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Vibrant Batavia on tonight's City Council agenda

By Howard B. Owens

The Batavia City Council will be asked tonight to reaffirm its five-year commitment to community improvement during a discussion about continued funding of Vibrant Batavia.

Vibrant Batavia grew out of the City's Community Improvement Plan, approved by the council in 2012.

The plan was to undertake a series of initiatives aimed at creating stronger neighborhoods, "reenergizing the sense of pride that defined Batavia for so many years, yet which has, to a certain extent, become dormant," City Manager Jason Molino wrote in a memo to council in advance of tonight's meeting.

The meeting begins at 7 p.m. at City Hall.

The proposed funding for the next two years of activities:

  • $25,000 committed by council for current fiscal year
  • $24,000 remaining from prior year appropriations
  • $33,000 received from the auction of house at 109 Walnut St.
  • $15,000 Community Development Block Grant funds from the Healthy Blocks initiative for low- and moderate-income areas.

The remaining two years of the Vibrant Batavia plan would include hiring a new coordinator, neighborhood initiatives for Summit Street, an open house with an architect on best practices for home improvements, more neighborhood initiatives in the second year, coffee talks, publication of positive stories about Batavia, a community-wide yard sale, support for neighborhood groups, and landlord and homeowner workshops.

Over the first three years of Vibrant Batavia, it received local resident and business support and more than $135,000 in donations, mostly for the Centennial celebration, and more than $50,000 in revenue from the publication "Vibrant Times."

Molino lists 15 accomplishments for Vibrant Batavia, including bringing community groups together, five coffee talks in which 50 residents attended, more than a dozen neighborhood activities, the Centennial celebration, a bike rack project, a community-wide yard sale and publication of "Vibrant Times."

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