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Public to have opportunity to comment about potential use of grant funds

By Joanne Beck


As some go up, others must come down.

That’s the nutshell version of construction in downtown Batavia. Work is being done to construct a new Healthy Living campus alongside GLOW YMCA, and the fitness facility at 207-209 East Main St. will eventually be demolished to make way for green and parking spaces.

It will take much investment for the entire plan to unfold, and Genesee County’s Ways & Means Committee agreed Wednesday to proceed with an application for a $2 million Restore NY grant to help with the costs.

Before anything else can happen, a public hearing must be conducted about the project to demolish 207-209 and 211 1/2 (rear) on East Main Street. Led by the county, the grant is available for “projects to demolish/deconstruct and/or rehabilitate/reconstruct vacant, abandoned, surplus and/or condemned residential, commercial, and/or mixed-use buildings.”

The hearing was set for 5:30 p.m. Sept. 28 at the Old Courthouse, 7 Main St., Batavia.

The project has already passed historic preservation and environmental reviews, and has a developer, said Ed Flynn, director of planning at LaBella Associates. Having those items taken care of “I think will make it a competitive project,” Flynn said.

An important goal of Restore NY is to revitalize urban centers, rural areas, and disadvantaged communities. It is anticipated that upon completion, the projects funded by Restore NY municipal grants will attract individuals, families, and industrial and commercial enterprises to the municipality, according to the resolution.

“It is further anticipated that the improved community and business climate will result in an increased tax base, thereby improving municipal finances and the wherewithal to further grow the municipality’s tax and resource base, lessening its dependence on state aid,” it states.

Populations of less than 40,000 can apply for up to $2 million in grant funding. Since the City of Batavia meets that stipulation, Flynn suggested going for the entire amount.

Genesee County will be assisting with the administrative portion of the grant and applying on behalf of the city. The $2 million would go towards a $33.5 million Healthy Living project between Bank and Wiard streets downtown.

The future site is to be a 78,000-square-foot integrated medical and wellness facility. It's to include state-of-the-art exercise equipment, a new pool, an indoor track, a teaching kitchen, a children’s adventure room play area, plus 22 exam rooms and two medical procedure rooms for primary care, telemedicine appointments, behavioral health and crisis intervention support, cancer prevention, chronic illness, and community education services.

Rochester Regional Health, United Memorial Medical Center and YMCA officials have said the site will serve as a one-stop-shop for many health concerns and fitness goals, and there will also be a drop-in childcare center. 

For prior coverage, go to Healthy Living.

Illustration: File Photo of future Healthy Living campus rendering.

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