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May 24, 2019 - 10:48pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in weatern otb, Batavia Downs, business.

An audit by the state comptroller is more than welcome, officials with Western OTB, operator of Batavia Downs, said this week.

The board of directors unanimously passed a resolution pledging transparency in its business dealings and Henry Wojtaszek, president and CEO of Western OTB, sent a letter to Thomas DiNapoli inviting an audit.

"Over the past several weeks, some media reports have focused on our finances and promotional operations," Wojtaszek wrote. "In order to continue to meet our high standards of transparency and compliance, I would like to inform you we welcome an additional audit of the corporation's finances by your staff and of course will follow any recommendations we can to improve moving forward."

The moves come as a result of reports, based on information from anonymous sources, that Western OTB is the target of an FBI investigation into allegations that "politically wired" companies have received preferential treatment in contracts with the corporation. 

It's a charge officials with Western OTB deny.

A source on the board characterized the news reports as based on "rumors."

In his letter, Wojtaszek noted that Western OTB has generated more than $231 million in revenues for the 15 counties in its region and that prior comptroller audits have not revealed any financial impropriators or irregularities.

"(That) is something we are very proud of," Wojtaszek wrote.

May 20, 2019 - 2:13pm

Press release:

The Genesee Country Farmers' Market @ The Downtown Batavia Public Market opens for the season on Friday, June 7th, at the market's location on the corner of Bank Street and Alva Place in the Downtown Batavia Business District.

Market hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Fridays with the season running from Friday, June 7th, through Friday, Oct. 25th.

"This year marks the fourth year of collaboration with BID (Downtown Batavia Business Improvement District)", says Market Manager Mike Bakos, "The Market will remain a three-day per week 'Grow-Your-Own' market, featuring the freshest locally-grown produce along with unique specialty items from local artisans.

"Vendors are excited about the upcoming market season with many of last year's vendors returning along with some new additions. The market will once again participate in the SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), DUFB (Double-Up Food Bucks), NYS FreshConnect, WIC and Senior Farmer's Market Check Programs. Stop by and talk directly to the people that grow your food."

The market is committed to its Mission of "providing a family-friendly environment where the residents of the Greater-Batavia area and Genesee County can shop for fresh, locally-grown, produce and specialty artisanal items" -- and its Vision of "making the Genesee Country Farmers' Market @ The Downtown Batavia Public Market a WNY Destination."

Parties interested in joining the market to become a Seasonal Vendor or Day Vendor may contact Sharon Brent at (716)-560-0853 or by email at [email protected] or Mike Bakos at (716) 866-4958 or by email at [email protected].

Qualifying charities, service-groups, or 501c3 organizations that would like to participate in the market may obtain a FREE market stall by contacting the market at (716) 866-4958 or by email at [email protected].

May 20, 2019 - 2:06pm
posted by Billie Owens in agriculture, steve hawley, news, farmworkers, business.

Press release from Assemblyman Steve Hawley's office:

Following increasing pressure from Downstate lawmakers to overturn an 80-year law and allow farm workers to unionize, Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) is again calling for statewide public hearings to be conducted by the Assembly before any vote is proposed to make such a sweeping change to one of New York’s largest industries. 

The former owner/operator of Hawley Farms in Batavia was one of the first legislators to sign onto the Assembly Minority’s letter requesting public hearings on unionization.

“Growing up as a generational farmer in Western New York and eventually owning and operating our family farm, I am confident that unionization would harm our industry and force more family-owned operations to close,” Hawley said.

“Farming is unique in its demands, its work schedule, its earnings structure and its labor needs, and to impose blanket requirements to make it congruent with other industries simply may not work in the agricultural model.”

Hawley, a longtime member of the Assembly’s Agriculture Committee, has been in conversations with Chairwoman Donna Lupardo (D-Binghamton) to hold public hearings for several weeks.

“I suspect that the New York City lawmakers pushing this legislation have very little experience on a farm and we need statewide hearings to ensure that current farmers, their employees and members of the agriculture community are heard before any decisions are made,” Hawley said.

May 19, 2019 - 5:37pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Sunny's Restaurant, news, batavia, business.

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Sunny's in Batavia is closing its doors for the last time tonight.

Late this afternoon, Skinny Rose wasn't at the restaurant and Tiny Rose declined to comment about the closing.

May 19, 2019 - 9:56am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Fresenius Kidney Care, batavia, business.

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Local officials, including Rep. Chris Collins, were on hand Friday for an open house and ribbon cutting at Batavia's newest medical clinic, Fresenius Kidney Care, on Veterans Memorial Drive, just north of Home Depot.

The new facility will be staffed by 20 healthcare professionals and able to treat 102 patients per week.

It opens tomorrow.

Director of Operations Kenneth Crine said Fresenius came to Batavia because the current dialysis clinic is typically booked to capacity.

"I felt excitement for being able to provide needed dialysis services in a community that has a need for that," Crine said. "I think Batavia has been in that situation for a little while, where the current facility is kind of full and people have been displaced because of that, and being able to provide a center where people can have access to convenient healthcare is really important to me. So, you know, I feel good about that."

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Kenneth Crine and Chris Collins

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May 19, 2019 - 8:18am
posted by Howard B. Owens in WNY Tech Academy, byron-bergen, news, schools, education, business.

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National Grid was recognized Friday by the WNY Tech Academy at Byron-Bergen High School as the Business of the Year for the company's support of the program, particularly for the $25,000 National Grid had already donated to the student's greenhouse project. On Friday, executive Ken Kuwaja and Paul Gister delivered another $50,000.

The student-conceived project involves building a greenhouse and starting a business to grow greens and farm tilapia in a hydroponic environment.

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Kelly Yates, pictured with Principal Thomas Schulte, was named Mentor of the Year.

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Students named Professional of the Year: Samantha Lucki, Petyon Penders, and Evan Harter.

May 16, 2019 - 2:36pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, agriculture, chris collins, business, dairy.

Press release:

On Wednesday, Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) introduced legislation that would provide a short-term, one-time fix, to help the nonseasonal agriculture workforce.

"The Helping Labor Personnel (HELP) Farms Act" provides a solution for farmers across the nation, especially in the dairy industry, while Congress and the Department of Labor continue to modernize the H-2A program and allow visas be granted on an annual basis instead of seasonally.

“Under current law, the H-2A visa program does not help our struggling dairy farms, who live in constant fear of losing their workforce,” Congressman Collins said. “This legislation provides a temporary solution while Congress and the Department of Labor work together to find a bipartisan solution.”

This legislation requires the Secretary of Homeland Security, in conjunction with the Secretary of State and Secretary of Labor, to collect applications for temporary work authorization for nonseasonal agriculture workers. This nonseasonal agriculture workforce must be sponsored by a United States employer who he/she has worked with for at least two years.

Upon approval of the application, the alien worker will be granted work authorization for two years along with his/her spouse and children. Additionally, protections are included for the sponsoring employer to ensure there are no consequences for employing an alien workforce due to an outdated and flawed H-2A visa program.

“There is not a single person representing dairy that does not understand we have a true crisis with the current system we have in place,” Collins added.

An alien worker who currently works in a nonseasonal agriculture occupation may be permitted to apply to this temporary work authorization program so long as they have not been convicted on felony charges of rape, kidnapping violent assault, sexual assault, or suspected of terrorism.

Alien workers who are currently being detained may also be given the opportunity to apply for this program.

A copy of the bill can be found here.

May 16, 2019 - 8:40am

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Brewers and beer lovers from throughout Western New York will converge on Eli Fish Brewing Co. in Batavia this Sunday for the conclusion of Farm-to-Pint Week, a regional event organized by the Buffalo-Niagara Brewers Association.

The event is called a "tap takeover." Brewers from the association who used ingredients grown on Western New York farms will take over the taps with their own beers (Eli Fish will have four of its own beers on tap) from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. The event is open to the public.

The association bills the week as a chance to celebrate the regional brewers and growers who work together to produce some incredible handcrafted beers.

Earlier this week there were events at Resurgence Brewing in Buffalo, Food Truck Tuesday in Buffalo, and tomorrow 42 North Brewing Co. in East Aurora hosts "Full Circle Fest 2019."

The tap takeover event was previously hosted by a brewery in Hamburg, so Eli's brewmasters Adam Burnett and Jon Mager (top photo) said it's a real honor that the association decided to host the event in Batavia this year.

"We think it’s pretty cool that when we offered to host it they didn’t flinch," Burnett said. "I think that speaks to the inclusiveness, that we’re part of the real scene of the Buffalo-Niagara Brewers Association only in our second year. I know a lot more brewers are well established so it’s a sign of respect to be included."

May 14, 2019 - 2:21pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, Tompkins Insurance Agencies.

Submitted photos and press release:

Louis Atti, CPCU, of Angola, has joined Tompkins Insurance Agencies Inc. as the Personal Insurance manager and a member of the agency’s senior leadership team. He will be working out of the 113 Main St. office in Batavia.

In his new role, Atti (inset photo right) will be responsible foroverseeing the day-to-day operations of the personal insurance service team in the Western New York and Pennsylvania regions.

Atti brings almost 30 years of experience in personal insurance, having been the Personal Insurance manager for the Evans Agency in the Buffalo area. Currently, Atti is the chairman of the Board for Adirondack Insurance and the chairman of the Board for the Big I of NY. He also served as past chairman of the board for the IIAAWNY (Independent Insurance Agents Association of WNY Inc.) and was past mayor/trustee for the Village of Angola.

“I, as well as others here, have a long and deep rooted connection to Lou,” said David Boyce, president and CEO. “We are pleased to bring his level of experience and knowledge to our agency as we continue to grow and improve our customer experience.

"Lou is a unique fit for our agency. Having worked at Evans for the last 20 years, Lou understands and appreciates the benefits of working at an integrated organization which includes banking, wealth management and insurance, and the value we bring our customers.”

Atti earned his bachelor’s degree from the State University of New York at Fredonia and earned his prestigious Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) designation from The Institutes, which identifies him as a property-casualty subject matter expert.

Over the next 90 days, he will transition fully into his new role, replacing Tim Spezzano, (inset photo left) currently senior vice president and personal lines manager, who has accepted the position of sales manager for the agency.

Spezzano will be responsible for the Personal, Commercial and Employee Benefits Sales teams in both New York and Pennsylvania. 

Spezzano has been in the insurance industry for 24 years, and with Tompkins Insurance for the past 18 years, holding positions such as account executive, commercial lines sales manager and claims manager, and serving on the agency’s senior leadership team.

About Tompkins Insurance Agencies

Tompkins Insurance Agencies Inc., operates 17 offices in Western New York, six offices in Central New York and seven offices in Southeast Pennsylvania. A part of Tompkins Financial Corporation (trading as TMP on the NYSE - MKT), the agency is affiliated with Tompkins Bank of Castile, Tompkins Trust Company, Tompkins VIST Bank, Tompkins Mahopac Bank and Tompkins Financial Advisors.

It is an independent insurance agency offering personal and business insurance and employee benefits services through more than 50 of the nation’s leading insurance carriers. Further information is available at www.tompkinsins.com. Tompkins Insurance ranks No. 2 on the Rochester Business Journal’s 2018 list of top Commercial Insurance firms.*

*Source: Rochester Business Journal, Jan. 2019

May 8, 2019 - 4:14pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, business, news, Fresenius Kidney Care.

Press release:

Fresenius Kidney Care, the dialysis division of Fresenius Medical Care North America and the nation’s leading network of dialysis facilities, invites the community to attend an Open House celebration from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Friday, May 17, at its new Batavia clinic.

It is located in a newly constructed 8,000-square-foot state-of-the-art building at 4185 Veterans Memorial Drive in the Town of Batavia.

The clinic, which can treat a maximum of 102 patients a week, enables Fresenius Kidney Care’s local team of expert medical professionals to better serve the Genesee County area’s growing dialysis community. In New York, nearly 30,000 patients require dialysis treatment.

At the Open House, local experienced medical professionals available to discuss patient services and the latest dialysis treatment options, including:

  • In-center dialysis – provides the reassurance of staff-assisted treatment and labs all in one place;
  • At-home dialysis -- offers greater independence, convenience and health benefits to patients who would otherwise spend up to 12 hours a week in a center receiving the life-sustaining care;
  • How the center’s care team meets patients’ physical and emotional needs by individualizing their care;
  • How Fresenius Kidney Care Batavia strives to empower people to thrive on and live the healthiest, fullest way possible – with kidney disease treatments that fit in with life, not the other way around;
  • How FreseniusRx renal-trained pharmacists can help dialysis patients manage their medications.

Tour the clinic and meet the treatment team and see the treatment rooms. Learn about other services offered at the center, such as hemodialysis travel services, and ongoing educational programs.

Light refreshments available.

About Fresenius Kidney Care

Fresenius Kidney Care, a division of Fresenius Medical Care North America (FMCNA), provides dialysis treatment and support services to more than 190,000 people with kidney disease every year whether in their own homes or at more than 2,400 facilities nationwide. Fresenius Kidney Care’s dedicated teams help address the physical and emotional aspects of kidney disease through personalized care, education and lifestyle support services. For more information about Fresenius Kidney Care, visit www.FreseniusKidneyCare.com.

About Kidney Disease and Dialysis

One in seven adults will develop chronic kidney disease, with many not detecting the condition until they have lost more than 90 percent of their kidney function. More than 660,000 Americans live with end stage renal disease, or kidney failure, which requires either a transplant or dialysis to remove waste from the blood, maintain safe levels of potassium and sodium and control blood pressure. Currently, 468,000 people in the United States depend on dialysis as a life sustaining treatment. The leading causes of kidney disease are high blood pressure and diabetes.

May 7, 2019 - 1:50pm
posted by Billie Owens in chamber of commerce, business.

There will be a speed networking (or speed business meeting) sponsored by the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday morning, May 15, at the Arc of Genesee Orleans Community Center in Batavia. Time is 8 to 9:30 a.m.

It's a meeting format designed to accelerate business contacts. It involves participants gathering together to exchange information. Participants greet each other in a series of brief exchanges during a set period of time.

Fill your tank and come ready to network! Coffee and tea and other light snacks will be provided.

Arc of Genesee Orleans Community Center is located at 38 Woodrow Drive.

May 3, 2019 - 12:55pm
posted by Billie Owens in GCEDC, New, business.

Press release:

The Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) voted Thursday to approve reassigning the terms of previously approved PILOT (Payment In Lieu Of Taxes) agreements for Upstate Niagara Cooperative.

The company recently announced the purchase of the former Alpina Foods manufacturing facility in the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park.

Under the PILOT agreements, local taxing jurisdictions will receive $378,010 in revenues over the life of the PILOT. Upstate Niagara Cooperative plans to invest $22 million in the facility to meet the company’s operational needs.

“Genesee County has benefited greatly from the repeated investments by food and beverage companies into dairy production facilities,” said GCEDC Board Chairman Paul Battaglia. “The Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park provides excellent opportunities for the Upstate Niagara Cooperative and businesses in the dairy and food industries to succeed.”

The GCEDC Board also approved a loan from the Growing the Agricultural Industry Now! (GAIN) fund for New York Craft Malt. The $82,000 GAIN loan is part of a $206,968 investment for the purchase of new equipment and building improvements at the company’s facility at 8164 Bank Street Road in the Town of Batavia. The project will create two new jobs.

“NY Craft Malt’s project builds on our successful GAIN Loan Fund program, which supports the growth of agricultural products and businesses in Genesee County,” said GCEDC President and CEO Steve Hyde. “Low-interest GAIN loans have enabled producers to invest over $1 million into dairy, maple and malting operations.”

The NY Craft Malt is the fifth project in Genesee County to receive a GAIN loan. Previous recipients include Cottonwood Farms in Pavilion, Sandvoss Farms in East Bethany, and Junior’s Maple in Batavia.

May 2, 2019 - 2:57pm

BATAVIA – Tompkins Financial Corporation has announced the acquisition of Cali Agency Inc. by Tompkins Insurance Agencies Inc., an affiliate of the financial corporation. The acquisition was effective May 1.

“We are happy to continue to grow our business in Warsaw and serve more of our neighbors there through this acquisition,” said David S. Boyce, president and CEO of Tompkins Insurance. “Our roots run deep in Warsaw; we’ve been proudly serving families and businesses there since 1935.”

The change is a win-win for customers, Boyce said.

“In addition to continuing to receive personal attention from local insurance professionals who place a high value on customer service, customers will have 'one stop shopping' access to the comprehensive array of financial solutions offered by our affiliation with Tompkins Bank of Castile and Tompkins Financial Advisors,” Boyce said.

According to Boyce, the Cali Agency location will close and customers will be served from the Tompkins Insurance Warsaw location at 2367 State Route 19 North beginning on May 6.

In the very near future, clients of Cali Agency may also receive service at any of the convenient locations nearby, including offices at 25 State St. in Nunda; 102 N. Center St. in Perry, 14 Market St. in Attica; 11 South St. in Geneseo; through any of the agency’s Western New York locations, or through its Customer Care Center at 888-261-2688.

Tompkins Insurance serves 30,000 personal insurance customers and 7,600 commercial insurance customers, making it the third largest commercial insurance firm in the Rochester/Monroe County area and among the 100 largest agencies in the country. 

About Tompkins Insurance Agencies:

Tompkins Insurance Agencies, Inc., operates 17 offices in Western New York, seven offices in central New York and seven offices in southeast Pennsylvania. A part of Tompkins Financial Corporation, (trading as TMP on the NYSE - MKT), the agency is affiliated with Tompkins Bank of Castile, Tompkins Trust Company, Tompkins VIST Bank, Tompkins Mahopac Bank and Tompkins Financial Advisors. It is an independent insurance agency offering personal and business insurance and employee benefits services through more than 50 of the nation’s leading insurance carriers. Further information is available at www.tompkinsins.com. Tompkins Insurance ranks No. 2 on the Rochester Business Journal’s 2018 list of top Commercial Insurance firms.*

*Source: Rochester Business Journal, January 2019

May 2, 2019 - 2:43pm

Press releaase:

The Mancuso Business Development Group is happy to be celebrating the 60th anniversary of The Harvester Center with the inaugural Harvester Crawl, today from 5 to 6:30 p.m., May 2. It will feature a poker run!

Food and beverages provided.

The event will begin promptly at 5 o'clock, with entry to the event through Sarah’s Studio, 56 Harvester Ave.

Please RSVP to [email protected]

Featured sites include:

  • Old Bear Recording Studio featuring "Brothers McClurg" Christian Rock Band
  • Rashaad Santiago, SFX Artist. Winner of Season 6 of the Syfy Channel's “FACE OFF" Reality Show
  • John Canale Drum Studio -- offers variety of drum lessons *Sarah’s Studio – craft beer and wine purveyor
  • Smart Design Architecture -- A full-service Architecture & Design Firm
  • Motoclectic -- Magazine printing headquarters for a new Free Motorcycle Magazine
  • Co-work space at Mancuso Management Group
May 1, 2019 - 12:54pm
posted by Billie Owens in GCEDC, news, business.

Press release:

The Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) will consider reassigning the terms of previously approved PILOT (Payment In Lieu Of Taxes) agreements for Upstate Niagara Cooperative, which recently finalized the purchase of the former Alpina Foods manufacturing facility in the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park.  

The PILOT agreements would provide local taxing jurisdictions with $378,010 in revenues over the life of the PILOT. Upstate Niagara Cooperative plans to invest $22 million in the facility to meet the company’s operational needs.

The GCEDC Board also will consider a request by New York Craft Malt for a $82,000 loan from the Growing the Agricultural Industry Now! (GAIN) fund.  The GAIN loan would be part of a $206,968 investment for the purchase of new equipment and building improvements at the company’s facility at 8164 Bank Street Road in the Town of Batavia. The project would create two new jobs.

The GCEDC Board meeting will take place at its offices at 99 MedTech Drive in Batavia at 4 p.m. on Thursday, May 2. The meeting is open to the public.

April 30, 2019 - 5:23pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, tompkins financial corporation.

Press release:

ITHACA -- Tompkins Financial Corporation (NYSE American: TMP), parent company of Tompkins Bank of Castile, Tompkins Insurance Agencies, and Tompkins Financial Advisors, has reported record year-to-date and second quarter earnings.

The company also has announced that its Board of Directors approved payment of a regular quarterly cash dividend, and has authorized a new stock repurchase program.

Tompkins Financial Corporation announced Monday that its Board of Directors approved payment of a regular quarterly cash dividend of $0.50 per share, payable on May 15, 2019, to common shareholders of record on May 7, 2019.

Tompkins Financial Corporation is a financial services company serving the Central, Western, and Hudson Valley regions of New York and the Southeastern region of Pennsylvania.

Headquartered in Ithaca, Tompkins Financial is parent to Tompkins Trust Company, Tompkins Bank of Castile, Tompkins Mahopac Bank, Tompkins VIST Bank, Tompkins Insurance Agencies Inc., and offers wealth management services through Tompkins Financial Advisors. For more information on Tompkins Financial, visit www.tompkinsfinancial.com.

Tompkins Financial Corporation reported net income of $21.0 million for the first quarter of 2019, an increase of 3.0 percent from the $20.4 million reported for the same period in 2018. Diluted earnings per share were $1.37 for the first quarter of 2019, a 3.0 percent increase from $1.33 reported for the first quarter of 2018.

President and CEO Stephen S. Romaine said “We are excited to start 2019 with the best first quarter in our Company's history. Growth in loans and deposits, higher fee income, and improved credit quality all contributed to the improved results in 2019.

"During the quarter we celebrated the grand opening of our office in Amherst. This is our first office in the Buffalo market and provides banking, wealth management and insurance services."

Selected highlights for first quarter:

•      Diluted earnings per share of $1.37 represent the best first quarter in Company history, and are up 3.0 percent over the same period in 2018

•      Total loans of $4.8 billion were up 1.8 percent over the same period in 2018

•      Total deposits of $5.0 billion reflect an increase of 1.2 percent over the same period last year

•      Total nonperforming loans were down 8.9 percent compared to the same period last year, and down 13.6 percentfrom Dec. 31, 2018

•      Tangible book value per share is up 14.4 percent from the first quarter of 2018 and reflects the fifth consecutive quarterly increase

NET INTEREST INCOME

The net interest margin was 3.34 percent for the first quarter of 2019, flat compared to the fourth quarter of 2018, and is down from 3.42 percent for the first quarter of 2018. The net interest margin in the prior year benefited from reduced interest expense associated with accelerated accretion of purchase accounting related to certain acquired deposits.

Net interest income of $51.9 million for the first quarter of 2019 decreased by 1.5 percent compared to the same period in 2018, and was down 2.5 percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2018. The decrease in net interest income over prior year was mainly due to higher cost on interest-bearing deposits, which was largely driven by the higher market interest rate environment.

NONINTEREST INCOME

Noninterest income represented 27.2 percent of total revenues in the first quarter of 2019, compared to 25.3 percent in the same period in 2018, and 23.9 percent for the most recent prior quarter. Noninterest income of $19.4 million was up 8.8 percent compared to the same period last year, and down 2.3 percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2018. Insurance revenue was the largest contributor to noninterest income and reflected an increase of 8.8 percent over the same period last year. Noninterest income also included a one-time incentive payment of $500,000 (pre-tax) related to our card services business in the first quarter of 2019.

NONINTEREST EXPENSE

Noninterest expense was $44.2 million for the first quarter of 2019, which was up 1.1 percent from the same period in 2018, and down 6.4 percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2018. The increase in noninterest expense from the same period last year was mainly related to higher salaries and wages in the first quarter of 2019. The decline from the most recent prior quarter was primarily due to higher cost in the fourth quarter of 2018 for professional fees, primarily related to investments in strengthening the Company’s compliance and information security infrastructure.

INCOME TAX EXPENSE

The Company’s effective tax rate was 21.0 percent in the first quarter of 2019, compared to 22.0 percent for the same period in 2018.

ASSET QUALITY

Asset quality trends remained strong in the first quarter of 2019. Nonperforming assets represented 0.36 percent of total assets at March 31, 2019, down from 0.42 percent at Dec. 31, 2018. Nonperforming asset levels continue to be below the most recent Federal Reserve Board Peer Group Average1of 0.59 percent.

Provision for loan and lease losses was $445,000 for the first quarter of 2019, down from $567,000 reported for the first quarter of 2018, and $1.6 million reported for the fourth quarter of 2018. Net charge-offs for the first quarter of 2019 were $3.5 million compared to $127,000 reported in the first quarter of 2018. The first quarter of 2019 included a write-down on one large credit in the commercial real estate portfolio, the credit did have an impairment reserve at Dec. 31, 2018.

The Company’s allowance for originated loan and lease losses totaled $40.2 million at March 31, 2019, and represented 0.89 percent of total originated loans and leases at March 31, 2019, compared to 0.91 percent at March 31, 2018, and 0.95 percent at Dec. 31, 2018. The total allowance coverage of nonperforming loans and leases increased to 175.50 percent at March 31, 2019, up from 159.34 percent at March 31, 2018, and 163.25 percent at Dec. 31, 2018.

CAPITAL POSITION

Capital ratios remain well above the regulatory well capitalized minimums. The ratio of tangible common equity to tangible assets was 8.24 percent at March 31, 2019, improved from the 7.81 percent reported for the most recent prior quarter ended Dec. 31, 2018, and 7.29 percent at March 31, 2018.

About Tompkins Financial Corporation

Tompkins Financial Corporation is a financial services company serving the Central, Western, and Hudson Valley regions of New York and the Southeastern region of Pennsylvania. Tompkins Financial operates in Western New York as Tompkins Bank of Castile, Tompkins Insurance Agencies, and Tompkins Financial Advisors. Further information is available at www.tompkinsfinancial.com

Tompkins Bank of Castile is a community bank with 16 offices in the five-county Western New York region. Services include complete lines of consumer deposit accounts and loans, business accounts and loans, and leasing. Further information about the bank is available on its website, www.bankofcastile.com.

Tompkins Insurance Agencies Inc., offers personalized service, local decision-making and a broad range of services for consumers and businesses. It is an independent insurance agency offering personal and business insurance and employee benefits services through more than 50 different companies. The firm operates six offices in central New York, 16 offices in Western New York and seven offices in Southeast Pennsylvania. Further information is available at www.tompkinsins.com.

Tompkins Financial Advisors is the wealth management firm of Tompkins Financial Corporation. With more than a century of experience in helping clients to build, protect, and preserve wealth, Tompkins Financial Advisors provides financial planning, investment management, trust services and estate administration. For more information, visit www.tompkinsfinancialadvisors.com.

April 30, 2019 - 2:33pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in darien lake, darien lake theme park, business, Darien.

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Press release:

Six Flags Darien Lake is proud to announce construction work on the park’s newest attraction, Six Flags SkyScreamer, is in its final stages. At a staggering 242-feet high Six Flags SkyScreamer will be the tallest thrill ride in New York State. This high-flying new addition solidifies the park as the “Thrill Capital of New York State."

“As a shining beacon of Six Flags Darien Lake, this monstrous tower will serve as an iconic new landmark, calling out to thrill-seekers everywhere,” said Park President Chris Thorpe. “Soaring high among the clouds with majestic views of the park and surrounding countryside far below, guests will take to new, record-setting heights in New York State this season.”

By night, Six Flags SkyScreamer’s bold, synchronized light package will light up the skies.

  • A soaring 24-stories tall approximately 242-feet high;
  • 32 riders, sitting two across in open-air swings; and
  • Spinning round and round a 98-foot circle at 35 miles per hour. 

Six Flags SkyScreamer is scheduled to open by mid-May. For more information on Six Flags Darien Lake’s 2019 season visit www.darienlake.com

Six Flags 2019 Memberships and Season Passes are now available. Members can enjoy priority park entry, preferred parking and tremendous discounts of up to 50 percent on nearly all food and merchandise purchases all season long.

Gold Plus, Platinum, Diamond, and Diamond Elite levels are available featuring all the perks of a Season Pass plus other benefits including admission to all Six Flags-branded theme and waterparks, skip the line passes, unlimited soft drinks and much more!

For more information, visit the Membership Sales Center or go online to sixflags.com/darienlake and sign up.

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April 30, 2019 - 1:32pm

Press release:

WASHINGTON, April 30 – Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue today unveiled a groundbreaking report, A Case for Rural Broadband: Insights on Rural Broadband Infrastructure and Next Generation Precision Agriculture Technologies (PDF, 2.5 MB).

The report finds that deployment of both broadband e-Connectivity and Next Generation Precision Agriculture Technology on farms and ranches throughout the United States could result in at least $47 billion in national economic benefits every year.

“Broadband and Next Generation Precision Agriculture are critical components for creating vital access to world-class resources, tools and opportunity for America’s farmers, ranchers, foresters and producers,” Secretary Perdue said.

“Under the leadership of President Trump, USDA is committed to doing our part to clear the way for nationwide broadband connectivity that will allow the next generation of precision agriculture technologies to thrive and expand.”

Download A Case for Rural Broadband: Insights on Rural Broadband Infrastructure and Next Generation Precision Agriculture Technologies (PDF, 2.5 MB). To see how Next Generation Precision Agriculture Technologies can work on farm and ranching operations, view the Connected Technologies infographic (PDF, 910 KB).

The report also finds that if broadband infrastructure and digital technologies at scale were available at a level that meets estimated producer demand, the U.S. economy could realize benefits equivalent to nearly 18 percent of total agriculture production. Of that 18 percent, more than one-third is dependent on broadband e-Connectivity, equivalent to at least $18 billion in annual economic benefits that only high-speed, reliable internet can provide.

For many years, USDA and the American agriculture industry have been actively researching the feasibility, usage and potential upside of Next Generation Precision Agriculture technologies. Until now though, the interdependency of these technologies and broadband e-Connectivity has not been evaluated.

The report released today explores this symbiotic relationship and quantifies the potential economic benefit of broadband buildout and the complementary adoption of connected agriculture technologies. Going forward, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will be engaged in multiple facets of infrastructure and technology deployment, including financing rural capital investments and supporting producers who are exploring which Next Generation Precision Agriculture Technologies are best suited to improve their operations and serve their customers.

In April 2017, President Trump established the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity to identify legislative, regulatory and policy changes that could promote agriculture and prosperity in rural communities. In January 2018, Secretary Perdue presented the Task Force’s findings to President Trump.

These findings included 31 recommendations to align the federal government with state, local and tribal governments to take advantage of opportunities that exist in rural America. The Report identified Achieving e-Connectivity in Rural America as a cornerstone recommendation. The Administration has been executing this priority call to action through the American Broadband Initiative (ABI) (PDF, 647 KB), which reflects rural broadband build-out as one of President Trump’s directives to the Federal government. A Case for Rural Broadband: Insights on Rural Broadband Infrastructure and Next Generation Precision Agriculture Technologies (PDF, 2.5 MB) opens the next chapter in the USDA’s response to this call to action.

To view the report in its entirety, please view the Report to the President of the United States from the Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity (PDF, 5.4 MB). In addition, to view the categories of the recommendations, please view the Rural Prosperity infographic (PDF, 190 KB).

April 27, 2019 - 3:49pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, education, news, Le Roy, DECA, le roy high school.

Submitted photo and press release:

The DECA International Career Development Conference (ICDC) is the culmination of the DECA year. More than 19,000 high school students, teacher-advisors, business professionals, and alumni gather in Orlando, Fla., April 27-30 for DECA excitement.

One of the students participating is from Le Roy High School -- Ethan Smith, who is a senior.

DECA (formerly known as Distributive Education Clubs of America) members demonstrate their college and career ready knowledge and skills by participating in DECA’s industry-validated Competitive Events Program, aligned with Career Clusters, National Curriculum Standards, and 21st Century Skills in the areas of marketing, finance, hospitality, management and entrepreneurship.

These members have qualified to attend based on superior performance at the district and association levels. More than 1,000 business professionals serve as expert judges to evaluate DECA members’ mastery of these concepts.

Thousands of DECA advisors and educators participate in administering DECA’s Competitive Events Program and Emerging Leader Series while also participating in professional learning activities.

“I am very excited that in our first year of running a DECA Chapter we have a member advancing to ICDC," said Sarah Ford, DECA advisor at Le Roy High School. "I have gained a wealth of knowledge from the regional and state levels; now I am looking forward to gaining even more through advisor workshops and the overall experience at the ICDC.

"I am very proud of all of our DECA members this year and I am looking forward to Ethan’s participation at ICDC! As a chapter we are very appreciative of all the support our organization has received, especially from our administration, Board of Education, and the generous people and organizations who have donated throughout the year.

"With their support, all of these great opportunities became possible for our students here at Le Roy Jr.-Sr. High School!”

Ethan said "I am looking forward to representing my school at DECA ICDC. DECA allowed me to explore careers in the business field and help me decide my major and desired career path.”

“We are so proud to be represented at ICDC in our first year of DECA this year by Ethan and Mrs. Ford," said Le Roy Principal Tim McArdle. "This is such a huge opportunity and launching pad for Ethan who has worked very hard to put himself in this situation.

"The exposure at this level will also be very beneficial for Mrs. Ford to bring back vital knowledge to continue to grow our DECA program and send our students to this international competition. This is yet another example of the potential of our Oatkan Knights and when given opportunity how they rise to the occasion.”

Ethan will be competing in the Financial Consulting event at DECA ICDC. He is planning on attending Drexel University in Philadelphia and majoring in Finance.

April 25, 2019 - 3:16pm

Submitted photo and press release:

Last week, the Collegiate Science Technology Entry Program (CSTEP) at Genesee Community College held a free STEM Conference and Exhibitor's Fair bringing together local businesses, faculty, current GCC students and community members in the name of science technology.

In addition to local STEM businesses at the Exhibitor's Fair, GCC faculty and students from the Sciences, Technology, Engineering, Math, and health-related fields hosted informational tables to teach guests about their programs of study and career and learning opportunities in their respective fields.

The educational components and professional realms of STEM industries collaborated for the Exhibitor's Fair to promote the targeted industries, discuss career/employment opportunities and provide insight on the changing trends in the STEM workforce.

Conference attendees were able to attend specialized workshops on topics such as: Computer Aided Drafting and Design: Mapmaking; Scratch Combo - Computer Programming for Gaming Simulation; Making STEM a Reality and more!

"We are excited about the success of our first CSTEP Exhibitor's Fair," said Jamie Schultz, project coordinator for CSTEP at Genesee Community College "and really looking forward to working with our students and partners for next year's event."

With the success of this year's event barely behind the committee, plans are already underway at GCC for the 2020 CSTEP STEM Conference and Exhibitor's Fair.

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