What is wrong with Batavia?
Yesterday’s poll showed that most people approve of the School’s plan to fix up their fields at North Street Extension. A similar poll conducted less than a month ago seemed to indicate that the majority did not favor the improvement plan. As I considered the drastic change in public opinion regarding the use of those fields, I couldn’t help but wonder what was different now compared to a few weeks ago. Could it be that the information previously provided by City Council members (Bill Cox and Rose Mary Christian) failed to reflect the facts as presented on 10/6/09 by the School Board?
Many people have expressed the desire for a developer to build more houses in the City in order to increase the tax base and help relieve the burden on the rest of us. That, of course, would require additional home owners to come to Batavia. Right now, developers have the opportunity to extend streets in the First Ward such as Carolwood, Garden, Harold Square and North Street yet they have not. One reason may be the high cost of the infrastructure which makes a new building lot so expensive. Of course, basic economics tells us that when the customer wants the product bad enough, he will pay more. The prospective homeowner would have to want to come to Batavia.
So you have to ask yourself, what’s wrong with Batavia? It’s a 30 minute commute to most of Rochester and some of Buffalo. Crime is low, the schools are good, shopping is plentiful, restaurants are nice and Main Street actually looks good. We have programs for adults and kids interested in sports and theater. Could it be a lack of parks for our kids? Hmmmm.
The City published a report several years ago that said there were not enough parks in Batavia. Since then, Dewitt Park was developed in the Sixth Ward and it serves the community well as a partial remedy to the shortage. The First Ward lacks a City park but does have John Kennedy School on the Western border. The Eastern side of the Ward is ripe for development but lacks a park. I have heard that the City’s master plan calls for a park on the Eastern side of the First Ward to serve residents in the area.
If we ever expect to attract homeowners to Batavia, we need to provide the services they want. We should follow the City’s existing plan and extend the streets (North and Garden), create the park (that the School District has planned) and enable our current developers to more affordably build those new houses that will increase our tax base.
I submit that one of the few things wrong with Batavia is a hesitancy to look forward and make decisions that will grow the community.