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June 23, 2022 - 4:48pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in solar farm, Cypress Creek Renewables LLC, batavia, news.

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Three poles at each entrance of a pair of proposed solar projects off of Ellicott Street Road in the Town of Batavia will be less of an eyesore than four, members of the town planning board decided on Tuesday.

At one time, the developer, Cypress Creek Renewables, proposed four poles.

At Tuesday's meeting, project attorney Mark T. Sweeney, after a lengthy discussion of the topic, asked the planning board to commit to three poles if that is truly their desire.

"What we would ask then is that the board clarify the condition of approval to require us to have a maximum of three poles per project," Sweeney said. "Then we can agree, we can accept that and redo a redesign for that. What we really need tonight is to be able to walk away knowing what it is we have to do. So that would be my ask of you as a board is to clarify and modify that condition of approval so that we can do that."

The number of poles is not a straightforward design decision, Sweeney explained during Tuesday's discussion.  The equipment that is mounted on the poles can be placed on the ground but at much greater expense.  The design must be approved by National Grid. The ground-mounted equipment is big and bulky and must be fenced in. And ground-mounted equipment is a special order and supply issues are delaying delivery.

Introduced in June 2019, the proposal from Cypress Creek Renewables LLC calls for the construction of two solar farms on property owned by Don Partridge at 5117 Ellicott Street Road.

  • A 5-megawatt array on 18.2 acres of a 65-acre parcel of otherwise agricultural land, known as Trousdale Solar I;
  • A 4-megawatt system on 19.6 acres of a 71-acre parcel of otherwise agricultural land, known as Trousdale Solar II.

The four-pole plan Cypress Creek came up with for each project -- and that received a nod of approval from National Grid -- helped the company balance competing factors and the company sought to maintain that balance, Sweeney said. 

"There's a balance, you know, in what SEQR requires," Sweeney said. "The site plan evaluation requires a balance of the impacts versus the cost. One of the things we were looking at is just that element of it. I understand if there's a particular impact that is to be avoided, or identified that we weren't aware of, that's one thing, but just simply ground-mounting something at a significant cost would be -- for no significant benefit to the environment, from a visual standpoint -- would be in our position, something we've tried to avoid. "

When the equipment is ground-mounted, it must be placed on a two-foot-high base, Sweeney said. The equipment enclosure is six feet tall.  And because it is electrical equipment, it must be surrounded by a fence. 

"You do have some residual visual impact resulting from that installation," Sweeney said.

Board members asked why there couldn't be three poles at each location since other solar projects have been able to meet that requirement. 

Sweeney said he couldn't answer that question.

"I understand completely where you're coming from, and having consistency with other projects," Sweeney said. "I don't know why those projects have three. I don't know what their equipment lineup is. I assume that it's substantially similar, but it might be different. The project size might be different panel types, inverter types -- there's a whole level of engineering that goes into what may cause the number to be different. It could be that it could have been an earlier project that got a higher incentive from NYSERDA by being in a different block. So they had more money available to spend on that type of thing. There may not have been any landscaping associated with that project. They could take the money from the landscaping budget and put it into that. There are all kinds of different things of which we're not aware."

To help mitigate the visual disturbance of four poles, the poles were designed to be back from the roadway and screened from view by landscaping.

In the end, board members decided they would rather see only three poles on each site.

"I think even four poles with all the lines and all the stuff hanging out from them, it's just going to be an eyesore, not only for people who live there, but just driving by," said board member Jonathan Long. "It just doesn't fit in with the character of the neighborhood. In my opinion, saying that it's a cost to the project is, in my opinion --  this is going to be there 20-plus years, part of the scenery there; it's not going to go away. So the upfront costs are minor compared to long-term impacts."

Once Sweeney said he would like board action affirming they would accept three poles instead of four, a motion was made and passed.

Photo: Bridget Cuddihy, project developer for Cypress Creek, and Mark Sweeney, project attorney. Photo by Howard Owens.

Previously: 

June 23, 2022 - 2:05pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Country Meadows, batavia, land use, news, notify, Stringham Drive.

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A public hearing is not required for approval of a 76-unit expansion of the Country Meadows housing community at 5121 Clinton Street Road, Batavia, but since some residents of Stringham Drive might be concerned about it, the Town of Batavia Planning Board agreed at Tuesday's meeting to hold a hearing.

A public hearing requires notification to neighboring residents and gives them an opportunity to express concerns or ask questions.

The hearing will be at 7 p.m., July 19 at the Batavia Town Hall.

Country Meadows is operated by Rochester MHP Portfolio LLC and owner Jeffrey Cook.  It currently contains 174 manufactured homes.

Stringham Drive is immediately to the south of the 75-acre parcel.

Engineer Glenn F. Thornton presented the development plans to the board on Tuesday and said steps are being taken to address any potential concerns of Stringham Drive residents.  

He said there is an additional 50 feet of separation between the new home lots and the property lines of Stringham Drive homes.

"It's heavily vegetated over there (along the southern boundary of the development), so we're proposing to leave all of the vegetation in place to kind of screen the two properties from each other," Thornton said.

The new lots will be slightly more spacious than the existing lots, he said. The current lots are about four to an acre, he said.  The new lots will be 2.5 per acre.

Much of the reason for the larger lots are the constraints imposed by the geography and infrastructure of the area being developed.   There needs to be proper stormwater drainage and there is an existing "fairly wide" town sanitary sewer easement through the property.

"I think everything we're proposing is within the 6,000 square foot minimum lot size," Thornton said. "The separations between the homes, the setbacks from the property lines, I believe everything is code compliant, so we're not looking for any variances."

Much of the discussion Tuesday was about stormwater drainage.  The plan includes a swale, already a natural feature of the property, to drain water into a retention pond so it can be slowly drained into the town's stormwater drainage system, as well as berms to help channel runoff.

The new development will not increase runoff on Stringham Drive, Thornton said.

"Stringham Drive's drainage is coming our way actually," Thornton said. "We're actually capturing the runoff from Stringham Drive that's coming out on our property and routing it around our home sites, trying to get it up into this swale (pointing to an architectural drawing) up in here. Really, anything within the development area we have to capture and route into our stormwater management areas. So anything we have is going into those areas where we'll mitigate the flow to existing conditions as it leaves the property."

There are currently three driveways serving the development.

Planning documents submitted by Thornton's firm state there will not be a significant increase in traffic as a result of the additional pre-manufactured homes. It states there will be 275 additional vehicle trips daily, with 19 additional trips during the peak morning hour and 42 during the peak afternoon hour, and most of those trips through the property's western driveway.

That driveway can easily accommodate the additional traffic, the report states.

Photo: Glenn Thornton. Photo by Howard Owens.

June 23, 2022 - 12:26pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Concert Band, batavia, Centennial Park, news, notify.

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The Batavia Concert Band opened its 96th season on a perfect evening in Centennial Park on Wednesday with a tribute to long-time member Bob Knipe and a thank you to its 2022 sponsors, including (but not limited to) GO ART!, Brighton Securities, WBTA, and the Batavia Rotary Club.

Upcoming concerts are at 7 p.m. on July 27, July 6, July 13, July 20, July 27, and Aug. 6.

The July 3 concert will feature soloist Dave Hollenbeck, as part of the Pam Frisby Memorial Concert Series.  

The July 27 concert will be conducted by Batavia native and resident Joshua Pacino, current music teacher at Notre Dame.

Returning for his ninth season as conductor is John Bailey, Instrumental Music teacher at Pembroke Central School District and the organization is under the leadership of General Manager Jason Smith.

The concerts in the park are free.

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June 23, 2022 - 8:20am

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Rendering by JMZ Architects and Planners for the new Student Success Center, shows the Conable Technology Building, to the far right, which is slated for a new roof.

It looks like Genesee Community College will be getting a new turf field, cooling tower, arts center connector and a roof for Conable Technology Building, with half of it to be paid for by Genesee County.

The county Legislature approved the request for 50 percent funding — $1.3 million — of the college’s capital projects during its Wednesday meeting.

The projects are to cost $950,000 for the turf field; $1.06 million for a new roof; $410,000 for cooling tower; and $180,000 for the  Arts Center connector replacement for a total of $2.6 million. The Legislature had committed to paying for half in November 2021, and the bill has been delivered. The county’s Ways & Means Committee had previously reviewed and recommended that the county pony up for the expense.

During talks last fall, college President James Sunser had called the projects “long-standing critical needs,” and urged the Legislature to enter into a 50-50 agreement to pay for them. The projects are part of GCC’s Facilities Master Plan, which was approved by the college’s Board of Trustees before being submitted to Genesee County and New York State’s Dormitory Authority. If the county committed to paying for half, the state would do likewise, Sunser had said.

The turf field will be a replacement for the nearly 13-year-old soccer and lacrosse field adjacent to Richard C. Call Arena; a new cooling tower would replace one that is “well past its useful life,”while an updated connective corridor will be situated between original buildings, from the cafeteria to the fine arts building and theater. A new roof for the Conable Technology Building would shore up one that was part of the original 2000 structure, which has developed leaks, Sunser had said. A new parking lot for Conable, at a cost of $800,000, would have made the county's total $1.7 million, and is not on the list approved by the Legislature.

At that meeting in November, Legislator Gary Maha had expressed concern about doling out $70 million for a new county jail, and that this additional spending was “kind of hard to swallow in one year.” Nonetheless, the full Legislature agreed to the move on Wednesday.

The county plans to transfer $1.3 million into the general budget, with 1 percent of sales tax offsetting the increased spending.

“Genesee County will be responsible for $1.3 million for said projects,” the resolution states.

 

June 23, 2022 - 8:00am
posted by Joanne Beck in news, County Legislature, batavia, notify.

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In a time when gasoline has hugged the $5 a gallon price, and everything from food and clothing to furniture seems to be climbing in cost, sometimes it makes sense to flip the script.

That’s what Genesee County Legislator John Deleo did for the traditional prayer before Wednesday’s meeting.

Instead of posturing for divine guidance, he simply asked for some comfort.

“We ask you to look over us,” he said in the Old Courthouse chambers. “Inflation, the state of the nation … are taking a toll on us. People are finding it harder to buy food, or gas to go to work.”

In a June 10 article, “Inflation Sped Up Again in May, Dashing Hopes for Relief,” The New York Times pointed to high inflation and the Federal Reserve’s attempts to control it as contributing to “a sour economic mood.”

“Consumer confidence, which has been sinking since last year as households shoulder the burden of higher prices, plunged to a new low in a report out Friday,” the article stated. “President Biden’s approval ratings have also suffered, and Wall Street economists and small-business owners increasingly worry that a recession is possible in the next year.”

No wonder Deleo put away the platitudes and took to straight talk. The pressure is mounting, he said, and he asked the “heavenly Father” to keep people in His care.

“And give them the strength to get us through this,” the legislator said.

He also tacked on a plea that, instead of turning water into wine, that there are other, more valuable commodities to focus on.

“Let’s go with gas and diesel,” he said.

2022 File Photo of Genesee County Legislator John Deleo during a county meeting. Photo by Joanne Beck.

June 22, 2022 - 8:55pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Barber Conable Post Office Building, batavia, news.

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At first blush, it looks like another bureaucratic SNAFU. The newly installed railing on the newly installed cement steps outside the Barber Conable Post Office Building in Downtown Batavia encloses more than half the structure.

The design has drawn derisive comments on social media, such as "Great example of wasting tax dollars."

There is an explanation, said Mark Lawrence, strategic communications specialist for the USPS in WNY.

"The Batavia Post Office had a water infiltration issue that could only be accessed by removing a large portion of the front steps and the handicap-accessible ramp," Lawrence told The Batavian in an email. "The repairs were completed and the front steps were returned to their original state.  The handrails are in the original location, as they previously were, in order to reduce slips, trips, and falls."

Previously: Batavia's post office building is 100 years old

Top photo by Howard Owens

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File photo from 2019. Photo by Howard Owens.

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An undated postcard of the Batavia Post Office sometime after the cement steps were installed.

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The post office shortly after its construction in 1919.

 

June 22, 2022 - 2:41pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Le Roy, batavia, news, notify.
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Fantasia Speed Dontaya Kyles

Fantasia Octavia Speed, 21, of Weaver Street, Rochester, is charged with grand larceny 3rd, grand larceny 4th, and conspiracy 5th. Speed is accused of stealing something from Walmart at 3:28 p.m., June 20.  Speed was released on her own recognizance.  The grand larceny 4th charge stemmed from a an arrest warrant held by the State Police. NOTE: Attempts to obtain more information on the alleged offense, specifically what was stolen, from the Sheriff's Office were unsuccessful.

Dontaya Nell Kyles, 30, of Affinity Lane, Greece, is charged with grand larceny 3rd. Kyles is accused of stealing merchandise from Walmart valued at more than $3,000. Kyles was arraigned in Town of Batavia Court and released on her own recognizance.

Lauren Kay Pellegrino, 40, of West Main Street, Le Roy, is charged with assault 3rd and menacing 3rd. Pellegrino is accused of assaulting another person at 8:45 p.m., June 20. She was arrested by Officer John Ceneviva and arraigned in Le Roy Town Court. She was released on her own recognizance and an order of protection was issued for her alleged victim.

Peter Jerome Vangalio, 49, of Genesee Street, Le Roy, is charged with criminal contempt 2nd. Vangalio is accused of going to the home of a person of a protected party in an order of protection at 11:55 p.m., June 19, on Genesee Street in Le Roy.  He was arrested by Officer Zachary Klafehn and released on an appearance ticket.

June 21, 2022 - 10:14pm

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Sometimes you can have too much of a good thing.

Byron resident Terry Speed learned that about his impromptu turnaround at a home on Oak Street, Batavia. He and his wife Dawn purchased the one-family building in 2016, complete with a small turnaround in the front yard. The soil settled and it became a small pond, he said.

Speed then dug a channel through the sunken area so that water could escape. He has applied for a variance to add 12 feet of loose stone to his existing 23-foot-wide driveway. That would make a 48 percent lot frontage at the Oak Street property. According to city code, “the width of driveways and parking spaces may not exceed 25 percent of lot frontage,” prompting the need for a variance.

“We needed to come and speak with you people.  I was told to apply for a variance,” Speed said during Tuesday’s City Planning & Development Committee meeting. “I would like to have a proper turnaround. I jumped the gun, it’s my fault.”

He has a business variance for his wife’s beauty salon to operate in the back of the home, he said. Customers usually arrive one at a time, but there are occasions when there are three vehicles (including his wife’s) in the driveway at one time. Given the amount of traffic on Oak Street, which is state Route 98, it’s difficult for customers to back out of the drive, he said. He added that he also thought it was illegal to back out onto a state roadway.

“People in and out of there are having a hard time,” Speed said. “Something’s going to happen. She’s hearing horns blow.”

In his application, Speed said that this issue is “due to bumper-to-bumper traffic on Oak Street weekdays,” and is therefore not a self-created problem.

As for the legal aspects of backing out onto Route 98, according to New York State’s vehicle and traffic law, there are limitations on backing up a vehicle. Section 1211 states that “the driver of a vehicle shall not back the same unless such movement can be made with safety and without interfering with other traffic. The driver of a vehicle shall not back the same upon any shoulder or roadway of any controlled-access highway.”

Still, allowing for the turnaround proposed by Speed “seems like an excessive amount, and sets a precedent for neighbors,” committee member Ed Flynn said.

He and fellow members discussed the options and issues with such a set-up, and eventually recommended a compromise: a 10-foot by 18-foot turnaround that is at least 18 feet from the road and 10 feet from the sidewalk.

Speed will continue the process with the Zoning Board of Appeals later this week.

For anyone who lives on Oak Street or other similar streets that coincide with busy state highways, how do you get out of your driveways? The Batavian would like to know your solutions for a follow-up article. Email them to: [email protected]

Illustration: Satellite view of Oak Street property requiring a variance for a larger turnaround area. Heavy traffic on Oak Street (Route 98), Batavia, prompted the variance request to create more space for visitors to turn around versus backing out onto the street. Illustration provided by City of Batavia Planning & Development Committee.

June 21, 2022 - 5:42pm
posted by Press Release in UMMC, batavia, news.

Press release:

Each year, more than 500 babies are born at United Memorial Medical Center.  Soon after birth, the newborns are swaddled for comfort and safe sleeping.  The American Academy of Pediatrics says when done correctly, swaddling is an effective technique to calm infants and promote sleep. 

Most moms will learn the right way to swaddle from the nurses in the hospital’s Maternity Department.  That’s why UMMC staff members, friends and community members are coming together for the Huge Lemonade Stand event to make sure every baby has a swaddle for safe sleeping. 

The lemonade stand idea started with the son of Peter Casey, a long-time UMMC supporter.  Patrick donated $4 from his piggy bank to the cause.  Later this month, he will run just one of the many lemonade stands at the event, hoping to raise hundreds more to help UMMC’s newborns.

WHEN: June 23, 5-7 p.m.

WHERE: Centennial Park, 151 State St. Batavia

WHAT: Interviews available with a maternity nurse, director of the program, and volunteers          

June 21, 2022 - 5:04pm
posted by Press Release in Genesee County Interagency Council, batavia, news.

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Press release:

On June 15, 2022 at their annual picnic at DeWitt Park, the Genesee County Interagency Council presented a $1,000 educational scholarship to Esperanza Hernandez. Esperanza plans to study Social Work at SUNY Brockport this fall.

Scholarship applications were accepted from all Genesee County High Schools and applicants were required to be in good academic standing, and majoring in the fields of Human Services, Social Work, Sociology, or Psychology.

Esperanza (pictured 2nd from right) standing with (from left) scholarship committee members Kari Heideman, Lisa Smith, Sheila Best (Esperanza’s Mother) and Julie Wasilewski (Batavia City School District Social Worker)

The mission of Genesee County Interagency Council is to create fellowship and understanding among community human service agencies. The council helps to identify community issues and encourages development of resolutions.

For more information about Genesee County Interagency Council please contact Incoming President Lisa Smith at (585) 344-2042 ext. 4237 or Text: (585) 483-1046 [email protected] 

June 21, 2022 - 4:57pm
posted by Legal Notices in legal notices, batavia.

LEGAL NOTICE:

Sealed bids for the Batavia Iron and Metal project will be received by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Division of Management and Budget Services, 625 Broadway, 10th Floor, Albany, New York, 12233-5027, Attn: Bureau of Expenditures until the time of 1:00  P.M. (EST) and on the date of Tuesday, July 26, 2022

The remedial activities include, but are not necessarily limited to, PCB impacted soil removal, temporary water treatment, backfill and restoration including the transport and disposal of non-hazardous and hazardous soils.   Work will be performed under State and Federal permit requirements and USEPA self-implementation program.  

The estimated range for this work is: $15 Million to $20 Million.

Contract Documents are available in electronic format at no charge.  Electronic copies of non-biddable Contract Documents, Drawings, Specifications, Proposal forms, Addenda, and a separate Limited Site Data Document may be downloaded from the Department website http://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/59233.html. Biddable Contract Documents will be available on June 29, 2022  upon request from the Division of Environmental Remediation, 625 Broadway, 12th Floor, Albany, New York, 12233-7017, Attn: Lisa Gorton at  [email protected] and Jamie Welch at j[email protected].

Proposals will be accepted only from bidders who attend the Pre-Bid Conference. All Proposals must be made on the Bid Form(s) provided in the Contract Documents, and thereafter enclosed in the envelope which will be provided by the Department at the Pre-Bid Conference. Each proposal must be accompanied by a deposit or a bid bond in the amount of five percent (5%) of Proposer’s bid amount. Mandatory pre-bid meetings will be held at the site on Thursday, July 14, 2022 at 1:00 PM (EST). Attendance at the pre-bid meetings is mandatory as a condition of bidding. Reference Contract  Section 1 – Advertisement and Notice to Bidders for full instructions and requirements.

Any questions shall be directed to Lisa Gorton, the Department’s Project Manager and Designated Contact at [email protected] with electronic copy (ec) to :Jamie Welch at [email protected].

Bidders may receive announcements of future procurement opportunities by signing up for the NYSDEC –DER’s electronic mailing list (“GovDelivery”) at https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/NYSDEC/subscriber/new.

June 21, 2022 - 4:04pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Quicklee’s, batavia, business, news.

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Press release:

Quicklee’s Convenience Stores, headquartered in Avon, NY, officially opens the doors of its first Batavia location to customers this week. The newest Quicklee’s is located at 204 Oak Street, at the site of the former Bob Evans. It is the 1st Quicklee’s in Genesee County, and brings the total number of family-owned and operated Quicklee’s stores to 27.

“When we first announced our plans to build, when we began hiring, and now as we open, the people of Batavia have been helpful, welcoming, and excited about this new store,” said Ken Perelli, Quicklee’s Vice President and COO. “As a family-owned and operated business we believe community support is so important, and we wanted to create a space that encouraged travelers to stop, and see what Batavia is really all about.”

At the time of its opening, the new location is stocked with a variety of cold beverages, snacks, and food items. The new, state-of-the-art touch-screen fuel pumps provide travelers with weather updates and traffic alerts. And in the coming months EV charging stations will be installed and a Tim Horton’s will open onsite.

“This store is located right off of the Thruway at exit 48, making it an ideal location for travelers as well as a great place for locals to stop,” said Brian Mongi, Quicklee’s General Manager. “We have gas, diesel, a great variety of snacks, and a friendly staff ready to help you on your way. It really is a great location, one we hope will encourage more visitors to check out the area.”

Family-owned and- operated, Quicklee’s has ties with national brands like Tim Horton’s, but its local roots are a key part of its identity. In addition to providing a variety of convenience store offerings, Quicklee’s proudly supports community organizations and works with small businesses to provide them with premium placement in its stores. 

June 21, 2022 - 2:59pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in pets, animal abuse, crime, batavia, news, notify.

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A pair of apparently former Batavia residents facing felony animal cruelty charges failed to appear in City Court today for arraignment, prompting Judge Durin Rogers to issue arrest warrants for both defendants.

Both Andrew A. Searight, 35, and Jerrtonia A. Scarbrough, 24, are charged with felony aggravated cruelty to animals.

They are accused of abandoning two pitbulls in apartment 60 at 337 Bank St., Batavia. The two animals were found malnourished and covered in feces in their cages inside the apartment on May 10, according to witness statements.

Both defendants were scheduled to appear earlier in June and both called the court to report that they had COVID-19. They were ordered to appear today and provide proof of positive COVID tests.

Rogers noted that both were clearly aware of the order to appear today for arraignment, and they both demonstrated with their prior calls that they knew how to reach the court if they couldn't make their appearance. 

During his remarks, Rogers referred to Searight as a former Batavia resident. He made no mention of where the defendants might be living now.

One of the two Pitbulls found in the apartment was, according to court documents, in such bad shape that she had to be euthanized.  The other dog is recovering at Genesee County Animal Shelter. He is not yet available for adoption because the owners have yet to relinquish ownership.

Rogers asked the assistant district attorney if the dog was still at the shelter, expressing concern the dog might still be with the owners while the case is pending. The ADA said she believed the dog is at the shelter.

Previously: One of two Pitbulls found abandoned in apartment in good health while mate had to be put down

Photo: File Photo of "Brad Pitt" (the name given to the dog by Animal Shelter volunteers).

June 21, 2022 - 12:12pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in muckdogs, batavia, sports, baseball.

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The Batavia pitching staff surrendered 13 hits to Niagara Power at Dwyer Stadium on Monday evening but the Muckdogs managed to escape with a 5-0 win.

At 9-2, the Muckdogs are in first place, a half-game ahead of the Utica Blue Sox, in the PGCBL Western Division.

They're home again tomorrow evening, 7 p.m., against Watertown.

Joe Tobia, from Buffalo, and a sophomore at the University of Albany, started and went 4 1/3 innings giving up seven hits.  He's 1-0 with a 0.000 ERA, tied for the league lead.

Levis Aguila, Jr. a junior at Felician University, was 2-3, scoring a run and getting a walk. 

Medina's Brian Fry picked up another hit in three plate appearances.  He's hitting .400 on the season, fourth-best in the league. His OBP is .560 and his OPS is 1.160.

The Muckdogs scored once in the second inning, three in the third (two runs were unearned), and one in the fifth.

Top photo: Niagara Power catcher Jadyn Lobliner waits with ball in glove as Levis Aguila, Jr. attempts to score in the bottom of the third inning.

Photos by Howard Owens

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Shortstop Bryan Belo completes a double play in the fourth inning.

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Brian Fry completes a double play in the third inning.

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Levis Aguila Jr.

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Alec Maag scores in the second inning

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Manager Joey Martinez.

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Brian Fry with a hit in the third inning.

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Tyler Cannoe with a hit in the third.

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Brian Fry scores in the third inning.

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Mike DeStefano pops up from a slide into second base in the third inning after a throwing error by shortstop Mason Kulpa that allowed two runs to score with two outs.

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Starting pitcher Joe Tobia

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June 21, 2022 - 8:15am
posted by Joanne Beck in news, bdc, batavia, notify.

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Seven days into her new job Tammy Hathaway was already full-speed ahead.

After all, the city resident and new director for Batavia Development Corporation has the passion, background, and curiosity to take the job and run with it, she says.

Her background includes working at Rural Opportunities (Pathstone) and being on the Downtown Revitalization Initiative planning committee and on the City Planning and Development Committee, so structuring a file or project for financing, grants, and combined loans mean just one question for her.

“How can I put it all together? Those puzzle pieces are comfortable for me,” Hathaway said during an interview with The Batavian. “But learning about the actual projects? Yeah, that's what I'm really super excited about.”

Just prior to her interview, Hathaway — formerly executive director of United Way of Genesee County — was pouring over files full of project notes. She counted in her head at least 14 ongoing projects that she will be diving into — Theatre 56, Jackson Square, the Healthy Living campus, and Ellicott Station, to name a few.

Her flowing locks and love for high- and well-heeled fashion belie someone whose cravings for detail include building structures, construction plans, and even the wastewater treatment plant. Staff was talking about using sonar equipment to measure the sludge, and “I was, like, I’m home,” she said.

She talked about how a local contractor had stopped in before the interview and showed her a compressed structural beam. She hadn’t seen anything like it before, she said and asked where she could buy some. The contractor was surprised.

“Yeah, and I go, ‘Oh, don't be fooled when you see me around town in my stiletto collection,’” she told him.

 Over at BDC, her focus will home in on Brownfield Opportunity Areas, a new category of sites for her.

“That's one of the things I'm very intrigued about. And that's the stuff that I want to know. I went up to a project earlier today that's already under construction, and it is about looking ahead to do a progress report. So to walk in and see, you know, new I-beam and structural stuff. You know, it's familiar to me. So it was just kind of going and taking photos and talking the talk,” she said. “But it's gonna be those other pieces that are like, ooh, this is new. This is what intrigues this switch in position. This job offers me so much that I want to know.”

For those who may know Hathaway, you’re also aware that she’s not shy to express herself. Admittedly, she has cursed a time or two while serving on a board and strives to be a nice, friendly person despite those inadvertent expletives. She agrees she's rather flamboyant “all day long,” and is fascinated by what makes people tick, she said.

“And just as I'm as inquisitive about people, I am as inquisitive about a lot of things, the mechanisms of how things work,” she said, explaining why she has served on up to six boards at a time. “So it's not that I can't say no, I don't like to say no because I want to know more, so when I'm already on five boards, and (Executive Director) Nate Varland comes to me at Leadership Genesee class and asks ‘would you like to be on the Board of Commissioners of the Batavia Housing Authority?’ Yes. Yes, I do. And he's like, are you serious?”

The 51-year-old’s job duties also include overseeing the agency’s grant and loan program. She doesn’t believe it’s as much about what a person wants to sell as it is about practicality: is that business a good financial investment? Does it fit into Batavia’s commercial landscape?

Her secret asset for determining who gets money? “I’m not emotionally attached to anything, except for Batavia. I want everyone to flourish,” she said. “The success in the city of Batavia depends on if they have a sustainable business plan.”

One of her “absolute best talents” is to surround herself with a solid network of friends. It’s that “amazing support system” that keeps her going, especially when dealing with the “hiccups” in life. She has at times posted thank-yous on Facebook for a gift, often her favorite snack, left on her porch.

“There are flowers and, mostly, Doritos,” she said.

The 2020 Geneseean of the Year recipient isn’t certain about why she’s been so drawn to construction-related topics. Her first husband got into construction, and she became more intrigued by listening to his discussions, and it grew after working for Rural Opportunities, writing rehab grants, reviewing bids for construction and becoming all the more curious with each step.

Another piece of it was her attitude as a woman in a traditionally male field:  “I don't want you to know more than I know about it,” she said. “You know, I get that you’re boys and stuff.”

So what does Hathaway think makes for a vibrant downtown? Her answer was swift: cultural options. And she believes Batavia is on the upswing for that, with a variety of culturally rich offerings through the Business Improvement District, at Jackson Square, Eli Fish, the Farmers Market, and GO ART!, she said.

It takes initiative, and her philosophy is a way to encourage that from the community.

“I’ve always tried to get people to believe that giving is contagious. If I do it, and it makes you see that I have fun doing it, then maybe you will want to do it, and we can really have fun to do it together. You know, so the more people that we get involved in doing the cultural stuff, that just makes us ask, why do we want to leave if there's things happening here all the time?” she said. “I do think the vibrancy of our little city is that culturally we want things to do. We have people who are committed to creating things to do. Sometimes it takes a few more hands down. The more people we get involved, the easier it is. And when we can create, you know, those businesses where we live here and work here, and now we can play here. I'm a Western New York girl, through and through.”

Photo: Tammy Hathaway, new director for Batavia Development Corporation, in her office at City Hall. Photo by Joanne Beck.

June 20, 2022 - 6:54pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, Darien, news, notify.

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Mary E. Dorman, 36, of Batavia, is charged with DWI, failure to keep right, and moving from lane unsafely. Dorman was involved in a head-on collision at 10:45 p.m., June 4, on Bank Street, Batavia, with a Batavia PD patrol vehicle. Her vehicle also struck a parked car. Dorman was arraigned in City Court and released on her own recognizance.

Thomas Michael Busch, 45, of Willow Street, Lockport, is charged with possession of a sexual performance by a child. Busch was arrested following an investigation into digital images on an electronic device in his possession at 4:30 p.m., May 29, at a location on Alleghany Road, Darien.  He was released on an appearance ticket.

Corey Amber Knapp, 20, of North Avenue, Medina, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance 7th. Knapp was arrested on a bench warrant out of City Court.  She was arraigned in Town of Batavia Court and released on her own recognizance.

Constance Christine Pocock, 48, of undisclosed residence, is charged with endangering the welfare of a child. Pocock was arrested by Deputy Jeremiah Gechell in connection with an incident reported in Stafford at 11:38 p.m., June 18.  The specifics of the incident were not disclosed.  She was arraigned in Town of Stafford Court and released on her own recognizance.

Joel D. Prouty 36, of Bergen, is charged with strangulation 2nd, attempted assault 3rd, and petit larceny. Prouty is accused of fighting with a woman at 6:18 p.m., June 8, at a location on Oak Street, Batavia. He was arraigned in City Court and ordered held without bail.

Johnnie M. Waston, 39, of Batavia, is charged with trespass. Watson is accused of returning to a local business on East Main Street, Batavia, at 5:54 p.m., June 13, after being barred from the business.

Megan A. Gregg, 28, of Batavia, is charged with endangering the welfare of a child. Gregg is accused of leaving prescription pills and drug paraphernalia in an area accessible to children at a residence on Ellsworth Avenue, Batavia. She was released on an appearance ticket.

Christopher P Thomas, 38, of Batavia, was arrested on a warrant. Thomas turned himself into Batavia PD. The charges, not released, stem from an incident reported at 1 p.m., May 31.  He was processed and released.

Amanda L. Huber, 40, of Batavia, is charged with disorderly conduct. Huber is accused of fighting in public at 7 a.m., June 3, at a location on East Main Street, Batavia. She was released on an appearance ticket.

Erik R. Motquin, 40, of Batavia is charged with disorderly conduct. Motquin is accused of fighting in public at 7 a.m., June 3, at a location on East Main Street, Batavia. He was released on an appearance ticket.

Tarrence Y. Williams, 22, of Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt 1st, harassment 2nd, and endangering the welfare of a child., Williams was allegedly involved in an incident reported at 10:10 a.m., June 9, at a location on Porter Avenue, in which he had physical contact with a person who is subject of an order of protection while in the presence of a child. He was arraigned in City Court and released on his own recognizance.

McKenzie N. O’Connell, 19, of Batavia, is charged with two counts of endangering the welfare of child. O’Connell is accused of providing marijuana to two juveniles and allowing them to smoke the cannabis in her house. She was issued an appearance ticket.

Andrew J. Carr, 40, of Pavilion, is charged with felony DWI, felony driving with a BAC of .18 or greater, and moving from lane unsafely. Carr was stopped at 2:12 a.m., June 11, on Harvester Avenue, Batavia, by a Batavia patrol officer. Carr was issued traffic tickets.

M. Compson Summerfield, 24, of Holley, is charged with DWI and reckless driving. Summerfield was stopped at 8:55 p.m., June 13, by State Police in the Town of Batavia. He was released on an appearance ticket.

Paula A. Kingdollar, 53, of Covington, is charged with petit larceny. Kingdollar is accused of a theft at 8:04 a.m., June 15, in the Town of Batavia.  She was arrested by State Police and released on an appearance ticket. No further information released.

Top photo: Photo of a head-on collision involving a Batavia patrol vehicle. Photo by Alecia Kaus/Video News Service.

June 20, 2022 - 6:24pm
posted by Joanne Beck in news, batavia, Sidewalks, notify, infrastructure.

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The Batavian has been checking in with City Manager Rachael Tabelski quite a lot lately, not only to obtain updates about current and future projects but to inform Batavia’s residents about things that matter to them.

What always seems to be at the top of that list? Sidewalks. While there are brand new smooth and even walks on many streets, there are others that are more disheveled: upheaved at the corners, have cracks and other inconsistencies that can catch pedestrians by surprise at any moment. And if one section of the city is being repaired, folks wonder why their neighborhoods are being left out.

Councilwomen Kathy Briggs and Tammy Schmidt wondered the same thing during the council’s May meeting. They have been receiving complaints about sidewalks from their ward residents, said Briggs and Schmidt for the Fifth and Sixth wards, respectively.

Costly walkways ...
Those seemingly simple, square-shaped blocks of concrete — through online comments and at meetings — seem to cause much grief and anger. Yet, sidewalks are not simple. Nor cheap, Tabelski says.

“The cost of replacing a sidewalk and making it ADA compliant is twice as much as it is for the same length of the street, where we mill the street and fill it,” she said. So, for example, this year, we're going to be working on Columbia, Miller, and Seneca, right. And those streets will cost us roughly $80,000. To do the micro-surfacing on the street, and the sidewalks on those streets will cost us $300,000. So putting into comparison, the ability to pave streets, I think our DPW folks do a great job, trying to plan and continue to move street and sidewalk projects forward as fast as we possibly can with the resources we have.”

Making a sidewalk ADA —Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant takes a little extra work, with wider walkways for wheelchair access, rounded curbs and the studded metal plates that cap off each sidewalk going to a street.

“Yes, that’s one of the bigger parts of the cost; the ADA compliance,” she said. “And the concrete product that's used also is expensive as well. We do have professional staff members and engineers that work through capital plans and they are out monitoring the streets and sidewalks and they work through those plans and do the best they can with the budget they have to continue to move projects forward.”

A current pavement improvement project is at Miller, Columbia, and Seneca avenues. Part of this program includes pairing sidewalks with their adjacent streets so that an entire section is repaired at the same time, she said. It’s called the “Complete Streets” approach. The work will be funded with $320,000 from the state's Consolidated Highway Improvement Program.

“So whenever we are able to repave or resurface a roadway, we also look at the sidewalks to make sure they are now ADA compliant. They have appropriate widths for wheelchairs and passing lanes,” Tabelski said during the May meeting.

There is a capital street plan developed by city officials as they try to identify the streets that need immediate repair, and pairing sidewalks with them for work, she said.

This year the scope of work includes the replacement of approximately 6,400 linear feet of sidewalks and handicap-accessible ramps on portions of Chase Park, Fisher Park, and Seneca, Miller, and Columbia avenues.

Much of the city’s work is done behind the scenes, she said, away from the public eye and not always so obvious that anything is happening. But projects are “definitely something we spend a lot of time on in the city.” For a complete picture of work that has been, is in progress with being or yet to be done, refer to the city sidewalk map below.

A bright idea ...
Aside from huge capital projects and street/sidewalk improvements is a better light show, Tabelski said.

One by one, the city has a plan to replace the city’s traditional lightbulbs with brighter, more economical LED versions, she said during City Council’s recent meeting.

She presented a New York Power Authority LED Street Light Conversion Program. The nearly $1.7 million plan (Phase I) has an estimated savings of more than $161,000 annually.

City projects take time, planning, money, and labor, and — albeit piecemeal — they are coming to fruition, she said.

“We’re actually seeing the strategies that were put in place years and years ago, and people stuck to them and implemented them. Now it is coming to the execution stage with actual buildings going up. So I think that's kind of a neat thing to think about, for me, I was back at the IDA when these strategies were taking place. And I've been able to understand and believe in the strategy and be here to help move it forward,” she said. “So I think that's what I hope residents understand, that we really do have long-term plans to continue to bring offerings and growth into our city and make sure we keep up on our infrastructure. … and that the city's resilient for many years to come.”

Photo: File photo from 2020 by Howard Owens.

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To view a higher resolution, PDF version of this illustration, click here.

June 20, 2022 - 5:13pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news.

A man and a woman, who have not been identified by the Sheriff's Office, are suspected of perpetrating a scam involving jewelry outside businesses along Veterans Memorial Drive.

On June 3, deputies responded to the parking lot of Dick's Sporting Goods to investigate a complaint about a man soliciting people for money in exchange for a gold ring. 

During the investigation, the man was identified along with a woman in an associated vehicle.

A scam involving jewelry had previously been uncovered by the Sheriff's Office.

A description of the suspects was not provided.

The Sheriff's Office is asking residents who may have purchased jewelry from people outside businesses in the area to contact Investigator Ryan DeLong at (585) 345-3000 ext. 3572 or Investigator Erik Andre at (585) 345-3000 ext 3574.

June 20, 2022 - 1:21pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in infrastructure, batavia, news.

Press release:

All motorists please be aware that Columbia Avenue, Seneca Avenue, and Miller Avenue will experience traffic delays on Tuesday, June 21st and Friday, June 24th from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. for a two-course paving operation.

While work is being performed in this area, the roadway will be closed to all through traffic. Local traffic will be permitted to and from their residence/property but should plan accordingly for delays.

All residents/businesses within the work area are asked not to park on the roadway during the operation.

This is weather-dependent work; if work is postponed it shall progress to the next workday.

Please contact the Bureau of Maintenance at 585-345-6400 Option 1 if there are any questions.

Thank you for your cooperation.

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