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June 4, 2021 - 12:21pm
posted by Press Release in business, GCEDC, Excelsior Energy Center, Power Plug Inc..

Press release:

The Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) Board of Directors approved incentives for a $345 million solar project in the Town of Byron, and construction of a campus-wide substation at the Science Technology and Advanced Manufacturing Park (STAMP) at the agency’s June 3 board meeting.  

Excelsior Energy Center is a $345.55 million utility scale solar farm project that will be located on multiple agricultural properties in Town of Byron and will generate 280 MW (AC) solar generation. The project will receive approximately $32.7 million in property and sales tax incentives

The project will provide enhanced property tax payments via a 20-year PILOT (Payment In Lieu Of Taxes) and host benefit agreements. The project will contribute $6,500/MWAC in total PILOT/host benefit payments annually + a 2-percent annual escalator over the 20-year term. Resulting property tax-type benefits of the project in the Town of Byron, Byron-Bergen Central Schools, and Genesee County are estimated at more than $45.2 million.

The project has an estimated $117.5 million fiscal economic impact, including PILOT payments, host benefit payments, fire district payments, elimination of agricultural exemptions on acreage used for solar panels, direct construction payroll, other direct construction related purchases, and the payroll and purchases during operations. This results in an estimated return of $20.60 in economic impacts vs the tax impacts of the land's prior use.

Plug Power Inc. is investing $55 million toward the construction of a campus-wide substation at STAMP. The substation will enable 100-percent renewable, reliable electricity at less than $0.035/kwh to future tenants in partnership with the New York Power Authority and National Grid.

Plug Power’s investment in the substation is on top of the $232 million the company is investing to build a green hydrogen manufacturing facility at STAMP. The facility is estimated to create 68 full-time jobs. 

Plug Power’s facility will produce green hydrogen produced using an electrolysis process of water utilizing clean hydropower producing approximately 45 metric tons of liquid hydrogen annually for applications such as heavy-duty freight and forklifts.

Plug Power will receive approximately $2.8 million in sales tax incentives related to the electrical substation construction.

June 4, 2021 - 11:55am
posted by Press Release in news, water conservation, county government.

Press release:

Officials from Genesee County, the City and Town of Batavia, Village of Oakfield, Village of Elba, and the Genesee County Department of Health are once again reminding residents connected to the Public Water Supply System to conserve water.  

The call to conserve takes on even greater importance with unseasonably hot weather forecasted for next several days, including over the weekend and into next week. 

Residents are urged to avoid filling swimming pools, watering lawns and washing cars and only use appliances such as dishwashers and washing machines for full loads.

Another conservation measure is to check faucets and pipes for leaks which often can be repaired with an inexpensive washer. Toilets also should be checked for leaks and can be done by putting a small amount of food coloring to the toilet tank. If, without flushing, the color begins to appear in the bowl, you have a leak that should be repaired immediately.

Taking shorter showers also helps as five to 10 gallons are used per minute. To help conserve water in your shower use easy to install water-saving showerheads or flow restrictors which are available at area hardware or plumbing stores.

For more information, please contact Tim Hens, the Genesee County engineer, at (585) 344-8508 or the Genesee County Department of Health at (585) 344-2580, ext. 5510.

June 4, 2021 - 11:38am
posted by Billie Owens in accidents, news, batavia.

An accident is reported at Ellicott and Jackson streets in the city. Unknown injuries. City fire, police and Mercy medics are responding.

UPDATE 11:39 a.m.: Two vehicles involved; two patients are being evaluated.

UPDATE 11:58 a.m.: A gold Chrysler minivan with Florida plates was southbound on Jackson and it appears to have missed the right turn lane when the driver decided to make a right anyway and go around the little turn island. At that point, the minivan was struck by a sedan. No injuries.

UPDATE AND CLARIFICATION (By Howard) 1:20 p.m.: Upon further investigation, police have determined the Chrysler van was southbound on Jackson and was not attempting a right turn. It was continuing straight. The van had a green light, according to Sgt. Mitch Cowen. The white vehicle was northbound (it might look like westbound on Ellicott Street but the state considers Route 63 a northbound/southbound roadway) and allegedly ran the red light. The driver of the Chrysler decided to be transported to UMMC for evaluation.

June 4, 2021 - 10:10am

Representatives of Ohio-based Great Lakes Cheese have visited the Le Roy Food & Tech Park in recent days, exploring the possibility of building a $500 million processing plant at the location off Route 19 and West Bergen Road.

While an officer of the Genesee County Economic Development Center, which owns the park, would not confirm or deny contact with company leadership, Le Roy Town Supervisor James Farnholz this morning told The Batavian that Great Lakes Cheese personnel have been at the 75-acre site.

“Yes, they have been out there and have been in contact, but I don’t know what the status of their negotiations are with landowners. That’s out of our realm,” Farnholz said.

Great Lakes Cheese has been in the news lately as it was looking to expand its operation by locating the new plant in Allegany County, where is already has the Empire Cheese facility in Cuba. Its plans, however, may have been scrapped due to several issues, including a controversial eminent domain seizure of farmland.

Calls to Heidi Eller, company chairman of the board, have not been returned.

A 480,000-square-foot ‘Super Plant’

A report by WGRZ-TV stated the new plant would consist of 480,000 square feet and would mirror other “super plants” owned by GLC in Hiram, Ohio; Plymouth, Wis.; Fillmore, Utah; and Manchester, Tenn.

It also stated that “wherever it ends up would still be eligible for around $200 million in tax incentives over 20 years.”

Mark Masse, senior vice president of operations for the GCEDC, said agency policy prohibits him from commenting until a project application has been submitted.

“We can not comment on projects that may or may not be coming here unless we have an application in hand,” he said. “That has been our stance for a very long time.”

Masse did speak to a referral filed Wednesday with the Genesee County Planning Board by the Town of Le Roy to rezone seven parcels along Route 19 and Randall Road – totaling 185 acres – from R-2 (Residential) to I-2 (Industrial).

Rezoning Lines Up With Town’s Plan

The rezoning would conform with the town’s comprehensive plan’s goal of creating additional industrial uses and, according to documents filled out by Farnholz, “to address one of the town’s weaknesses – loss of jobs/commercial base.”

“Over the years, we have seen some interest in additional property and I think the town is just trying to be proactive to match the zoning with the Le Roy Food & Tech Park in case the project seeks more acreage than is available there,” Masse said. “Our Ag Park (on East Main Street Road in Batavia) is almost sold out at this point, so the larger acreage projects wouldn’t be able to locate there.”

According to the referral, by rezoning the parcels (mainly farmland), it would set the stage for “a potential opportunity for a cheese manufacturing plant (and) would conform to the comprehensive plan.”

Although the referral mentions “a cheese manufacturing plant,” Farnholz said that everything is at the inquiry stage.

Farnholz: Nothing is on the Table

“Nothing is on the table at this point and we are not making specific preparation for anybody. Great Lakes Cheese has made inquiries but we don’t have anything definite. We’re not doing anything for Great Lakes Cheese,” he said.

Farnholz said that land in question should have been rezoned to Industrial years ago to match the property owned by the GCEDC. He also said that a separate parcel, which has a funeral home on it and is operating under a special use permit, would be rezoned to Industrial as well.

“This has been on the table for quite some time,” he said. “Our discussions over the comprehensive plan to expand industrial development along the Route 19 corridor predates anything that is happening now.”

The supervisor said that the town has not spent any money, noting that all of the properties would have to be purchased by Great Lakes Cheese or any other business, with the exception of the GCEDC, which owns the 75 acres off West Bergen Road.

“Any remaining acreage would have to be privately purchased,” he said.

Setting the Stage for Development

He said that if the Great Lakes Cheese plant did not come to Le Roy, rezoning the properties “would just make it more practical for future industrial development. But, again, this is all contingent upon people willing to sell their property.”

The park, which has been in existence for about four years, does not have any businesses yet, Farnholz said.

“Right now, it’s just farmland. The GCEDC leases out their acreage to farmers and the rest of it is just woods and farmland. Down by Randall Road, there’s a group that is grinding up wood and making mulch – that’s the only thing that resembles a business,” he said.

While not a done deal, a $500 million venture in Le Roy would make a significant impact on the local economy.

“Having read many of the articles talking about the project in Allegany County, they were talking about a $500 million plant that would employ up to 400 people, so I would welcome that with open arms,” Farnholz said.

BioWorks to Purchase 60 Acres

In a related development, Masse reported that the GCEDC Board of Directors Thursday approved a purchase and sale agreement with BioWorks Inc. to buy 60 acres at the Le Roy Food & Tech Park for $2.4 million.

“They still would need to forward an application for incentives, which I believe they will be bringing forward,” Masse said. “Last night’s action allows the company to do their due diligence on the site prior to closing to ensure their project can be completed.”

BioWorks Inc. is a national company with a regional office in Victor, is looking to expand its operation.

According to its website, it develops and markets biologically based solutions for customers in the horticulture and specialty agriculture markets. Its products – effective alternatives or additions to traditional chemical programs -- support plant nutrition, disease control, insect control and soil amendment.

June 4, 2021 - 9:14am
posted by Press Release in sports, baseball, muckdogs.

By Griffin Della Penna:

The Batavia Muckdogs defeated the Elmira Pioneers in their inaugural game as a member of the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League Thursday night 7-0 at Dunn Field.

Strong performances on the mound from Julian Pichardo, Andrew Parr and AJ Winger were crucial to halt the Pioneer offense. The Muckdog bats came through in big moments, as all seven of their runs were scored with two outs.

In the start, Pichardo hurled a scoreless four 2⁄3 innings on three hits, no walks, and nine strikeouts. With a runner on second base, reliever Andrew Parr struck out left fielder Kevin Serrano on three pitches to retire the side in the bottom of the fifth. Parr finished with four strikeouts while only allowing a hit in 2 1⁄3 innings pitched. Winger did not record a baserunner in the final two innings of work, retiring all six batters he faced in order.

Batavia’s runs came in bunches as the three runs came around to score in the third and ninth innings. Catcher Brice Mortillaro safely got to first after a drop third strikeout which would later be the first run of the game after an Abner Benitez line drive single. First baseman Daniel Burroway knocked in Alabama State University teammates Luis Rodriguez and Benitez to build the lead to 3-0.

Outfielder Spencer Marcus’ two-out single resulted in a Mortillaro opposite-field RBI single in the fourth inning to increase the lead to four. Batavia added their next trio of runs stemming from errors by Elmira’s Sam Polanco and Ryess Youmans. Utility player Charlie Szykowny and outfielder Trevor Dean were late-game substitutions who contributed with RBI singles to add some more insurance runs in the top of the ninth.

Elmira will travel to Dwyer Stadium in Batavia tonight with intentions to spoil the Muckdogs home opener. The Muckdogs will be playing their first home game in 637 days in what is anticipated to be a sold-out crowd. Make sure to secure your ticket by calling the box office at (585) 524- 2260 or come to Dwyer Stadium from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

First pitch will be at 7:05 p.m. and can be viewed on Youtube Live by subscribing to BataviaMuckdogBaseball. Make sure to follow our Twitter @BataviaMuckdogs and liking our Facebook Page, “BataviaMuckdogBaseball.”

Go Dogs!

June 4, 2021 - 9:08am
posted by Press Release in news, alexander, Road Closure.

From the county Highway Department:

Sandpit Road between Spring Road and Dry Bridge Road in Alexander will be closed on Monday, June 7th for bridge replacement work.

It will remain closed for approximately six to eight weeks and will not be open to local traffic. 

The public will be notified when the road reopens.

June 4, 2021 - 8:43am
posted by Billie Owens in accidents, pembroke, news.

A three-car accident is reported at Galloway Road and Slusser roads in East Pembroke. A pregnant female complains of foot pain. A first responder says it is not blocking traffic. Pembroke Fire Department is responding and two Mercy medic ambulances are requested.

UPDATE 8:49 p.m.: The second ambulance is cancelled. Three flatbed tows will be needed.

UPDATE 8:59 p.m.: The Pembroke assignment is back in service.

June 3, 2021 - 2:04pm

Press release:

Standing with Rochester Finger Lakes Region business and economic development leaders on Wednesday, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer re-upped his push for the Senate to pass his bold, bipartisan initiative next week to propel American leadership in science and technology into the 21st century.

The legislation is in the debate process on the floor of the Senate.

Schumer’s plan – which includes passing the Endless Frontier Act, now part of the broader U.S. Innovation and Competition Act, provides $52 billion in federal investment to fully fund the implementation of the bipartisan semiconductor provisions he passed in last year’s defense bill.

It would dramatically increase U.S. investment in domestic advanced manufacturing and research & development of strategically important technologies like semiconductors and establish regional tech hubs across the country.

These investments could help lead to the creation of new jobs and jumpstart innovation across Rochester and Western New York.

Senator Schumer said these new investments would both supercharge work by the region’s key economic development drivers, including the University of Rochester (UR) and Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), to invest in new technological research and development that spur new jobs and businesses as well as support the region’s semiconductor manufacturers (like Akoustis Technologies in Candandaigua) and attract new semiconductor factories to the region’s STAMP business park in Alabama.

“We must immediately address several dangerous weak spots in our country’s competitiveness that threaten America’s global technological leadership. We’re in an all-out race for the jobs of the future and to protect our country’s global technological edge and it’s time to put New York’s top-tier workforce and tech community on the frontlines” Senator Schumer said.

“This legislation will enhance American competitiveness with China and other countries by building up places across Rochester and Western New York to lead in the innovation economy, creating high-tech American manufacturing jobs, strengthening R&D, and investing in workforce training capabilities.

“The stakes are enormous. If we do not invest now in the research, development, and manufacturing of technologies of the future, we risk falling behind in the race with China and other global competitors, putting at risk U.S. jobs, intellectual property, and national security.”

Today, the United States’ position as the unequivocal global leader in scientific and technological ingenuity and innovation is under pressure from China and is eroding. U.S. competitiveness and national security are being threatened by decades of U.S. underinvestment in research, manufacturing, and workforce development, coupled with foreign competitors stealing American intellectual property and aggressively investing to dominate the key technology fields of today and of the future.

Schumer said that without a significant and sustained increase in investment in research, education and training, technology transfer and entrepreneurship, manufacturing, and the broader U.S. innovation ecosystem across the nation, it is only a matter of time before America’s global competitors overtake the United States in terms of technological primacy, threatening national security and economic prosperity.

He cited a recent study authored by MIT Economists Jonathan Gruber, Ph.D., and Simon Johnson in their book, "Jump-Starting America: How Breakthrough Science Can Revive Economic Growth and the American Dream," that concluded millions of new jobs could be created through a new federal effort to boost federal funding for the sciences.

They analyzed 102 regions to determine which are best poised to become new Tech-Economy hubs if provided federal scientific research & development investment and determined that Rochester ranked No. 1 as the nation's top region ripe for technological and economic growth. The authors argued for the creation of a bold new federal investment in science and technology, such as would be created now through the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act.

Additionally, Schumer highlighted the region’s STAMP business park (Science Technology & Advanced Manufacturing Park) as a site that can be positioned to attract new semiconductor supply chain or chip fab manufacturing facilities thanks to the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act.

In recent months he has personally urged the top brass at Samsung, Intel, and Micron to look to locate their next U.S. chip production facilities in New York, said the legislation’s provisions to provide $52 billion in emergency spending to implement Federal incentives to semiconductor companies in return for building new chip fabs in the United States is already a game-changer, creating new opportunities for places like STAMP to attract new semiconductor jobs and factories and for companies like Akoustis Technologies to expand. 

Schumer’s plan is in the process of debate on the floor of the Senate and includes his "Endless Frontier Act." The plan would invest in three main areas – domestic advanced manufacturing; research, development, entrepreneurship, and workforce training in strategically important technologies like semiconductors; and establishing regional technology hubs through federal investment in economic development across the country to be global tech centers.

Schumer is also proposing $52 billion in emergency supplemental appropriations to implement the bipartisan federal semiconductor manufacturing and R&D provisions he passed into law last year as part of the annual defense bill.

Details on the supplemental appropriations proposed by Senator Schumer appear below:

  • $49.5 billion allocated over five years for a CHIPS for America Fund. Funding must be used to implement the Commerce Department semiconductor incentive and R&D programs authorized by the FY21 NDAA (Sec. 9902 & 9906). Within the fund, the following appropriations are available:

                -- Incentive Program: $39 billion appropriated upfront and allocated over five years to implement the programs authorized in Sec. 9902. $2 billion is provided to solely focus on legacy chip production to advance the economic and national security interests of the United States, including helping to address the chip shortage faced by the auto industry.

                              $19 billion in FY22, including the $2 billion legacy chip production funding;

                              $5 billion each year, FY23 through FY26

  • Commerce R&D programs: $10.5 billion appropriated upfront and allocated over five years to implement programs authorized in Sec. 9906, including the National Semiconductor Technology Center (NSTC), National Advanced Packaging Manufacturing Program, and other R&D programs authorized in Sec. 9906.

                   -- $5 billion in FY22

                   -- $2.5 billion for advanced packaging

                   -- $2 billion for NSTC

                   -- $500 million for other related R&D programs

For use across the advanced packaging, NSTC, and other related R&D programs, the following would be provided:

                   -- $2 billion in FY23

                   -- $1.3 billion in FY24

                   -- $1.1 for FY25 and FY26

  • $2 billion for a CHIPS for America Defense Fund: Funding is appropriated up front and $400 million is allocated each year, over five years for the purposes of implementing programs authorized in Sec. 9903(b), providing support for R&D, testing and evaluation, workforce development, and other related activities, in coordination with the private sector, universities, and other Federal agencies to support the needs of the Department of Defense and the intelligence community.
  • $500 million for a CHIPS for America International Technology Security and Innovation Fund: Funding is appropriated upfront and $100 million each year, allocated over five years to the Department of State, in coordination with the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Export-Import Bank, and the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation, for the purposes of coordinating with foreign government partners to support international information and communications technology security and semiconductor supply chain activities, including supporting the development and adoption of secure and trusted telecommunications technologies, semiconductors, and other emerging technologies.

An additional $1.5 billion is provided for implementation of implement the USA Telecommunications Act that was also passed as part of last year’s NDAA to foster U.S. innovation in the race for 5G.

Details on the Endless Frontier Act

As reported by the Senate Commerce Committee, it seeks to maintain and build on U.S. science and technology leadership through investments in research and development and strengthening regional economic development, manufacturing, and supply chains. The legislation would authorize roughly $120 billion over five years for activities at the National Science Foundation (“NSF”), Department of Commerce (“DOC”), the Department of Energy (“DOE”), and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (“NASA”).

It advances priorities including to reduce undue geographic concentration of R&D funding, encourage broader participation of populations underrepresented in STEM, and increase collaboration across federal agencies and with nongovernmental partners on innovation. Crucially, the Endless Frontier Act helps to bridge the gap of innovative technological breakthroughs happening at America’s premier research institutions by bringing those breakthrough to the applied science and commercialization space to benefit our countries growing innovative advancements.

Notable Provisions

Technology Directorate: The Endless Frontier Act would create a new Directorate of Technology and Innovation at the NSF to support research and technology development in key technology focus areas, such as artificial intelligence and quantum science, in order to strengthen the global leadership of the United States in innovation. Major activities would include funding research and development at collaborative institutes, supporting academic technology transfer and intellectual property protection, establishing technology testbeds, and awarding scholarships and fellowships to build the relevant workforce. The Directorate would be authorized at $29 billion over fiscal years 2022 to 2026, including a transfer of $2.9B to existing NSF divisions to support basic research collaboration.

NSF Research and Development Programs: The Endless Frontier Act would authorize $52 billion over fiscal years 2022 to 2026 for existing NSF activities, representing a 7-percent increase each year. The legislation would also create a Chief Diversity Officer at NSF and increase STEM education to enhance the domestic STEM workforce. The legislation also incorporates a series of new programs, including programs for precision agriculture, rural STEM education, quantum information science, skilled technical education, critical minerals, and bioeconomy R&D.

Regional Technology Hubs: The Endless Frontier Act creates a regional technology hub program at DOC to support regional economic development in innovation. Technology hubs would carry out workforce development activities, business and entrepreneur development activities, technology maturation activities, and infrastructure activities related to the technology development. The technology hubs program would be authorized at $10 billion over fiscal years 2022 to 2026.

Manufacturing: The Endless Frontier Act would authorize close to a quadrupling of the DOC Manufacturing Extension Partnership and create a new track within the program for public benefit activities like workforce development and cybersecurity services. The Manufacturing Extension Partnership would be funded at $2.4B over fiscal years 2022 to 2026. The substitute would also authorize the Manufacturing USA program, at $1.2B over fiscal years 2022 to 2026, and add workforce and coordination provisions.

Supply Chain Resiliency: The Endless Frontier Act would establish a supply chain resiliency program at the Department of Commerce to work with the private sector, for the purpose of identifying and recommending opportunities to mitigate or address supply chain vulnerabilities in the United States and in allied and partner countries. It would also amend the recently enacted CHIPS Act to provide $2 billion in incentives for domestic production of mature semiconductor technologies, such as for the automotive industry.

Schumer’s plan also includes $52 billion in emergency supplemental appropriations to implement the bipartisan federal semiconductor manufacturing and R&D provisions he passed into law last year as part of the annual defense bill. An additional $1.5 billion is provided for implementation of implement the USA Telecommunications Act that was also passed as part of last year’s NDAA to foster U.S. innovation in the race for 5G.

Steve Hyde, president & CEO, Genesee County Economic Development Center, said “Senate Majority Leader Schumer has long-championed Upstate New York as the ideal region for critical growth of the domestic semiconductor manufacturing and R&D investments due to our university research and talent, our established and ever-growing semiconductor supply chain, along with our considerable capacity of renewable, reliable, and competitively priced electricity. We applaud Senator Schumer for his leadership, and agree that passage of the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act would be catalytic in growing the high-tech economy at the Western New York Science & Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park (STAMP) and all across Upstate New York."

Schumer added, “These investments are key to preserving America’s position on the world stage as a current and future technological leader. In the coming days, I will push for final Senate passage of this legislation to ensure that the U.S.’ hand at home and abroad is as strong as possible as we compete with China on all fronts.”

June 3, 2021 - 1:30pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, notify, city of batavia, State Supreme Court.

Failure to report an injury in a timely fashion is the basis for a decision by the Appellate Division of a State Supreme Court to disallow a claim by City of Batavia Fire Chief Stefano Napolitano for workers’ compensation stemming from a work-related slip and fall in December 2018.

In a four-page ruling handed down last week, the Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Third Department agreed with the Workers’ Compensation Board that since Napolitano waited until after 30 days had elapsed to report the injury, his claim for benefits was invalid.

According to the ruling, the chief waited until April 2019 to file his claim as he contended the injury to his right knee became “progressively worse” as time went on.

Workers' Compensation Law §18 requires that a claimant seeking workers' compensation benefits must provide written notice of an injury within 30 days after the accident causing such injury. 

The Appellate Court’s decision indicates that Napolitano “admittedly neither reported the incident to the employer nor sought medical treatment for approximately four months – opting instead to just ‘muscle through’ it by self-diagnosing and self-medicating his injury … until he reached the point where ‘the pain just would not subside.’ ”

Napolitano declined to comment on the matter.

June 3, 2021 - 1:06pm

Press release:

Field trip dates at the Genesee Park & Forest are open for schools, youth groups, scouts and more for June and throughout the rest of the year.

This summer the parks are offering The Great Escape, a grant-funded program that provides outdoor recreation for youth groups in Genesee County. Activities include fishing, geocaching, kayaking and hiking.

Youth recreation programs may also include orienteering, project WILD games and more.

School field trips at the Genesee County Parks are designed to support state learning standards for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) grades pre-K through 12.

In addition to field trips at county parks, you can book a visit to your facility year-round.

Call (585) 344-1122 or email Shannon Lyaski at:  [email protected] to book your program!

All COVID-19 and social distancing protocols are followed according to state and county health department recommendations.

For more information visit our website.

June 3, 2021 - 12:42pm
posted by Press Release in Oakfield, Milestones, Girl Scouts Gold Award, scholarship.

Press release:

Girl Scouts of Western New York (GSWNY) is proud to announce 56 Girl Scouts as the 2021 recipients of the Girl Scout Gold Award, and 33 Girl Scouts as 2021 GSWNY scholarship recipients.

These exceptional change-makers took action to improve their local, national, and global communities while earning Girl Scouts’ most prestigious award in the world for girls.

In Genesee County, the sole awardee is Ava Flores, of Troop #42141, Oakfield, whose project was called "Feed the Need."

In addition to the Girl Scout Gold Award, Ava is one of the recipients to also be awarded a scholarship, in her case, $1,000 from Hans and Charlene Schoenenberger.

The Girl Scout Gold Award acknowledges the power behind each recipient’s dedication to not only empowering and bettering herself, but also to making the world a better place for others.

The Gold Award project is the culmination of all the work a girl puts into “going for the Gold.”

The project should fulfill a need within a girl’s community (whether local or global) and create change that has the potential to be ongoing or sustainable.

Approximately 80 hours of community service are involved in the project.

Completion of the Gold Award also qualifies the Girl Scout for special scholarship opportunities and she can enlist in the military at a higher starting pay grade.

For more information on the Girl Scout Gold Award, visit gswny.org.

June 3, 2021 - 12:14pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, pet rescue, scanner, batavia.

A dog is reportedly hanging half out of a second-story window at 129 Hutchins St. in the city. The caller is concerned the dog will drop onto the roof, and/or slide off of it. City fire is dispatched.

June 3, 2021 - 12:10pm
posted by Press Release in corfu, Le Roy, Tops Markets, scholarships, Announcements.

Press release:

Tops Friendly Markets, a leading full-service grocery retailer in Upstate New York, Vermont, and Northern Pennsylvania, announced today that it has awarded $267,350 dollars to 238 Tops first-year and matriculated college associates, associate dependents, and associate grandchildren for the 2021-2022 academic year.

​Madison Zimmerman, from Corfu, and Shirley Logan, from Le Roy, were both awarded scholarships for $1,150 each.*

All Tops associates, union and nonunion, their dependents and grandchildren are eligible to apply for scholarship awards ranging from $1,000 to $1,500 annually over the course of four academic years.  

Through partnership with the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local One, Tops Markets makes an annual contribution to the UFCW health care fund. The funds are then disbursed by the Union to Tops Markets part-time and full-time union associates. Part time and full time associates who are not UFCW Local One members, their dependents and their grandchildren are eligible to apply for scholarships through the Tops Scholarship Program.  

Applicants to both the UFCW health care fund and the Tops Scholarship Program must meet certain scholastic and work performance criteria in order to be considered eligible for an award.

*Yesterday, it was announced that Mary Caprio, of Oakfield, and Margaret Demare, of Batavia, were both awarded scholarships for $1,150 each.

June 3, 2021 - 9:34am

burns_1.jpgGenesee County’s new Information Technology director made a favorable impression upon county legislators at Wednesday’s Ways & Means Committee meeting when he presented a resolution that came with a zero financial impact.

Batavian Michael Burns, (photo at right), who began employment with the county on May 24 after more than 20 years at the Rochester Institute of Technology, requested that lawmakers approve acceptance of a cell phone booster that will improve reception at County Building II on West Main Street Road.

The booster is being provided at no charge by Verizon Wireless, which has an agreement with the county for installation, maintenance and operation of the in-building coverage system.

It was Burns’ first request of legislators, who forwarded the resolution to next week’s meeting of the full board.

Burns thanked legislators for the opportunity to work in his hometown and was welcomed by Legislature Chair Rochelle Stein, who voiced her pleasure that his initial resolution didn’t cost the county any money.

Previously (feature story on Burns from April 30): Batavia resident accepts Genesee County information technology director position after long career at RIT

In other action, the committee:

  • Approved using $21,250 from the 1 percent sales and use tax reserve to purchase body cameras, docking stations and annual licenses for road patrol for the Sheriff’s Office. Apparently, the request was made last year but was not transferred to the county’s 2021 budget.
  • Accepted a grant for $50,099 from the state Department of Health and Health Research Inc. for the county’s Public Health Emergency Preparedness Program, starting on July 1 and extending through June 30.
June 2, 2021 - 8:14pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, notify, Ways & Means Committee, Code of Ethics, genesee county.

While more of a “behind the scenes” aspect of municipal government, a Code of Ethics and Annual Financial Disclosure Statement are essential in educating public employees and public servants of expected standards of conduct and potential conflicts of interest.

The Genesee County Legislature’s Ways & Means Committee this afternoon, following the lead of County Attorney Kevin Earl, took a step toward unifying its Code of Ethics by setting a public hearing on Local Law Introductory No. 2, Year 2021, to repeal and replace the county’s current Ethics and Disclosure Law.

The public hearing is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. June 23 during a meeting of the full legislature at the Old County Courthouse.

Earl said this measure is being taken not because the current Code of Ethics is inadequate but to merge the various aspects of the code into one document.

“Currently, the Ethics Law and the Annual Financial Disclosure Statement came about in a Local Law in 1990,” Earl said. “The Local Law was amended two times by other Local Laws (in 1991 and 1992), so one of the problems is that when you want to find out what’s current, you have to toggle – go back and forth – between three Local Laws, which makes it difficult.

“So, the main purpose of this is to put everything in one Local Law; everything is right there and you can see everything in one place.”

Earl said that he updated some of the language in the code and disclosure statement, basing the county document on the New York State Comptroller’s Office model ethics code.

“We almost quoted it word for word – except for items that apply specifically to Genesee County,” he said.

According to General Municipal Law, officers and employees of a municipality are prohibited from having certain conflicts of interest, and each municipality is required to adopt a Code of Ethics covering disclosure of interests in legislation before the local governing body, holding of investments in conflict with official duties, private employment in conflict with official duties, future employment, and such other applicable standards.

The Genesee County Code of Ethics and Annual Financial Disclosure Statement, which must be filled out annually by designated county employees and members of specific boards and committees. Approximately 125 people currently are required to adhere to the code and submit the financial statement.

Sections of the updated document include:

  • Repeal and Replace. Local Law Introductory No. 2, Year 2021, would repeal and replace the original code and the ensuing amendments;
  • Code of Ethics. This is the section that spells out requirements for county employees and appointees, and includes: term definitions; applicability; prohibition of using a municipal position for personal or private gain; disclosure of potential conflict of interest; procedure for recusal or abstention; investments and/or private employment in conflict with official duties; future employment; personal representation; use of municipal resources; interest in contracts; nepotism; confidential information and gifts.
  • Board of Ethics. This defines the committee that is appointed by the County Legislature and will render advisory opinions to officers and employees with respect to the General Municipal Law governing any Code of Ethics.
  • Financial Disclosure and Annual Statements of Disclosure. This section defines the terms used and reporting categories along with the procedures and key dates for filing the annual statements with the Clerk of the Legislature.
  • Whistleblower Protections. This part indicates the county’s prohibition of illegal or unethical activity, and safeguards any employee who reports such activity from being discharged, discriminated against or from being subject to retaliation.
  • Penalties. Anyone making false statements can be fined, disciplined or discharged from their duties, but an appeals process that brings in the Board of Ethics is in place.
  • Effective Date. The new Local Law shall take effect upon proper filing with the Office of the Secretary of State.

In another development, County Manager Matt Landers reported that the county has received the first half of its $11.1 million allocation from the American Rescue Plan Act.

The exact total going into the county coffers is $5,562,984.50. The second half will be distributed in 12 months.

Previously: Landers outlines four areas to use ARPA funds, says plan to spend $11.1 million is on the drawing board

June 2, 2021 - 5:18pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day, advertisement.
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Last night at Eli Fish, the Batavia Muckdogs held an event for season ticket holders, and the media attended by the entire team of Batavia Muckdogs. We spoke with five of the team members.

The Muckdogs play their first home game of the season at  7 p.m., Friday.

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