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January 24, 2022 - 5:14pm

Business owners again waiting for city to clear snow so customers can easily reach their shops

posted by Howard B. Owens in downtown, batavia, business, news, notify.

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It's been a week and Mark Fanara, owner of High Voltage Tattoo at 110 W. Main St., Batavia, is feeling increasingly frustrated that nobody can park in front of his business because of the massive pile of snow in the very limited space available for parking at his location.

He said he's called the city's maintenance department twice and that his landlord called as well and was told the snow would be removed today.  

Snow removal in front of city businesses is a perennial complaint of local shop owners, especially downtown where businesses often rely on the ability of customers to park along Main and walk into stores.

Dave Howe, Charles Men's Shop, said it is frustrating to have snow piled up or piling up, because it does hurt business, especially when the snowstorm comes on a holiday, as it did a week ago on Martin Luther King, Jr., Day.

"It's important for retail because bank clerks and school teachers and city workers all have the day off and it can be really busy for us," Howe said. "It's unfortunate because here we are generating tax money for the county, the state, and the city.  But I get it. It's money. It'd budget. It's overtime."

The Batavian spoke with City Manager Racheal Tabelski about the situation at High Voltage Tattoo before checking on the snowbanks downtown.  As for High Voltage, she said, "It's on DPW's list and they will get to it as soon as they can."

She has yet to respond to a text message about the snowbanks along Main Street in the downtown area.

UPDATE 11:15 p.m.: Tabelski said tonight that, yes, snow removal on Main Street in downtown continues to be an issue with every big snow event. "I absolutely sympathize with businesses trying to survive with customer access in the snow.  As you are aware, the crews have been doing the best they can. If it would stop dumping 4-5 inches on us each night, crews could get back to removal and these areas cleaned up sooner. I am hopeful they will get to public parking lanes quickly."

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The snowbanks have been cleared from in front of City Hall.

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Bubba's Landscaping cleared the snow from in front of the YNGodess Shop. Owner Chris Crocker said it took the crew about an hour using a snowblower and shovels.

Crocker said she understands the storm came on a federal holiday, and the city may even be short staff, "but then get on WBTA or The Batavian and explain it," Crocker said. "Tell the community what is going on and the community will come together."

She said her biggest concern is the safety of citizens who are forced to walk in the street to get to not just her business but Alberty's and the bank.  Some of those people are elderly, she noted.

"I don't want anybody to get hurt," she said.

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The snowbank in front of the Masonic Temple building, the location of several businesses, including Charles Men's Shop.

Michael Peet
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Joined: Sep 23 2014 - 3:01pm

As a city resident who's only means of transportation is walking from place to place i applaud the business owners who complained to the city about all the snow still sitting on our sidewalks. I do understand it's going To take some time to remove all of the snow from our sidewalks but didn't somebody mention in a previous article or comment that property owners are responsible for snow removal in front of there properties. I don't think the city will mind if they see someone with a snow blower helping our local businesses with there sidewalks.

Howard B. Owens
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Joined: Apr 23 2008 - 3:05pm

Michael, there is currently no issue with snow on sidewalks in front of businesses. This is an issue of snow removal between the sidewalks and the street, the space people need to get out of their cars and safely walk to a business. This is the city's responsibility, just as it is the city's responsibility to maintain of the greenery in these spaces in warm months.

It is also impossible to remove this snow and ice without heavy equipment and a place to remove it to. Only the city can do that.

In the case of High Voltage, its parking spaces are filled with snow -- clearly the city's responsibility.

david spaulding
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Last seen: 3 weeks 3 days ago
Joined: Sep 12 2011 - 5:46pm

Howard, can you give us a name of the individual who is in charge of cleaning up this mess? I do realize we are in a generation No Accountability but I believe the people need to know who is responsible.

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