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November 23, 2021 - 12:21pm

Harvester Avenue road composition south of Colorado Avenue prompts change to city's rehabilitation project

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City of Batavia Maintenance Superintendent Ray Tourt on Monday night said the Genesee Transportation Council and New York State Department of Transportation seem to be on board with a revised – and more expensive – plan to rehabilitate and reconstruct Harvester and Richmond Avenues.

Deficiencies in the structure of Harvester Avenue from Colorado Avenue to Ellicott Street have forced the city to change its strategy from one of rehabilitation to reconstruction, Tourt said during City Council’s Conference Meeting.

This modification increases the total cost of the Transportation Improvement Project from $2,041,000 to $3,691,000, he reported, but the federal funding level remains the same at 80 percent.

“This is an 80 percent federally-funding project with a 20 percent local share,” Tourt said. “We are optimistic that the project may see Marchiselli funds from New York State (usually 15 percent) to further offset the local funding. CHIPS (Consolidated Highway Improvement Program funds) will be used for the remaining local share of 5 percent (about $184,000).”

Work is expected to begin in the spring of 2022.

Photos provided by Tourt to The Batavian from the geotechnical report show the difference in the structure of the two segments of Harvester Avenue.

In his memo to City Manager Rachael Tabelski, Tourt indicated that the portion from Colorado Avenue to Ellicott Street was a “better candidate for a partial reconstruction” because it has only three inches of bituminous concrete on no prepared base while the road from East Main Street to Colorado Avenue has five to six inches of concrete base with three inches of bituminous concrete paving as a wear surface.

“This means that there is no base to pave back onto on the southern portion of Harvester … and for that reason, the city has reached out to the GTC and NYSDOT for a change of scope to correct this condition,” he wrote.

At last night’s meeting, Council was asked to consider approving short-term financing in the form of general obligation bonds to fund the project until reimbursements are received. Lawmakers did just that, forwarding the matter to its Dec. 13 Business Meeting.

In other action, Council forwarded the following resolutions:

  • Using $150,000 in Video Lottery Terminal revenue from Batavia Downs Gaming to purchase mobile data terminals, portable radios, emergency escape and self-rescue system kits and fire helmets for the police and fire departments.

The plan is to buy eight MDTs (computers in patrol cars) for $55,000; 19 portable radios (six for fire and 13 for police) for $64,500; emergency escape (or bail-out) systems for $15,254, and helmets for all firefighters and officers for $15,246.

  • Contracting with LaBella Associates of Rochester in the amount of $187,130 for the firm to manage the Brownfield Opportunity Area Pre-Development Grant process at the City Centre and Harvester campuses.

Tabelski said LaBella employees will perform a “full infrastructure review to accommodate more development of the City Centre campus, including parking reviews, the potential redesign of Bank Street and a full Generic Environmental Impact Statement. This work will complement the City Centre $1 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative that will improve interior and exterior elements of the building.

LaBella also will take a look at ways to redevelop the Industrial Center on Harvester Avenue, she said, mentioning potential site layouts, subdivision opportunities, real estate strategy and demolition.

  • Reclassifying the city’s Human Resources Specialist position to Human Resources Director in light of an increasing amount of responsibility in areas such as budgeting, hiring, compiling financial data, workers’ compensation and health insurance.

Tabelski said the duties of the job were reviewed by Genesee County Civil Service.

Top photo: The Harvester Avenue geotechnical report found that the portion of the street south of Colorado Avenue (extending to Ellicott Street) has "light-duty" pavement. Photo below: This pavement section from the street north of Colorado Avenue is of the "heavy-duty" variety. Plans call for the portion of Harvester Avenue north of Colorado to be rehabilitated and the portion south of Colorado Avenue to be reconstructed.

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