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May 18, 2022 - 9:04pm
posted by Press Release in Batavia HS, news, batavia.

Press release:

The Batavia High School Class of 1973 has announced that it will be holding its 50th class reunion on July 8, 2023, at the Batavia Downs Gaming grandstand on Park Road.

The reunion committee will be mailing “save the date” cards over the next few weeks and is looking for the public’s help in finding addresses for 39 members of the class, which graduated 294 students:

Alexander Senovsky, Anthony Scappa, Anna Murphy Rupert;

Barbara Smith, Becky Byrn Schmid, Byron Rodgers;

Cheryl Poteat, Chuck Curd, Ciro Feniello, Crystal Marshall;

Deborah Lee, Deborah Niedzialek, Debra Hale Laird, Dennis Majors, Dennis Tabor, Diane Hale, Donna Mugford;

Frances Kelly Leighton, James Lee, Jamie Richardson Fritz, Judy Porter, Joseph Ball;

Kathleen Lee, Kim Goodrich;

Margaret Cummings Bailey, Michael Stephens, Pamela Richenberg;

Ralph Mullin, Reyburn Campbell, Robin Munt Morgan, Rosemarie Menzie Welty;

Sandra Gaskill, Santa Majors, Sarah Hutton Weinheimer, Steve King, Susan Kitt Crego;

Timothy Mooney, Tom Galbo, Yvonne Rodgers.

Anyone with information about these people is asked to contact Deb Best at [email protected].

May 18, 2022 - 6:39pm
posted by Joanne Beck in news, batavia, Memorial Day, parade.

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File photo of a Memorial Day parade. Photo by Howard Owens.

City Councilman Bob Bialkowski, on behalf of the city, invites all community members, including groups, organizations and, especially, veterans to participate in this year's annual Memorial Day parade. 

"The city of Batavia is sponorsing the parade and looking forward to community support," he says. 

The parade is set to begin at 9:45 a.m. May 30 from Eastown Plaza moving west down Main Street to Bank Street, ending at the Alva Place parking lot. Any groups that would like to participate are asked to contact Bialkowski for planning purposes. He asks for everyone to "please keep the theme of respect to all our veterans and first responders."

Veterans can just show up at 9:15 a.m. May 30 at the Eastown Plaza parking lot on East Main Street, Bialkowski says. If any veteran needs a ride in the parade, or for more information, contact the councilman at (585) 409-3624.

"Let's show our support to our veterans and first responders," Bialkowski says. "Bring your lawn chairs and enjoy our annual parade. We will be handing out small American flags to the children."

 

May 18, 2022 - 3:50pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Mega Properties, batavia, news, Gateway II.

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Mega Properties is planning another massive warehouse for the Gateway II industrial park east of Route 98 in the Town of Batavia.

This time it will be a 200,000 square-foot warehouse available for area retailers to store inventory overstock.

Lucas Bushen, with Marathon Engineering, presented initial plans to the town planning board on Tuesday.  

He said there will be few employees at the warehouse at any one time, so only about 20 parking spaces will be needed.

A full environmental review is required for the building, and the planning board approved a resolution to be the lead agency on the review.

The 22-acre parcel is off of Call Parkway. It will be a Butler Building with typical remanufactured metal building elements: concrete foundation, metal siding, and sloped roof. 

The building will be constructed in phases with Phase One including 71,000 square feet of warehouse space and 3,200 square feet of office space.

There are two ponds on the property. In order to construct the building, one of the ponds will be relocated. There are also two federally designated wetlands on the property.  The wetlands will not be disturbed.

Mega Properties intends to invest more than $3 million into the project.

Mega Properties has long-standing ties to Batavia, having launched in Batavia’s Harvester Business Incubation Center more than 30 years ago. The business is currently based at the Gateway I Corporate Park in the Town of Batavia.

In 2020, just prior to the start of the pandemic, Mega Properties sought financial assistance from GCEDC for the project.  At the time, they were seeking approximately $558,497 in assistance, including a property tax exemption of $400,497, a sales tax exemption of $128,000, and a mortgage tax exemption of $30,000.

There was a public hearing on the request but the application did not go any further because of the disruption of the pandemic.  No announcement has been made yet on when the GCEDC board will next take up the application.

Top photo: Lucas Bushen presents plans for a warehouse off of Call Parkway in the Town of Batavia to the town's planning board. Photo by Howard Owens.  Below, drawings of the project from planning documents.

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May 18, 2022 - 11:18am
posted by Press Release in creek road, batavia, news.

Press release:

Buckeye Partners will be performing maintenance on their pipeline on Creek Road in Batavia beginning Monday, May 23. The road will be closed from 7 a.m. to -5 p.m. and will be reopened every evening to regular traffic. The work is being performed on Creek Road just north of Dorman Road and will last approximately two weeks.

May 18, 2022 - 8:15am
posted by Joanne Beck in news, batavia, notify.

Applications have been coming in for the vacant assistant city manager position as Batavia City Manager Rachael Tabelski formulates the role’s top priorities.

The interview process is set to begin in the next few weeks, she said.

“I’m looking at neighborhood revitalization. It's a very long-term look, but I'm trying to coalesce all the information I've gathered in the different years of working with the county and in the city, and bring this project forward,” Tabelski told The Batavian on Monday. "We'd like to have someone in place by the end of July."

Earlier this month, Jill Wiedrick submitted her resignation letter after being assistant manager for just about a year. She had announced that she was leaving for another job in Fairport.

Tabelski has ideas about what she’d like to assign to the future assistant, and reinvigorating city neighborhoods is the theme. Her top two goals are to preserve the tax base and eliminate blight, she said.

“The ideas I have about neighborhood revitalization include the possibility of looking at our zoning, looking at flood properties, and how we can bring more value to southside neighborhoods,” she said. “Understanding if there are problems in neighborhoods, and what changes in our code could be implemented to help mitigate those types of problems, helping residents stay in their homes and not be foreclosed on.”

She’d like that new person to understand the various types of programs available for assistance to property owners, and know where “zombie” properties are, along with working with banks to stabilize those properties on a “path to homeownership,” she said.

The term zombie properties was coined for those sites that become stagnant due to the prior owners defaulting on payments and the banking institution locking it down in ongoing legal procedures before the city can claim foreclosure. That has also created issues with landscape maintenance -- or lack thereof -- as the particular property remains in limbo with no one specifically responsible for it.

“Because they do cause a drastic effect on neighboring properties when you do have a vacant property in your neighborhood,” Tabelski said. “And lastly, looking into different land banks and how other communities have used those to move property forward, as well as continuing to work with Habitat for Humanity.

"So this is a very multi-prong strategy and (the future assistant is) going to have other ideas than the ones I presented. And that's what I want their first big job to be, is coming up with defining the strategy today, a strategy which would have multiple paths on it to help Batavia’s neighborhoods, and then starting the execution of those plans into the future.”

 

May 18, 2022 - 8:00am
posted by Joanne Beck in news, batavia, comprehensive plan, notify.

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Post-Covid conditions, higher wages, a smaller pool of candidates and veteran worker retirements makes being an employer all the more difficult, Rachael Tabelski says.

“It's just something for investors, government officials and the business community alike to be aware of. We're seeing inflation, you see interest rates rising, we're seeing rising wages and across all sectors, making it very difficult to be in the business of government, where you're hampered by union negotiations and contracts and set wages,” she said during Monday’s City Planning Board meeting. “We're seeing competition for jobs that's different than we've ever seen before. There are so many issues facing employers today. We’re living through a time like no other.”

Her point was not to dole out a big bowl of doom for the city, but to lay out the issues that have become more prevalent. Tabelski’s presentation was an update of the city’s comprehensive plan from its last draft in 2017.

COVID aftermath …
Easing up COVID mandates has also meant the end of child tax credits, remote jobs and direct stimulus checks and resuming rent and utility payments for tenants, evictions and foreclosures, she said. The city has also experienced what she dubbed “the silver tsunami,” a term to describe the retirement of three experienced members of the Public Works Department, and their replacements “trying to get up to speed.”

“And you know, my question that none of us can find the answer to is, will this change the workplace permanently? We just don't know,” she said. “I wanted to just remind everyone on the framework of what we're dealing with in the city.”

Leading the way on lead replacement …
One “enormous” task — that’s an understatement — will be replacing lead water pipes, she said.

“This is an emerging issue that's going to take a lot of time away from our staff, and including myself, to work on a communication plan with the residents and try to (help them) understand,” she said. “So you have the water main, and then you have a lateral that goes through a curve box; this is all city-owned. Then you have the line that goes into your residence, that's all residential owned. So if there's a lead or galvanized pipe in any portion of that system, it now needs to be replaced.”

No, this isn’t happening tomorrow,  she said but must be done at some point. Communication with affected residents, obtaining grant monies, understanding the full scope of the project, figuring out financing and viable funding sources all need to be done before pipe replacement can occur. The city of Buffalo has committed in the neighborhood of $15 million for its replacement project, she said.

“This is something that is going to be an enormous project for the city to undertake … it's something we're working on. And we are going to be starting with (former City Manager) Jason's plans. So again, this wasn't something we knew about in 2017. It wasn't on our radar. But I think it's very important that it's on the radar now,” she said.

And the upside …
All of that being said, she also pointed to the positives of city projects, total investments and being able to track those investments as part of a “$100 million I’m all in” initiative that began with former City Manager Jason Molino. In 2017, the city committed to creating at least $100 million of investment by 2022 to revitalize downtown and “reclaim the vibrancy of Batavia.”

“And the goal of this was to try to extract the investment from not only the commercial and residential building projects that went on in the city, but also any public infrastructure monies that were spent in the city,” she said. “We have $132 million invested, and that includes the completed investments and those currently under construction added together. So I think the city has done a wonderful job of fostering this investment and also tracking it. I don't know that any other city has a similar tracking system as we do.”

The most significant contributing properties to the city’s tax base are all downtown, she said, which demonstrates the importance of focusing on that segment of the city. Of the entire city base with 5,700 properties, 75 percent of those are taxable, with 25 percent being tax-exempt nonprofit and government sites. Current taxable value is at $669 million, with $220 million tax-exempt. She reminded the board that those tax-exempt properties “still pay water and sewer costs.”

The city lags behind the town of Batavia with a growth in assessed value at 26 percent to 49 percent, respectively. Completed projects from the 2017 comprehensive plans include Ellicott Trail, a downtown revitalization initiative, the commencement of the Ellicott Station project, securing infrastructures grants, building Liberty Square apartment complex, and focusing on upper floor apartments.

“We secured a lot of infrastructure grants over the last few years. Liberty Square was built so that addresses housing for all different types of populations. Our upper floor apartments have been built, a lot of the building fund projects that were part of the DRI and through another subsequent Main Street Grant,” she said.

Projects that are in-progress and not yet completed include tree management — ensuring to replace trees that are removed from the city landscape with trees of varying species and are appropriate for the local climate; creating an inclusive venue at Austin Park so that “all children” can play there; integrate “traffic calming techniques” for busy roadways such as Route 63/Ellicott Street; lead pipeline replacement; and reimagining properties within the flood plain, she said. Yet to be tapped are plans to design decorative crosswalks, pedestrian scale lighting, create a park and recreation master plan and update zoning to reflect comprehensive plan recommendations.

“I think tonight was nice to give an update to the planning committee who worked on the comprehensive plan,” Tabelski said after the meeting. “And just showing how much progress has been made in the last five or six years here in our city. But yet, there's a lot more things that still need to be done. And this group really has been through many of the planning initiatives and are here to help with the execution as well.”

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Top photo: City Manager Rachael Tabelski presents an update on the comprehensive plan during Monday's Planning Board meeting. Photo by Joanne Beck. Above illustrates the varying percentages that city residents are taxed, from 23 percent for city property taxes to 53 percent for school taxes. Image provided by the City of Batavia.

May 17, 2022 - 11:56pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify.
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Benito Gay

Batavia PD responded to Subway, 412 E. Main St., at 5:56 p.m. after receiving a report of a robbery in progress, and upon arrival learned the suspect had fled in an easterly direction.

After obtaining a description of the suspect, officers located a man matching the description at an apartment complex on East Main.  He was taken into custody and identified as Benito A. Gay, 34, of Batavia.

He is charged with robbery and another unspecified charge. He was arraigned in City Court and ordered held without bail.

There were no weapons displayed during the robbery, police said. 

Additional evidence was recovered after Gay's arrest, according to police. 

He is scheduled to appear in City Court again at 1:30 p.m. May 19.

Gay has other prior arrests in Batavia, most recently in March when he was accused of stealing three beers from the Kwik Fill at Jackson and Ellicott.

May 17, 2022 - 7:00pm


PALERMO & BATAVIA DOWNS TEAM UP for BRUCE in the USA CONCERT BRUCE in the USA is The World’s #1 Tribute Band to Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band as they team up with the Ricky Palermo Foundation and Batavia Downs Gaming on Friday, June 10. Donations from our event will be going to our local UMMC Hospital (Rochester Regional Health’s-Batavia Branch) and our FES (Functional Electrical Stimulation) Bike Program that will be part of the brand-new Batavia YMCA, which is expected to be breaking ground any day now.

We are honored to be partnering with Batavia Downs Gaming, so if you would like to have a fun night and pitch-in to support our local Hospital and brand new YMCA, come and join us at Batavia Downs Gaming.

Now in its fifth year as a concert venue, Batavia Downs has been averaging about 3000 to 5000 concertgoers per show as part of their Rockin The Downs Concert Series. Although our Concert is not part of this series and tickets must be purchased separately, we are hoping to draw the same kind of crowd with our Nationally recognized headliner Bruce In The USA and local guests including 97 Rock’s Dave “DJ” Jickster and Comedian Nick Marra. As an added bonus from our friends at Batavia Downs everyone that buys a ticket will receive a $15 free play. Tickets from $15 to $75. “Wouldn’t it be amazing if a bunch of the concertgoers went back inside at the end of the night and won lots of money, with their free play”?

Tickets are selling nicely so if you want to look into joining our concert you can go to my site www.RickyPalermofoundation.org OR go to EVENTS while looking on the Batavia Downs concerts website. Check out our poster and if you have any questions, contact Ricky at: 585-739-8522 or [email protected]

 

May 17, 2022 - 5:14pm
posted by Joanne Beck in news, Genesee County Jail, batavia, notify.

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Aside from the brick-and-mortar details of constructing a new, 184-bed Genesee County jail facility, Senior Project Superintendent Randy Babbitt offered a reminder Monday about what’s most important.

“My top priority is safety. Safety, safety, safety is paramount with me. I want everyone returning home the same way they show up every day. And we all have families, kids, grandkids. So that's one of the biggest things I stress to the guys: safety first,” Babbitt said during the first update given to the Public Services Committee. “And then I go into quality and a lot of other things, but my main concern for my walk is to be safe every day. So please be assured that's gonna be on the top.”

Most of the contractors have provided their own site-specific safety plan, reviewed and approved by Pike company's corporate safety director, Bollin said. It's also been reviewed and approved by Senior Project Manager Carl York.

“They did submit one to us, and we kicked it back because they didn't address a few things that we want to address,” Bollin said. “They are complying with their safety plan that they have submitted, and everything is off to a good start.”

York outlined work that has been completed and future ongoing collaboration.

“We're collecting everybody's detailed schedules that will go in … we’re gonna start having our project manager meetings every week, starting next week, and our coordination meetings with the contractors coordinating all of the MEPs for all the buildings are also starting next week. And both of those will go on every week until their coordination tasks are completed,” York said. "Randy's on-site superintendent meetings will probably start in about another two, three weeks or so when there's a few more subs working on site. Everybody's very eager to get as much done before the snow flies. We're all very excited to be here. And I'm very eager. You're going to see it's smooth (moving) forward.”

Work has begun at the site of the new larger jail on West Main Street Road next to County Building 2. Equipment at the site will be a mainstay for several months, with a final completion date to be in March 2024, Bollin said. 

He reviewed what’s already been approved — six prior packages with contractors Bayside Paving for site work, LeChase Construction Services as general contractor, Joseph Flihan Company for food services equipment work, Thurston Dudek for plumbing and fire protection, Bell Mechanical Contractor for heating, ventilation and air conditioning, Kaplan-Schmidt for electrical and security electronics work and a seventh contract with CME Associates, which is to provide special inspections and testing.

Bayside paving began “mobilization” earlier this month, with temporary fencing, soil erosion control, clearing and grubbing construction entrances that were completed on May 13. Stripping topsoil began that same day, Bollin said.

The notice to proceed was issued to all contractors on Monday, he said.

“It was dated today. Based on the timeframe that we gave the contractors to complete the project, a substantive date for substantial completion will be Jan. 14, 2024. The date for final completion is March 15, 2024,” he said.

Given this has been a project in the making for at least five years, it was a drum-roll moment as he announced an official groundbreaking ceremony date has been set. Genesee County officials will celebrate the jail’s formal inception at 10 a.m. on May 26.

All private contracts have been fully executed and both Genesee County and the contractors have signed them, he said. The latest agreement with CME Associates is being drafted, he said. All forms, payment bonds and insurance have been provided by all of the contractors and have been “carefully reviewed by Genesee County’s insurance agent and Pike's risk management department,” he said.

He said the contracts are signed for a total project cost of $57,272,800. 

Top photo: 2022 File photo by Howard Owens

May 16, 2022 - 10:59pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Society of Artists, batavia, arts, news.

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The Batavia Society of Artists' Member Spring Art Show opened last week at the Richmond Memorial Library's Gallery Room, 19 Ross St., Batavia.

The event included awarding the Virginia Carr-Mumford Scholarship to Ben Wilkins.

Submitted photos.

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Richard Ellingham, 1st place and two honorable mentions.

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Adrian Morris donated his painting to raffle off for the BSA.

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Brian Kemp, 3rd Place

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Julie Lambert, honorable mention

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Nicole Greenbaum, honorable mention

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David Burke, honorable mention

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Julie Jensen, honorable mention

May 16, 2022 - 5:40pm
posted by Joanne Beck in news, batavia, City Schools, notify.

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Something you may not know about Jason Smith is that he didn’t aspire to be a school district superintendent.

In fact, his current role as head of Batavia City Schools just sort of happened with a suggestion that he should consider the next position, he says.

“The thing is there's nothing I've ever aspired to, it's kind of come to me, it's been a calling," Smith said during an interview with The Batavian. "When I was a teacher I never had any aspiration to be a superintendent. I was happy as a teacher. I was happy as an assistant principal. I was happy as a principal. I was happy as a superintendent in Lyndonville. I'm happy to be here."

His response was to one of several questions asked by The Batavian for an update on how his current role as Batavia City Schools superintendent has been going since he began Jan. 1 of this year. Smith has been a multi-district educator, going from Albion to Elba to Lyndonville, and now to Batavia.

Jack of all trades ...
He feels that he can connect with most anyone given his myriad of interests. The 50-year-old city resident plays the trombone, studies and snaps photos of birds, likes to run and participate in 5Ks, enjoys watching sports — he's a big Buffalo Bills fan — majored in history at college, and is a huge Bruce Springsteen and movie fan, especially Oscar winners.

It’s that kind of versatility that helps him to go from talking baseball and a budget to plumbing and roofing problems, he said. He has tried to finesse the art of knowing at least a little about a lot of various subjects, he said.

Jason Smith goes back to school ...
A 1990 Batavia High School graduate, Smith shared how he reminisced while walking down those Blue Devil hallways once again. He received a quick tour on his first official Monday, Jan. 3, and then did some reminiscing on a snow day later that week. He remembered classes, teachers — Mr. Trosey from English class and Mr. Hay from band -- and old friendships -- checked out the Athletic Hall of Fame and came upon fond memories.

"I walked through the hallways by myself and I tried to realign myself to the classes that I had. And as I was doing it, I was texting a couple of my friends I'm still friends with from high school, about the different spots I found. I found my old locker. I wanted to get reacclimatized to the school as a new student would,” he said. “That really wasn't my first memory because it was the first three days or so I was touring all the schools and meeting all the students and staff. And then I thought I had some time Thursday to kind of walk through very peacefully. And I just found it special for me to be back here in this capacity. I had time to kind of pause, you know, that the process of getting the job itself was very exciting. But then I had time to pause."

Smith picked up a glass crystal apple from the corner of his desk. Mr. Trosey had sent it to him following one of Smith’s opening day speeches that included credits to teachers, including Trosey, who had impacted his school career. It’s by far not alone in his collection of memorabilia. One tall bookshelf is full of notes from students and other school tidbits, plus, of course, his trombone, and there's a row of school programs that he has saved. "I'm very proud of those," he said.

Several minutes into the interview and the gloves came off: did you ever get into trouble at school Mr. Smith?

His initial answer was no, however, upon further reflection, Smith recalled when band teacher Mr. Hay “had to have a talk with me.”

“When I was a sophomore, I got my driver's license. And I was like the band treasurer or something. I was only 16 as a sophomore. So I had a car, and I was having fun driving students back and forth to home," he said. "And Mr. Hay had to pull me aside and have a talk with me: ‘Jason, I made you the treasurer for a reason. You've been unfocused.’ I'm sure that no, I didn't get in trouble. But I did have a couple of talks ensue from Mr. Hay.”

Smith often eats lunch with students and said that his old favorite was taco pizza and chocolate milk. “It still is,” he said, adding that chicken poppers and a frosted cookie for his sweet tooth also make the list. One thing you wouldn’t have found on his tray back then was broccoli, he admitted.

A little personal with professional ...
Smith has previously mentioned that he takes care of himself by getting “all of the proper components,” such as running four to five times a week, trying to watch what he eats, playing his trombone, enjoying movies, his family, the two dogs, and birds that frequent his back yard bird feeders. Family includes his wife Lori, daughter Megan, a 2020 BHS graduate, son Matthew, a BHS senior, and eighth-grade daughter Madeline. Megan may be following in dad’s footsteps by pursuing teaching at Niagara University, while Matthew wasn’t quite as excited to have his father at school as dad was, Smith said.

“I think it's fun. You know, he's enjoying his senior year. So I try to be respectful of that, but … the first day or so he wasn't so crazy about it," Smith said. "So as I said, ‘just embrace it. You know I'm here. Just in person.’”

Cooper, the family’s boxer lab mix, got a companion when the Smiths adopted Carol, a foxhound, in January. She was born in a litter named after The Brady Bunch sitcom characters, however, she was renamed from Marsha to Carol, because “we liked Carol better.”

“I enjoy walking and playing with them and try to have balance,” Smith said.

Part of his “entry process” as superintendent meant visiting with many people throughout the school district for a few months. He asked them to describe the school district in one word and found some of the answers a pleasant surprise. Words such as diversity, resilient, pride and supportive popped up.

Actually, there wasn’t really anything that surprised him as much as they “kind of also reaffirmed what I've already thought walking into the district.”

“They said things like pride, inclusive. I was proud to hear those words,” he said.

What's been the most challenging task since he started here? Being accessible to the 450 staff members and more than 2,000 students districtwide, he said.

“So a challenge I've had, and I’ve tried to overcome this by making myself accessible at games and concerts, was getting to know as many people as possible," he said. "And at smaller districts that were just as important to do. So I build time into going to as many things as I can.”

Does that ever get tiresome, having to attend so many public outings?

“It’s all I've known. It's just how I do business, you know? It's one of the pieces that people have in common as the board watches … they want to see visible superintendents in town. So it's not hard for me I don't find it challenging. I accepted it, and it's just part of my lifestyle now,” he said. “And I enjoy it. I'm going to the baseball game this afternoon. I tried to have a policy like this, as to what's going on, from pre-K all the way up to a senior baseball game.”

The public may not have connected a series of bird photos published on The Batavian as being from Jason Smith, superintendent of BCSD. His love of birds began with two parakeets he had as a kid. When he left as principal of Elba in 2011, Smith was given a bird feeder as a present because he had talked about birds. Smith now has some five bird feeders stationed at his southside home, he said. His grandfather loved birds and Smith has followed suit, to the point where he takes and submits photos consistently, compares notes about the feathered creatures with a neighbor, and generally enjoys watching them.

“It’s that moment of peace, I think,” he said.

Time to discuss the 2022-23 budget for a minute. The $54.8 million proposed budget includes an increase of $2.7 million in spending and a related 1 percent increase in the tax levy. Some social media posts have depicted voters as angry about the tax levy increase and have advocated a no vote on May 17. How do you reply to that?

“I want to say that this is not new territory for me. I recognize the challenges of building a school budget. I stand by my teeter-totter analogy and we want to have that piece there. So I would respond to that, we are conscientious of that, our board is very conscientious of that. But our board is also very conscientious of having to address the needs of our students, and ensuring we have staff and programs in place to support their needs. As I said at the board meeting last week, try to imagine a school without the (nonmandated programs). We don't have to have marching band, we don't have to have football. We want those things; those things are important.”

“So we have to balance those pieces out; it certainly ties into the social-emotional learning needs. So I would say it's a balancing act. And it's a partnership, and we recognize that. There's a task that was put in place for a reason. We recognize that, we respect that. We recognize the challenges that go into that. But we also have an obligation.”

I have neighbors that recognize the balance. And as a matter of fact, I had a conversation with one of my neighbors ... and she wanted to make sure we're still going to have good things for kids. So there's that side of it too. That's the teeter-totter," he said. "That's what I wrote in my newsletter. It's a balancing act and a partnership."

Looking ahead ...
What are your goals moving into 2023?

"We're going to announce a strategic plan in July. So Dr. Cory has been facilitating that process, we recommit the team, we're going to announce goals in June," he said. Each school is going to have its own goals that are aligned to pieces ... with respect to academic learning loss, social-emotional learning, and stronger professional collaboration with our teachers. We're forming shared decision-making teams at the building level ... So that's ongoing, I'm really excited about that, and really excited to have the opportunity to finish up this year. And then we're going to have some intense goal planning sessions this summer."

While Smith has always been proud of the district’s graduation rates — currently at 92 percent — he said there’s something equally important to leaving school with a diploma. He wants to know that students are going to look outside of themselves, be analytical thinkers and discerning readers that go beyond Facebook posts and article headlines before deciding on an issue.

"Two things that I want them to be able to do," he said. "Think critically and be good citizens."

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Top photo: Batavia City Schools Superintendent Jason Smith shows some of the items he has collected and keeps in his office. Photo by Joanne Beck. Photo above was taken by Smith in his backyard.

May 16, 2022 - 11:16am

Agenda items including a renewal of five additional seasonal sheriff’s deputies, a budget amendment for additional law enforcement patrols in the village of Bergen and revising language for a prisoner housing contract with Wyoming County are on tap for this afternoon’s Genesee County Public Services Committee meeting.

The meeting is set for 4:30 p.m. in the Legislative Conference Room of the Old Court House at 7 Main St., Batavia.

Other agenda items include reviews of a bid award for highway/tractor equipment, grant acceptance of a countywide water/intermunicipal grant, a 2022 budget amendment for highway construction and the reappointment of Highway Superintendent Timothy Hens.

May 16, 2022 - 9:10am
posted by Press Release in Mr. Batavia, news, Batavia HS, batavia.

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Press release:

Six students from Batavia High School are set to compete for the title of “Mr. Batavia” at the 9th annual competition being held on Friday, May 20, at 7 pm in the Batavia High School Auditorium. 

The students compete in multiple rounds of the event, and all money raised from ticket sales and donations is given to the top three winners’ charities. Since 2013, the annual event has raised $28,822 for local organizations.  

This year’s contestants are: 

  • Jack Bruggman representing Crossroads House
  • Noah Burke representing the Juvenile Arthritis Foundation
  • Nicholas Grover representing Habitat for Humanity
  • Andrew Kasmarek representing Genesee Cancer Assistance
  • Lucas Radley representing the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of WNY
  • Matt Smith representing the Michael Napoleon Foundation

Tickets are $10 each and will be sold to students during school lunch the week of May 16 and at the door for the community. 

BCSD would like to thank the Batavia City School Foundation for their help and support in collecting and distributing funds to the local organizations. Additional thanks to: Charles Men’s Shop, Extreme Streetwear, Beverly's Florist and Gift Shop, Main Street Pizza, Blink of an Eye Photography, Steve Ognibene Photography, and participating charities for their continued support of the community.

May 15, 2022 - 11:06pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Resurrection Parish, batavia, news, religion.

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Eight children had their first communion today at Resurrection Parish.

Photo submitted by Jason Smith.

May 15, 2022 - 10:56pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in birds, batavia, news.

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Jason Smith submitted this photo of male and female grosbeaks at his backyard feeder in Batavia.

May 15, 2022 - 10:51pm

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The Blue Devils jumped to an early lead; Notre Dame came charging back but could never pull ahead, leading to a 10-9 victory and the 2022 Rotary Tournament trophy at Dwyer Stadium on Saturday night.

The Fighting Irish were down 8-0 after 2 1/2 frames, then scored two runs in the third, five in the fourth (after Batavia tacked on two more in each of their half of the middle innings to reach 10 runs), one in the fifth, and one in the seventh.

Vincent Graziolplene and Mekhi Fortes each picked up two hits for Batavia. Graziolplene also had two RBIs as did Dan Dombrowski.  Cole Grazioplene scored three runs and Fortes scored twice.

Jesse Reinhart tossed 3 2/3 innings, giving up three hits and seven runs (four earned) and striking out five to pick up the win. 

For Notre Dame, Jay Antinore had three hits and scored twice. Vincent DiRisio was 1-4 with two runs scored and two RBIs. Gavin Schrader scored two runs and had a hit.  Ryan Fitzpatrick scored twice.

Fitzpatrick was the starting pitcher for Notre Dame and took the loss, giving up four hits and seven runs (three earned). 

Photos by Pete Welker

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Vince Grazioplene was selected tournament MVP.

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May 14, 2022 - 1:07am
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, batavia, news, notify.

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All of the occupants of a residence at 29 Montclair Ave., Batavia, safely escaped a house fire that was reported at 8:53 p.m., Friday.

City Fire responded to the structure fire and upon arrival found a large volume of fire from the front to the two-and-a-half story, single-family home.

Fire crews knocked down the bulk of the fire and entered the home to find fire on the first and second floors and extending into the attic, according to Interim Fire Chief Daniel Herberger. 

Crews were initially hampered by downed power lines and difficult access to the rear of the house.

Several occupants were home at the time the fire was reported, Herberger said.  None were injured.

The American Red Cross is assisting one resident.

 

A firefighter was transported to UMMC by fire department personnel with heat exhaustion.

City Fire and Batavia PD are conducting a joint investigation to determine the cause of the fire.

City Water, Town of Batavia Fire, Alexander Fire, Elba Fire, Emergency Dispatch, National Grid, and National Fuel all assisted in the operation.

Photos by Alecia Kaus/Video News Service.

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May 13, 2022 - 3:00pm


25 North Pointe Drive, Batavia. This tasteful townhome has been completely redone (2018-19) and no expense spared. This home welcomes you with a skylit entry and stylish finishes. Uniformed light flooring carries you through to a dining & living space with high vaulted ceilings, generous lighting for any mood and a quaint enclosed sunroom. The gem of the home has a timeless white kitchen boasting with ample cabinetry, beautifully unique diamond backsplash, quartz countertops & wide floor tiles. The same pleasing design is carried through the main bath. The perfectly private master En-suite encompasses a broad vanity, ageless backsplash, dual sinks, abundant natural lighting, and walk-in closet storage. This home was also designed to be energy efficient with LED lighting, LG kitchen appliance suite and Samsung washer and dryer units. This one is truly a move-in ready home and you can relax on your back patio while all of the exterior maintenance is done for you! Call Sabrina McGinnis today! Click here for more information on this listing.

May 13, 2022 - 1:32pm
posted by Press Release in BCSD Foundation, Batavia HS, batavia, news, education, schools.

Press release:

Nominations are being accepted for the 2022 BCSD Foundation, Inc. Scholarship.   This scholarship will be awarded to a graduating Senior from Batavia High School.  The nominee has been successful in their educational program and has sought out skills to further their career.  In addition, they exemplify our Batavia school culture and climate of “Be Respectful, Be Responsible, Be Safe, Be Connected and Be Ambitious.”

Any local community member may nominate a Batavia HS Senior who meets the above criteria.  Nomination forms are available on the Batavia City School District website, https://www.bataviacsd.org/page/bcsd-foundation. You may complete the Google Form or the pdf document to nominate a deserving Senior.  All nominations need to be received by May 27, 2022.

A copy of the nomination form is attached to this press release.                 

May 13, 2022 - 9:31am
posted by Press Release in batavia, fairgrounds, anti-rabies clinic, news.

Press release:

The Genesee County Health Department will be hosting a FREE drive-thru anti-rabies immunization clinic on Thursday, May 19th, from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Genesee County Fairgrounds (5056 East Main Street, Batavia).

“We encourage all residents to take advantage of this opportunity to make sure that their animals are immunized against rabies and that the vaccinations are kept up to date,” stated Paul Pettit, Public Health Director for Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments (GO Health). “Rabies is a preventable viral disease most often transmitted through the bite of a rabid animal. Please leave wildlife alone and do not feed, touch, or adopt wild animals (including baby wild animals), stray dogs or cats.”

Vaccinations are free for dogs, cats and ferrets, but voluntary donations are accepted. Animals must be at least 3 months old. Each animal must be leashed or crated and accompanied by an adult who can control the animal—limit 4 pets per car maximum.

To save you time, please click here to fill out your registration form in advance. Be sure to print out two copies for each pet to be vaccinated and bring them with you to the clinic.

The next anti-rabies immunization clinics are as follows:

  • Genesee County Clinics at the Genesee County Fairgrounds (5056 East Main Street, Batavia, NY)
    • Thursday, August 11th, 2022, from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
    • Thursday, September 15th, 2022, from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
    • Thursday, October 13th, 2022, from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
  • Orleans County Clinics at the Orleans County Fairgrounds (12690 Rt. 31, Albion, NY)
    • Saturday, June 4th, 2022, from 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
    • Saturday, August 13th, 2022, from 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
    • Saturday, October 15th, 2022, from 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

For more information on Health Department services, visit GOHealthNY.org or call 589-3278 for Orleans County or 585-344-2580 ext. 5555 for Genesee County.

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