Updated, April 24, 9 a.m., with comments from City Manager Rachael Tabelski:
The City of Batavia is “AIM-ing” to fortify its public safety personnel roster.
City Manager Rachael Tabelski, in a memo to City Council dated April 16, is proposing the restoration of a police officer and two firefighters to the 2021-22 budget and the funding of overtime for the Neighborhood Enforcement Team and community policing special details.
This action is possible, she wrote, as a result of New York State passing a budget that includes the full amount of Aid and Incentives for Municipalities’ funding to the city. The city now will receive $1,750,975 in AIM money -- $262,656 more than it had budgeted.
"These vacant positions are now able to be hired if City Council approves the budget amendment," Tabelski said. "AIM aid is an annual reoccurring revenue, and was only adjusted down by the state because of COVID. Once restored in the final state budget, I am comfortable using it to restore positions."
She added that the city workforce would still be short one police officer, one firefighter and one laborer position even after these other three posts are restored.
As far as the overtime funding, Tabelski said, NET and community policing are "special overtime police details normally funded each year via the city budget, but were cut due to COVID revenue challenges."
"These details include increased neighborhood and community patrols, and community engagement assignments," she said.
Tabelski will be recommending that Council amend the city’s budget to account for the additional funds, allocated as follows:
Police Salary -- $66,464;
Police State Retirement -- $12,033;
Police Social Security -- $6,503;
Fire Salary -- $124,197;
Fire State Retirement -- $23,563;
Fire Social Security -- $12,240;
Police NET Salary -- $7,070;
Police NET Social Security -- $586;
Community Policing Salary -- $9,235;
Community Policing Social Security -- $765.
This proposal is on the agenda of Monday night’s Conference Meeting and, if forwarded, to a Special Business Meeting afterward. The Conference Meeting is scheduled for 7 o’clock at the City Hall Council Board Room.
Other items on the Conference Meeting agenda:
- Superintendent of Maintenance Ray Tourt will report that bids solicited for a contractor to replace a portion of the City Centre roof will be opened at 10 a.m. on April 29.
In a memo to Tabelski dated March 30, Tourt said the project will involve work not included in the Phase 1 roof replacement – the hallway nearest Dan’s Tire & Auto, the west side loading dock and the utility area. The entranceways (silos) will be part of a future project.
- Tourt also advised that AJ’s Tree Service of East Amherst submitted the low bid for annual trimming and removal of city trees as budgeted in the 2021-22 city budget. The contract expires on March 31 but can be extended for up to two years if both parties agree.
The amount of AJ’s Tree Service’s bid was not disclosed in the memo.
The Special Business Meeting agenda includes:
- A resolution to award a contract to Keeler Construction Co. Inc., of Albion, to replace an aging and inefficient air header at the wastewater treatment plant.
Keeler’s bid of $777,425 was considerably less than the next lowest bidder, Village Construction Co., of Victor, which submitted a bid of $1,263,175.
In a memo to Tabelski dated April 19, Tourt wrote that the project will cost an additional $854,000 for engineering work.
As previously reported on The Batavian, the air header is operating at 20 percent of capacity, forcing city officials to move up the timetable to get it replaced. The air header is essential to providing oxygen back into the ponds to digest waste.
Replacement of the air header is part of a $1 million wastewater treatment plant project.
Monday’s meetings are open to the public with appropriate facemasks, social distancing and temperature screening upon arrival.
Options for viewing the meeting include streamed LIVE on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bataviany/ or Spectrum Channel 1301 at 9 a.m. April 28 and 8 p.m. April 30.