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August 7, 2022 - 8:10am

Downtown businesses plan for expansion on Main Street

elifishsign.jpeg

2018 File Photo: Eli Fish Brewing Company shows a definite sign during its initial phase of development, and now owners are planning a two-level back patio adjacent to Jackson Square. Photo by Howard Owens.

Recession? What recession?

Despite global doomsday predictions to go along with inflationary prices, there appear to be signs of definite life in downtown Batavia. Three Main Street businesses have each applied for a $20,000 grant for planned site expansions.

City Council is expected to discuss the applications during its conference meeting at 7 p.m. Monday in Council Chambers, City Hall.

Matt Gray, as AGRV Properties, Inc., is looking backward for his project — a patio adjacent to Jackson Square. With an investment of $140,000, the additional grant would support the cost of building an outdoor patio for Eli Fish Brewing Company at 109 Main St. Aid from grant funding will allow the applicant to replace the rear, exterior stairs and doors and assist in the cost of adding a large two-level patio attached to the rear of the building, according to the application to Batavia Development Corporation.

BDC’s board approved the request, according to a memo from Director Tammy Hathaway, and has forwarded it to council for final approval. The money is from BDC’s Revolving Loan Fund, which has a total of $120,097, Hathaway said. Specifically, the City of Batavia Revolving Loan Fund Grant Policy seeks to have private building owners make lasting building, public and/or façade improvements within the City.

Down the street are two more projects to be reviewed by council. Applicant Peter Casey, as 73 on rotary, LLC, has asked for $20,000 grants each, for 73 Main St., and an adjacent site at 79-81 Main St.

That block of the building apparently has some growing pains as well, with upgrades for YNGodess — by increasing usable space in the shop, and updating a breakroom and bathroom facility. An investment of $80,000 would be augmented with the grant money for the upgrades. The BDC Board approved the request and it now rests with the council for final approval.

Casey’s other project is to renovate the former Alberty’s Drug Store property at 79-81 and move the law office of DelPlato Casey into that space. Capital investment for this project is pegged at $820,000. Work includes handicap access to the firm's office and provides more room for the growing legal practice, according to the application.

Growth is expected immediately, with the addition of one staff member and the potential for two more hired soon afterward.

Council is also expected to discuss funding for the purchase of a new fire engine. A final funding pack includes a 20-year loan for $665,000 at 2.5 percent, and a $100,000 U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development grant, with an upfront contribution of $36,681 from the city’s fire reserves.

This fire engine is to replace Engine 12, which, at 20 years old, is showing signs of “extreme corrosion,” City Manager Rachael Tabelski said in a memo to council. The new vehicle would include a custom cab with seating for six fire personnel, a 1,500 per minute fire pump with foam capacity, a 750-gallon water tank, latest safety features, and full LED emergency and scene lights for maximum safety for personnel, and she recommends the purchase.

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