colorado Avenue has five to six inches of concrete base with three inches of bituminous concrete paving as a wear surface.

“This means that there is no base to pave back onto on the southern portion of Harvester … and for that reason, the city has reached out to the GTC and NYSDOT for a change of scope to correct this condition,” he wrote.

At last night’s meeting, Council was asked to consider approving short-term financing in the form of general obligation bonds to fund the project until reimbursements are received. Lawmakers did just that, forwarding the matter to its Dec. 13 Business Meeting.

In other action, Council forwarded the following resolutions:

  • Using $150,000 in Video Lottery Terminal revenue from Batavia Downs Gaming to purchase mobile data terminals, portable radios, emergency escape and self-rescue system kits and fire helmets for the police and fire departments.

The plan is to buy eight MDTs (computers in patrol cars) for $55,000; 19 portable radios (six for fire and 13 for police) for $64,500; emergency escape (or bail-out) systems for $15,254, and helmets for all firefighters and officers for $15,246.

  • Contracting with LaBella Associates of Rochester in the amount of $187,130 for the firm to manage the Brownfield Opportunity Area Pre-Development Grant process at the City Centre and Harvester campuses.

Tabelski said LaBella employees will perform a “full infrastructure review to accommodate more development of the City Centre campus, including parking reviews, the potential redesign of Bank Street and a full Generic Environmental Impact Statement. This work will complement the City Centre $1 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative that will improve interior and exterior elements of the building.

LaBella also will take a look at ways to redevelop the Industrial Center on Harvester Avenue, she said, mentioning potential site layouts, subdivision opportunities, real estate strategy and demolition.

  • Reclassifying the city’s Human Resources Specialist position to Human Resources Director in light of an increasing amount of responsibility in areas such as budgeting, hiring, compiling financial data, workers’ compensation and health insurance.

Tabelski said the duties of the job were reviewed by Genesee County Civil Service.

Top photo: The Harvester Avenue geotechnical report found that the portion of the street south of Colorado Avenue (extending to Ellicott Street) has "light-duty" pavement. Photo below: This pavement section from the street north of Colorado Avenue is of the "heavy-duty" variety. Plans call for the portion of Harvester Avenue north of Colorado to be rehabilitated and the portion south of Colorado Avenue to be reconstructed.

November 23, 2021 - 10:37am


Larry Friedman rattled off a few one-liners Monday night as he accepted a proclamation from the City of Batavia in recognition of his 40-year career with the Genesee County District Attorney’s Office.

“I've been in the DAs office so long that when I started Eugene Jankowski was a young patrolman, and we both had a full head of hair,” said the retiring county DA, looking at the City Council president who had just presented him with the certificate. “And (former sheriff) Gary Maha was the chief deputy in the sheriff's office.”

Maha was among those in the audience honoring both Friedman and Rose Mary Christian, who has retired after 29-plus years as a City Council member.

Friedman served as the DA for six consecutive four-year terms – all unopposed. He prosecuted 140 felony trials, including high profile cases in the city.

The proclamation stated:

“Larry’s acumen as a trial attorney helped bring about justice for countless crime victims and help to fortify the integrity of the DA office. Larry served the citizens of the City of Batavia and the residents of Genesee County with expertise and a commitment to improve the safety, healing and access to justice for all.

“Therefore, in true spirit of appreciation to 40 years of dedicated service to the City of Batavia and Genesee County, the City Council of the City of Batavia does hereby make this proclamation to sincerely thank Larry Friedman for his dedicated service to our community and to wish him well in his retirement.”

In his brief acceptance speech, Friedman noted his “great working relationship” with City Council, city management and City Attorney George Van Nest, and also with the Batavia Police Department’s Detective Bureau.

“As was mentioned, I prosecuted many felony cases arising out of the city of Batavia. And every time I've had one that went to trial, I knew I could look to members of the Batavia Police Department Detective Bureau to give me the assistance I needed in doing the things that need to be done right up until the time of and even during the trial,” he said.

Friedman said he was “grateful to my staff members” and joked, “I'm kind of sorry that they have nothing better to do on a Monday night -- as a number of people from my staff are here.”

He also drew a laugh when he mentioned that Christian told him that her grandson had just graduated from law school and is taking the New York bar exam in February.

“So, I gave her my card and wrote Kevin Finnell’s (his successor as DA, who also was in attendance) name on it … and told her to send his resume to Kevin because we’re always looking for good people.”

In closing, he thanked those who “are here to support me as opposed to just having the cookies and coffee (that were put out for the reception for Christian). I really do appreciate this.”

Photo: Larry Friedman and Eugene Jankowski Jr. at Monday night's City Council meeting. Photo by Mike Pettinella.

November 23, 2021 - 10:03am
posted by Press Release in Batavia Rotary Club, batavia, news.

Press release:

Still looking for the perfect Christmas gift?  The Batavia Rotary Club is now selling its annual Chevrolet Corvette Raffle tickets. 

“We are pleased to bring back our popular Corvette Raffle,” said Marlin Salmon, this year’s Batavia Rotary Club president.  “Every dollar raised stays in our community and supports Rotary’s many charitable causes including high school scholarships, major contributions to local non-profits including our hospital, the YMCA and YWCA and many more worthy local charities.”

Tickets are $50 each or 3 for $100 with donations fully tax-deductible.  First prize is a new 2022 Chevrolet Corvette of $50,000 cash with ten additional prizes of $500 also being awarded.  Only 4,500 tickets will be sold.  The drawing will be held on February 26, 2022. 

Tickets can be purchased from any Batavia Rotarian or online at www.bataviarotaryraffle.com.

“The Corvette Raffle allows the Batavia Rotary Club to do with what we do best – support our community” Salmon said.

November 23, 2021 - 9:58am
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 Howard Owens:   [email protected]
November 22, 2021 - 10:53pm
posted by Press Release in Genesee County Jail, news.

Press release:

Genesee County Sheriff William A. Sheron, Jr. is reinstating visitation at the Genesee County Jail beginning noon on Tuesday, 11/23/21, for those incarcerated individuals who are NOT in quarantine.

"We appreciate your understanding while this precautionary measure was in place in order to prevent the risk of exposure to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) to incarcerated individuals' families and employees."

November 22, 2021 - 9:55pm

ken-pearl-intro_1.pngThe Batavia City Council is looking at enlisting a “Pearl” to assist in its quest to build a gem of a police headquarters in the heart of the community’s downtown.

Council, at its meeting at City Hall tonight, passed one resolution and forwarded two others to its Dec. 13 Business Meeting that highlight the importance of Kenneth Pearl, president and principal-in-charge of Architecture Unlimited, LLC, of Williamsville, to the construction of what is expected to be a $10.8 million police station at Bank Street and Alva Place.

According to City Manager Rachael Tabelski, upon Council’s final approval, Pearl (photo above) would act as the “project manager/owner’s representative” for the police facility project.

She introduced a resolution that would pay Pearl’s company $370,000 for professional services and project management over the life of the project, which could take up to 3 ½ years.

Pearl and the city have quite a history as he has assisted the Department of Public Works with the City Centre Mall Roof, Mall Roof 2, Police Roof and Police Facility Feasibility Study projects.

Tabelski noted that Pearl is an expert in architecture and construction management, having worked with other municipalities in the construction of new buildings.

Pearl has coordinated the city's issuance of Requests for Proposals for the design and engineering of the new police facility. The RFP review and interview process is taking place and expected to be complete sometime next month.

A second resolution pertaining to the police station, which also will be voted upon next month, is to authorize a general obligation bond and issuance of a bond anticipation note for $1.5 million to finance the cost of design, engineering and architecture plans.

This amount would be part of the $10.8 million (it could be more due to fluctuating construction costs) to build the single-story structure that would enable the police department to vacate the former Historic Brisbane Mansion at 10 West Main St., a building that is more than 160 years old and in need of costly renovation.

Tabelski said the city would not be obligated to pay anything for up to a year and eventually could roll the $1.5 million into the 30-year bond that will be utilized to pay for the new police headquarters.

“I’m confident the city can absorb the bond (expense) into the future,” she said.

The third resolution -- the one that passed tonight -- approves a contract for $3,250 with Wm. Schutt & Associates, P.C., of Lancaster to conduct a land survey of the Bank and Alva parcel.

“The survey area includes the city’s public parking lot and specifically the southeast corner of the lot immediately adjacent to Bank Street and Alva Place,” Tabelski said. “The survey will provide boundary lines, a legal description, zoning, right-of-way’s, elevations, location size and depth of water, sewer, gas and other utilities on the site.”


On another front, City Council approved a six-year contract with its Civil Service Employees Association union after reaching a tentative agreement on Oct. 21 and ratification by CSEA members on Nov. 15. The previous contract expired on March 31.

The new pact with the CSEA, which has 18 professional members (clerks, secretaries, code enforcement officials, water and wastewater plant chief operators, and Bureau of Maintenance supervisors), lists the following provisions:

  • Salary increase of 2.5 percent each year for the length of the contract;
  • A longevity increase of $100 per year at the 20-year point;
  • Limit of carryover of vacation time to one week;
  • Adding the option to cash in sick time (currently employees can defer into their 457 plan);
  • Increase in employee health care contribution by 3 percent of the term of the contract;
  • Removal of the financial clerk typist from the union to non-union status.

Tabelski said that the annual impact upon the city budget will be $34,500, including retirement and Social Security).

Previously: City Council looking at 30-year, $10 million bond to finance new police station at Alva and Bank

November 22, 2021 - 8:49pm

Image result for nysacRural counties in New York State currently have Gov. Kathy Hochul’s ear concerning the pressing issues of the day, Genesee County Manager Matt Landers said today, and the possibility of vaccine mandates is at the top of the list.

“There is a big consensus among, especially the more rural counties, what we want to communicate to the governor,” Landers said at the Genesee County Legislature meeting at the Old County Courthouse. “And we are pleased that the governor, in a phone call last evening … for county administrators and decision-makers and the governor's office .. is trying to make an effort to at least listen to the viewpoints of counties, which was something that the previous governor wasn’t doing.”

Landers said rural county leaders are “looking for less mandates, less restrictions – not the other way around.”

“We understand that it's going be difficult, but those are some of the takeaways that the county administrators in more rural counties are looking for moving forward, and less of a hammer,” he said.

County officials need more testing resources, he said.

“That's one thing that in order for us to comply with -- or are trying to dig ourselves out; having more testing resources is critical. And we are sorely lacking in a testing resources,”

He also said the state needs to put out more positive messaging, with a focus on help and communicating success stories.

“We’d like to see an endgame laid out,” Landers said. “I know that our schools are asking for this. County administrators are asking for this. What does success look like? We’d like to have an endgame laid out and a greater focus on hospitalizations and less on just straight (COVID-19) positives.”

Legislature Chair Rochelle Stein added that counties are dead set against a possible state mandate “being overlaid onto rural counties.”

“That raised some ire,” she said.

Landers said state officials are looking at New York City’s low positivity rates, which have come as (partially) as a result of vaccine mandates, and could use that model for upstate counties.

“Leaders are pointing to the fact that they have vaccine mandates in place if you want to go to dining establishments and things like that, so that that comparison was provided to us,” he said. “And it's something that if our hospitalization rates don't improve then everything's on the table, even something like that.”

Landers also mentioned the situation in Erie County, which announced today that a mask mandate for all indoor public locations will start Tuesday at 6 a.m.

Rural county administrators think mandates do more harm than good, he said, and Stein agreed, adding that if mandates are required, then New York State should be responsible for enforcement.

“We also asked for the fact that if these mandates came down, that the enforcement is not something that is pushed down onto the county government but it is held at the state level,” she said. “And that's where the responsibility lies. That was very clear in that conversation.”

Landers said the ability to enforce has to be clear as well.

“If left open to local interpretation, it's not going to be effective. The enforcement, the ability, the right, the law, whatever you want to say, (needs to be) clear cut and able to be enforced and the state has to provide resources on the enforcement side.”

Turning to resolutions, as expected, the legislature adopted the county’s 2022 budget – a $158,502,898 All Funds spending plan that keeps the property tax levy the same as the 2021 budget.

The 2022 General Fund (operating) budget is set at $119,394,176, about $9.1 million more than the 2021 budget.

By keeping the same tax levy, the property tax rate falls from $9.80 to $9.18 per $1,000 of assessed valuation. This was accomplished by using an additional $680,000 in unexpended reserves than originally proposed.

In other action, the legislature approved:

  • Revision of Local Law Introductory No. 6, which changes the Genesee County Hotel and Motel Occupancy Tax Law to include Airbnb-type short-term lodging sites.

Landers commended County Attorney Kevin Earl for his efforts to close any “loopholes: and to “clean up” the wording of the law, which was supported by the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce. Key revisions reduced the number of units from six to one and stipulate that the property would have to be rented out for more than 14 days in a year.

Short-term sites such as Airbnb now will be subject to the 3 percent “bed tax” that is added on to hotel/motel bills.

  • Funding five capital improvement projects as Genesee Community College – four next year and one in 2023 – at a maximum cost of $1.7 million as long as New York State commits the same amount.
  • Holding a public hearing on Dec. 8 to consider a local law to set the salaries of the following county elected or appointed fixed term employees: Commission of Elections, Director of Human Resources, Commissioner of Social Services, Director of Real Property Tax Services, County Clerk, Treasurer, Sheriff, and Highway Superintendent.
  • Reappointing Molly Haungs, marketing manager of LandPro Equipment, to a two-year term on the GLOW Workforce Development Board and James Kingston of Elba to a two-year term to the Genesee County Soil & Water Conservation District board of directors.

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