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Accident reported at Fisher and Drake in Oakfield

By Howard B. Owens

A multiple-vehicle accident is reported at Drake Street and Fisher Road, Oakfield.

One person is out of a vehicle, and another person is trapped, but it is "minor entrapment," according to a first responder.

The person in the vehicle is conscious and alert.

Oakfield Fire, with mutual aid from Elba, dispatched, along with Mercy EMS.

UPDATE 5:23 p.m.: The road is open. Oakfield assignment, back in service.

BHS Drama Club tries to determine who murdered billionaire in eight 10-minute plays

By Howard B. Owens
batavia high school drama club the alibis

For those who love murder mysteries and comedies, the Batavia High School Drama Club is staging The Alibis, a collection of eight interconnected 10-minute plays that revolve around the murder of eccentric billionaire J. Leslie Arlington.

There are plenty of suspects in the murder, and all have alibis, which none of them want to admit to because they were all committing other ridiculous crimes at the time. The suspects include disgruntled chefs, teen detectives, and vengeful divas.

Performances are at 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. on Sunday on the stage of the Batavia High School Auditorium, 260 State St., Batavia.

Photos by Howard Owens.

batavia high school drama club the alibis
batavia high school drama club the alibis
batavia high school drama club the alibis
batavia high school drama club the alibis
batavia high school drama club the alibis
batavia high school drama club the alibis
batavia high school drama club the alibis
batavia high school drama club the alibis

GSO ready to perform holiday favorites at GCC on Sunday

By Howard B. Owens
genesee symphony orchestra holiday rehersal 2023
Genesee Symphony Orchestra Concertmaster Julia Plato.
Photo by Howard Owens

It's that time of year when the Genesee Symphony Orchestra rosins up the bows and gets crackin' on holiday chestnuts such as “Christmas Festival,” “Sleigh Ride” and selections from “The Nutcracker.”

The annual holiday concert is at 4 p.m., Sunday, at Genesee Community College.

GSO's concertmaster, Julia Plato, is looking forward to taking the solo on another holiday favorite, the winter movement from Vivaldi's “Four Seasons.”

She's excited about it, she said, because "I think it's insanely easy to make it sound modern, even though it was written through like 300 years ago. It still has so much excitement and vigor and, yeah, personality that you would never know that it was written in the 1700s."

Plato, who is originally from the Hershey area of Pennsylvania, is in her second year as the first chair of the GSO, under the direction of conductor S. Shade Zajac.

She's been involved in orchestra performance since she was a child, participating in the youth orchestra in her hometown.

"That's kind of where I fell in love with playing music," she said.  "I went to school for music education in Ithaca and wound up teaching in Pittsford."

Through a friend, she heard about GSO during the pandemic, when the orchestra was still finding ways to perform, and that piqued her interest.

"I was so excited because I just wanted to have a group to play with, and it just lined up really well with the time that I moved to the area, and I found a good group of people to perform with," she said.

She's found it inspiring to work with Zajac.

"He has got such a great taste and repertoire," she said. "He selects very nice, well-rounded programming from all the modern works that you may not have heard to the classics that everyone hopes to hear."

genesee symphony orchestra holiday rehersal 2023
Genesee Symphony Orchestra Music Director and Conductor S. Shade Zajac
Photo by Howard Owens.
genesee symphony orchestra holiday rehersal 2023
Photo by Howard Owens.
genesee symphony orchestra holiday rehersal 2023
Photo by Howard Owens.
genesee symphony orchestra holiday rehersal 2023
Photo by Howard Owens.
genesee symphony orchestra holiday rehersal 2023
Photo by Howard Owens.
genesee symphony orchestra holiday rehersal 2023
Photo by Howard Owens.
genesee symphony orchestra holiday rehersal 2023
Photo by Howard Owens.
genesee symphony orchestra holiday rehersal 2023
Photo by Howard Owens.
genesee symphony orchestra holiday rehersal 2023
Photo by Howard Owens.

Gustke captures Genesee Region USBC Senior Masters at Mancuso's; Manners 2nd, Weber 3rd

By Mike Pettinella
Senior Masters

Rob Gustke of Rochester gave himself an early birthday present on Saturday by winning the Genesee Region USBC Senior Masters Tournament at Mancuso Bowling Center in Batavia.

The high-revving right-hander, who turned 53 on Monday, was making his first appearance in the event for GRUSBC bowlers 50 years of age and older. He is a member of the Pizzaland Doubles League at Le Roy Legion Lanes.

Photo: From left, Brian Weber, Rob Gustke, Rob Manners.

Gustke defeated Rob Manners, also of Rochester, 194-181, in the title match, to claim the $300 first prize. He also earned a free entry into the GRUSBC Scratch Memorial Tournament in January and a championship plaque.

Manners won $200 for placing second while Brian Weber of Perry pocketed $150 for finishing in third place. Manners turned back Weber, 267-224, in the opening match of the three-bowler stepladder finals to move on to face the top-seeded Gustke.

Gustke was the second-high qualifier with a three-game total of 712 and then rolled 494 for two games to reach the top six. His 213 in the third round enabled him to secure the No. 1 seed for the finals.

The victory adds to his impressive list of titles, mostly compiled in the Rochester NY USBC.

“I think I'm up to seven or eight city titles now … and I won the Mount Morris Open in 2019,” said Gustke, a machinist by trade. “They were all scratch tournaments, and I bowl more for the titles than the money.”

Gustke said he used three bowling balls over his seven games – the Storm DNA, Storm IQ Nano Pearl and the 900 Global Ordnance C4.

The tournament drew 43 entries over two qualifying squads.

In qualifying, Jim Foss of Medina led the way with a 749 series, followed by Gustke (712), Scott Shields of Batavia 705, Weber 704, Mickey Hyde of Le Roy 698, Dean Cadieux Jr. of Oakfield 694, Manners 684, defending champion Roger Allis of Medina 670, Bill Neubert of Batavia 667, Scott Gibson of Oakfield 666, Mark Brown of Attica 661 and John Lowe of Le Roy 650.

Gustke (494 for two games), Manners (463), Brown (462), Allis (449), Weber (446) and Neubert (437) advanced through the second round, with Weber (225 for one game), Manners (224) and Gustke (213) reaching the stepladder finals.

Allis, Neubert and Brown each won $100 while the six other cashers earned $75 apiece. The GRUSBC added $200 to the prize fund and another $200 was added from a special Masters fund administered by tournament director Paul Spiotta.

Public hearing to provide information, answer questions about $45M BCSD capital project before vote

By Joanne Beck

The first of two public hearings about Batavia City School District’s proposed $45 million capital project will be at 4 p.m. Tuesday at the middle school auditorium, 96 Ross St., Batavia.

The proposed project is designed to modernize the district’s instructional spaces, optimize the building grade-level configurations, and address high-priority facility needs throughout the district, school officials say.

A big selling point is that there will be “no additional tax increase” for district property taxpayers as a result of the project, officials say in the presentation.

The vote for the BCSD Reimagined capital improvement project will be on Dec. 14 for residents of the city school district. These public hearings are your opportunity to hear about the project and ask questions. 

A second public hearing will be at 7 p.m. Dec. 7 at Batavia High School in the auditorium, 260 State St., Batavia. 

Voting will take place from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Dec. 14 at designated sites, depending on where you live. 

For residents living north of Route 5 (Main Street), vote at Robert Morris, 80 Union St., in the Multi-Purpose Room.

For residents living south of Route 5, vote at Batavia High School, 260 State St., in the library.

More information about the project is available below:

Click here to view our BCSD Reimagined Project Website 

Click here to view our BCSD Reimagined Project Factsheet

Click here to view our BCSD Reimagined Project Newsletter

Click here to view our BCSD Reimagined Project Video

Fully involved barn fire reported on Old State Road, Pavilion

By Howard B. Owens

Pavilion Fire and mutual aid companies are on scene of a barn fire close to a residence reported on Old State Road at Moag Road.

The call came in just before 8 p.m.

The first responder on scene reported a fully involved working barn fire.

The Pavilion chief requested a second alarm. Dispatched: Batavia's FAST team, Bethany, Stafford, Le Roy, with mutual aid was requested from Livingston County and Wyoming County.

Missing dog in Le Roy

By Joanne Beck
Missing dog Linwood
Submitted Photo

This dog took off chasing a deer on Linwood Avenue in Le Roy around 5 p.m. Monday, and has not been seen since, owner Joshua Wallace says. The Batavian was given updated information, and the dog was last seen at 4:30 p.m. Sunday.

If anyone spots the pooch, please call 585-297-3663.

Officials, staff and supporters 'top off' Healthy Living project as final ceremonial step before completion

By Joanne Beck
health living topping off nov. 2023
A crane lifts the final beam onto the second floor of the new Healthy Living facility in downtown Batavia during a "topping off" ceremony Monday morning.
Photo by Howard Owens.

About two dozen people — construction workers, staff, donors and officials — braved bone-chilling winds and huddled in the parking lot of the future Healthy Living campus Monday morning to observe a final "topping off" ceremonial step for the project before a ribbon-cutting next fall.

It was an auspicious, though perhaps quiet and unassuming, moment for those who have poured so much time and effort into planning, fundraising, and promoting the impending merged site for United Memorial Medical Center’s Healthy Living and YMCA at 213 East Main St., Batavia. 

“Today is a really important milestone in this project for the healthy living campus and what we're going to be able to do for the community by raising the last beam and taking the next step and getting this project to completion,” said Dan Ireland, president and chief operating officer of the Fingerlakes Rural Hospital for Rochester Regional Health. “Next fall we look forward to cutting the ribbon and really starting to combine services with YMCA.”

Ireland and Rob Walker, CEO of YMCA, spoke briefly about the importance of this event as another marker for a project that will serve the community for years to come. It has taken a lot of fundraising and effort for the facility, and they shared the same excitement for being "poised" to "make a huge difference in the community," they agreed.

“The key thing about today was just lifting up the partnerships, that we’re doing this together. It’s been a long journey through a lot of challenges and COVID, and the cost escalations, but we’ve carried forward,” Walker said. 

The pandemic, supply chain issues and delays have pushed the project cost up to nearly $34 million, up from $33.5 million, he said.

But once completed, it’s going to be a beauty to behold, he said, filled with a children’s Adventure Room, indoor playground, intergenerational room filled with interactive games, a large upstairs track, and swimming pool equipped with underwater benches for swim lessons, a splash pad, and wheelchair and walk-in access.

There will also be universal pre-kindergarten, morning daycare and after school classrooms that will serve the needs of day camp in summer, plus supervised childcare with options for parents to drop off their child for a Friday evening dinner or shopping trip, expanded hours and universal standards to bring everything to beyond Americans with Disabilities Act code, he said. 

There’s an expectation that the current membership of 3,000 is going to double with all of the increased amenities, which include more convenient parking right behind the new facility. 

A larger group of about 100 people stood in a similar spot during a groundbreaking in July 2022. By August of that year, the demolition of Cary Hall, which once housed Healthy Living programs, was a visible cue that another stage of the plan had come to fruition after so much of it had been on paper with grant applications and blueprints and such.

Parking lot grading, building of foundations and then installing the structure all came piece by piece for the 78,000 square-foot facility for the last 15 months, capped off by Monday's traditional beam-signing. That was followed by a crane hoisting the beam up to the second floor and workers putting it into place. 

Defined as an integrated medical and wellness facility, the campus is to include state-of-the-art exercise equipment, a teaching kitchen, 22 exam rooms and two medical procedure rooms for primary care, telemedicine appointments, behavioral health and crisis intervention support, cancer prevention, chronic illness, and community education services. 

The site will serve as a one-stop-shop for many health concerns and fitness goals, officials have said.

Ireland was reluctant to “put a pin” in the month they would designate for a ribbon-cutting, as construction projects can certainly fall out of line with perfect schedules, he said. But fall of 2024 seems like a safe bet. 

In the meantime, work will continue throughout the winter on the facility’s interior after it is fully enclosed, David Ciurzynski of Ciurzynski Consulting, LLC said.

Ireland has been pleased with how the project has been moving along lately, he said.

“They’re really working to get anything closed that they need to, and the weather’s been on our side,” he said. “We’ve actually had some pretty decent fall weather, not withstanding the snowflakes today.”

Photos by Howard Owens

health living topping off nov. 2023
health living topping off nov. 2023
Crews with beam at healthy living
Signed beam
Submitted Photo
signed beam
Submitted Photo of signed beam for Healthy Living campus

Alexander wins Red Jacket Toys for Tots tournament

By Howard B. Owens
alexander basketball

The Alexandar Trojans played in the Red Jacket Toys for Tots Tournament at Red Jacket on Saturday, winning the championship 77-27.

Scoring:

  • Alyssa Kramer, 26
  • Madison Boyce, 16
  • Emily Pietrzykawski, 16
  • Hayden Bezon, 9

Alyssa Kramer was the tournament MVP

Photos by Brennan Bezon

alexander basketball
alexander basketball
alexander basketball
alexander basketball

28th annual service of prayer and remembrance Dec. 6 at Northgate Free Methodist Church

By Press Release
h.e. turner remembrance servcie 2021
File photo by Howard Owens

Press Release:

H.E. Turner & Co., Bohm-Calarco-Smith, and Burdett & Sanford Funeral Homes proudly present their 28th Annual Service of Prayer & Remembrance at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 6, at the Northgate Free Methodist Church, 8160 Bank Street Road in Batavia.

For those who wish to participate from home, we will livestream the service as well.

“We hear from families how the service helps them through their grief, especially during this time of year," said Joshua Smith, of H.E. Turner & Co. Funeral Home. "For some of these families, it will be their first year participating in the service, which means it is their first Christmas without their loved one, and for others, they come back year after year.”

A candle in memory of your loved one will be lit prior to the start of the service and remain that way throughout.

One candle will be provided per deceased loved one and will be given to participants at the service. If you choose not to attend but would still like a candle to participate from home, please call our office to arrange a pick-up.

Call 585-344-4295 to reserve your candle by Friday, Dec. 1. There is no cost for a candle and all who experienced the pain of loss are welcome to participate regardless of who took care of your loved one and arranged their funeral service.

The ecumenical service will combine music, prayer, scripture reading, reading of the names of loved ones, the tolling of the bell in remembrance, and a message of hope by Reverend Vern Saile.

To register the name or names for your candle, please call H.E. Turner & Co. Funeral Home at (585) 344-4295 or register online by visiting www.bataviafuneralhomes.com by Dec. 1.

Oakfield Betterment Committee announces plans for two days of Christmas in the Village

By Howard B. Owens
oakfield christmas in the village 2018
File photo from 2018 by Howard Owens

Christmas in the Village returns to Oakfield on Friday and Saturday with a full slate of holiday cheer, ranging from a parade and the arrival of Santa to a Christmas ornament scavenger hunt.

The fire truck parade delivering Santa and Mrs. Claus to Triangle Park is at 5 p.m. on Friday.

There will be food and beverages available for purchase at Memorial Park from the OA Parent Teachers Organization and Santino's, and Sweet Ally's will have special hours, staying open until 6 p.m.

The grand lighting of Winter Wonderland in Memorial Park is after the parade at approximately 5:30 p.m.

The evening will also feature musical performances by the Genesee Country Church children's choir, the Olympians, as well as the O-A Central School chorus and swing choir.

The Caryville Inn will be serving holiday drink specials.

On Saturday, it's Oakfield's own Small Business Saturday with an ornament scavenger hunt that will encourage participants to visit businesses in the village. 

The first 50 participants or families receive a wreath, instructions and a stamp card. It starts at 11 a.m. at The Goose Farm Market, 33 South Main St., and runs until 2 p.m.

A festive wagon will provide transportation throughout the village during the hunt.

The winners announced at prizes award at 2 p.m. at The Goose.

Santa Returns on a fire truck to Triangle Park at noon and will hear children's Christmas wishes until 2 p.m. in the gazebo while cocoa and cookies, courties at the Oakfield-Alabama Lions Club will be served.

Additional special events.

  • Genesee Society of Model Engineers – Open House with working model trains on display. Holiday cookies will be served.
  • Zeliff Farm Market – open 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. with specials on meat packages available. Samples of Snack Sticks and Meatballs too.
  • Haxton Memorial Library – games, crafts, and movies
  • Rusty Rail Bar & Grill / Strikeforce Lanes – opens at noon and will have bowling

Just in time for chilly temps: Community Action has winter coats

By Joanne Beck
Winter coats at Community Action
Community Action of Orleans Genesee in Batavia has winter coats for Genesee County residents of all ages and sizes.
Photo submitted by David Dodge

If you’re a Genesee County resident in need of a winter coat, Community Action of Orleans and Genesee may be able to help.

The nonprofit has winter coats for people of all ages and sizes, Case Manager David Dodge says. They are free for low income families, and only require some simple paperwork to be completed, he said.

People may select their coats through 4 p.m. Monday or from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday this week, he said. 

As for donations, “we are always in need of gently used or new clothing and coats,” he said. 

Community Action is at 5073 Clinton Street Road, Batavia. 

Winter coats at Community Action 2
Photo submitted by David Dodge

Troop 64 member promoted to Eagle Scout

By Staff Writer
new eagle scout
Jerremy Sharick being awarded Eagle Scout at his Court of Honor with his parents Dana and Piper Sharick.
Submitted photo.

Jerremy E. Sharick of the Boy Scouts of America Troop 64 in East Pembroke was recently awarded the rank of Eagle Scout.

Jerremy earned 32 merit badges earning him two Palms, also. 

Jerremy's Eagle Project was building a new counter and storage table for the Corfu Presbyterian Church Food Pantry, where he has volunteered for nearly five years. The new counter replaces a folding banquet table that the pantry was using that had no storage. He also donated the leftover funds to the food pantry. 

Jerremy's Eagle project consisted of 87.5 volunteer hours. 

new eagle scout
Jerremy with Paula Trapani from The Corfu Food Pantry
Submitted Photo
new eagle scout
Jerremy E. Sharick received a citation from Assemblyman Steve Hawley on achieving Eagle Scout.  Jerremy was also recognized by Rep. Claudia Tenney.
Submitted photo.

Pre-winter digging in progress for Jackson water project

By Joanne Beck
jackson street work nov. 2023

Work is progressing Monday on the Jackson Street waterline replacement project between Ellicott and Chestnut streets in the City of Batavia. Crews from Blue Heron Construction of Jordan are replacing approximately 2,250 linear feet of 4- and 6-inch water mains with 8-inch mains during the pre-winter project.

Blue Heron was the successful candidate for the job out of several bids. City Council awarded the company its bid of $1,353,000 during the city's Aug. 14 business meeting.

Photos by Howard Owens.

jackson street work nov. 2023
jackson street work nov. 2023
jackson street work nov. 2023
jackson street work nov. 2023

Oakfield's Garrett Gibson posts 300; Cline rolls 280--761

By Mike Pettinella

Once an outstanding youth bowler in the Oakfield junior program run by his father, Garrett Gibson is making his mark on the adult league and tournament bowling scene.

Gibson, now 30, posted his third United States Bowling Congress-certified 300 game yesterday morning while competing in the Sunday Rolloffs League at Medina Lanes -- a weekly singles competition that also includes his dad, Scott.

The right-hander fired games of 243-300-246 for a 789 series to lead all bowlers.

In April of this year, he recorded a perfect game at the New York State Open Championships at Bowl-A-Roll Lanes in Rochester. His first 300 game came in 2015 at Scopano's Lanes (now StrikeForce Lanes) in his hometown of Oakfield.

Garrett is employed as an electrical engineering technician at MGA Research Corp. in Akron.

In other league action around the Genesee Region USBC, Middleport left-hander Brian Cline continued his stellar bowling with a 280 game and 761 series in the Mancuso Real Estate Doubles League at Mancuso Bowling Center. Cline is averaging over 230 in the league.

For a list of high scores for the week, click on the Pin Points tab at the top of the home page.

Getting their fill: Few residents show to first-time call to fill water totes, more dates set

By Joanne Beck
bethany water tanker nov. 2023
Bethany Town Board member Timothy Embt helps out at the water tanker on Saturday at the town hall parking lot.
Photo by Howard Owens

Jerry Kujawski had no trouble with Saturday’s rule of first-come, first-served to fill up his 300-gallon water tote. In fact, he made a return trip to fill it up a second time to help out a neighbor, and he was only the third or fourth person who had been at Bethany Town Hall to do so for the two-hour fill-up period.

When it seemed as though there would have been dozens of people clamoring for a go at the pump connected to a tanker of water to shore up their dried-up wells, the parking lot was empty most of the time. 

Town Supervisor Carl Hyde Jr. had put out the notice that anyone with no water could get their totes filled between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Saturday at the town hall, and he and members of the Bethany town board and fire department stood at the tanker ready and waiting.

Kujawski, a resident of Bethany for the last 28 years, had never seen a drought this bad, he said, though it’s been steadily getting drier the last three years or so. He had a 300-gallon tote on a trailer and dumped that into his well to be used for necessities in the household and, through reverse osmosis, drinking water.

He then returned to fill it again for a neighbor who didn’t have the means to transport a tote. 

“We've had just a little bit of a drought sometimes in the summertime, and then we wait about a week or two, but other than that, it's just the last three years have been the worst,” he said. “Since the end of July, I’ve been hauling water. I’ve been getting it at Stafford, at the highway department, it’s an 18-mile round trip, sometimes twice a week.”

By comparison, it’s only a couple of miles from his house to Town Hall, where he’ll be able to fill up for the next month while the town has possession of the tanker. New York State Office of Emergency Management drove it from the Albany area filled with 6,700 gallons of water and has loaned it to Bethany for 30 days. Genesee County personnel will transport it for refills, County Manager Matt Landers said Thursday.

“And I appreciate it, I don’t know what I’m gonna do in another month after this leaves, they’ll have to come up with another system, hopefully, for us,” Kujawski said. “This is the worst year that we’ve had, to haul all summer, probably into September or maybe when you get to July and somewhere in there in August … I never had to haul water this long, I’m gonna go towards Christmastime. So it’s kind of crazy.”

Hyde took the low turnout in stride, saying that he was “disappointed, but I’m not disappointed.” 

 “I have several residents who said they were going to come today and get water, they know we're going to be open 11 to one, they know we're doing this, those that show up and get water, get water and those that don't show up, they’re on their own. The town board is here making an honest effort to do something for the residents of Bethany. If they don't take advantage of it, there's nothing we can do about it,” he said. “We're gonna do it again Tuesday between 5 and 5:30 for two hours, and maybe Thursday or Friday, the same thing, we'll know more as we go. It all depends on how much we take out of the tank. Once we get the tank down to zero or close to it, I have to call the county. They're gracious enough to come and get the tanker, haul it into Batavia, fill it and then bring it back. So it all depends on how many show up. Or how many don’t. So when it's empty, it's empty. There's nothing I can do about it for two or three days.”

He has set two more days for fills: 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday and 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday.

Town Board member Diane Fowler is one of the lucky ones with water, but she understands what so many are going through, she said.

“The situation around us is really horrendous for people that have to live without water. And even the people that have water, it may not be drinkable, you know, or it's just eating up their pipes, their appliances, and different things like that. So, to get public water here, this is the biggest water district that we're trying to put in, District Five, and to get this water in will give the majority of Bethany public water, which will make such a difference to improve their lives,” she said. “And I mean, that's what we want to do. We want to make it healthy for people to live here. And people want to come here, that's the next thing. Some people may like the idea of being in a rural community and love the idea of Bethany, because it's what, seven miles to Batavia, seven miles to Le Roy, seven miles to Warsaw. And it's a great place. But when you hear these stories about not having water, then it keeps people away. “

The town applied for a state Water Infrastructure Improvement Assistance grant once and was denied. Another application has been submitted, and town officials are waiting to hear about that, hopefully by the end of the year, Hyde said. The grant would supplement another grant of $16.5 million already obtained to install District Five, which is geographically central to Bethany.

The other option would be to obtain a low-interest loan for the $5 million needed to complete the project, which would be paid for by district residents. 

Meanwhile, town residents have been driving several miles roundtrip to fill totes with water. Firefighter Don Frank thought that perhaps residents hadn’t heard about the tanker and that it would take time for word to get around. 

“We’re going to hit every household with a flyer,” he said. “This is just the beginning of what has to happen. This is going to be a big project.”

Another consideration is that not all residents have a 250- or 500-gallon tote handy, the trailer necessary to haul it behind their vehicle, he said, and the means to empty it into a well. Water is 8.34 pounds per gallon, so a filled 250-gallon tote weighs 2,087 pounds.  

Jeff Fluker, a board member and chief of Bethany Volunteer Fire Department, said there’s a whole other issue that’s at stake with the ongoing drought situation: the potential for not having enough water to fight fires.

“There's a big, big water shortage. So in order to get water, the ponds have now dried up. The ponds are very low, there's hardly anything in the ponds at all,” Fluker said. “So now we’ve got to drive farther away to a hydrant across town to get water from there. Or if there's a creek, a spot in the creek where we can get something in there, maybe, but other than that, it's gonna be a tough goal.” 

Fluker hopes that someone — perhaps Genesee County legislators — will have a plan to help out these areas of highest dehydration. Otherwise, there may come that moment of reality when flames are blazing, and the hose is dry.

“So that’s something that we need to get moving on, yesterday. I don’t know if anybody realizes what it’s like not to have water. I mean, they think they don’t have water for their homes. But what if something happened, a fire comes along, does anybody think about that?” he said. “What’s going to happen there? That’s even worse yet. Now you’re going to be homeless, just because we didn’t have water that probably could have been fixed awhile ago.”

He said that there are discussions happening, but it’s hard to get water with farther drives and “a long, drawn-out process trying to get something done in a short period of time.”

“And it’s, you know, it’s an uphill battle,” he said. “Even in the middle of the winter, you can cut a hole in a pond and get your water out that way. You can’t even do that. You don’t even have water to cut out to get.”

Town Board member Tim Embt feels “very fortunate” that he has water and a water system installed at his home, he said, but also understands that “everybody else here has been fighting this for years and years.”

“I mean, we arguably should have had municipal water here 30 years ago, through the county, but that never happened. So this is where we are today. All we can do in the short term is help people out as best we can and hopefully get the grants from the  State to actually go through with the project as planned without having to bump their taxes up to a reasonable level,” he said. “Because that's the only thing that really concerns me is, I know we have a lot of retirees on fixed incomes in the town here, and that's a lot of money on top of what they're already paying. I understand you’ve gotta have water, I certainly understand that. But unfortunately, in this world, nothing is free.”

All of them said that they will most likely be there for water fills a few times a week, including Saturdays, for the next month. Hyde will issue public notices of future times and dates on The Batavian. 

bethany water tanker nov. 2023
Bethany Town Supervisor Carl Hyde Jr. explains a map of the Bethany water districts and how an acquifier runs all the way around the town property but not on it. 
Photo by Howard Owens
bethany water tanker nov. 2023
Bethany resident Jerry Kujawski fills up his tote with water Saturday morning at Bethany Town Hall.
Photo by Howard Owens
bethany water tanker nov. 2023
Bethany firefighter Don Frank helps out with the water-filling process Saturday.
Photo by Howard Owens
bethany water tanker nov. 2023
Photo by Howard Owens

Top Items on Batavia's List

The City of Batavia is accepting applications for a Full-time Water Treatment Plant Operator/Trainee (Salary $23.65/hr.) This is a trainee position involving responsibility for learning the duties and routines in the operation and maintenance of a water treatment plant.  The work is performed under the immediate supervision of a qualified operator. Does on-the-job training to become qualified as an operator of a water treatment plant. Does related work as required. Applicant must be a graduate of a senior high school or possess a New York State high school equivalency diploma. Please submit a completed Civil Service Application to Human Resources, One Batavia City Centre, Batavia, NY 14020 or tdean@batavianewyork.com. Background check, psychological assessment, physical and drug testing are required. Candidate must become a resident of Genesee County or any adjacent town to the County of Genesee within 6 months of the date of conclusion of the probationary period for the City of Batavia. EEO. Applications can be found at https://www.co.genesee.ny.us
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