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August 26, 2021 - 12:37pm

WROTB directors approve warehouse construction, parking agreement, funding for Park Road enhancements

A new warehouse for its food and beverage operation.

More parking on the former Kmart parking lot.

A potential street maintenance contract with the Town of Batavia in light of the Park Road Reconstruction Project.

Directors of Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corp. continue to be called upon to approve spending resolutions to enhance the Batavia Downs Gaming & Hotel enterprise.

The board, at this morning’s monthly meeting, approved several measures, including spending nearly $1 million to build a new 4,800-square-foot warehouse south of the facility, near Tops Market, and $75,000 for additional parking on the site across the street next to the former Kmart store.

It also will be asked, probably next month, to consider an agreement with the town where Batavia Downs’ crews would take care of maintaining trees, street lights and sidewalks – amenities that WROTB has agreed to pay for during the town’s rehabilitation of Park Road.

WAREHOUSE

WROTB President/CEO Henry Wojtaszek said the warehouse project is being done for efficiency and cost savings.

“It’s a project that has been on the drawing board for a long time,” he said. “We actually bid it out in 2019 (and) it was a little higher than we wished to spend on the project. We were looking to spend somewhere close to one million dollars, and now we’re actually financing it for close to one million dollars.”

According to a pair of approved resolutions, the pre-fabricated steel structure will cost $921,712.18 to build, plus another $52,818.63 in engineering and architectural costs via a contract with E I Team Inc. of Buffalo.

Lowest bidders for the construction work are Ed Hulme General Contracting of Warsaw for the concrete foundation/asphalt ($325,545.18), Building Innovation Group Inc. of East Rochester for pre-fabricated steel building ($328,264), Suburban Electric of Albion for electrical/fire/closed circuit television ($143,000), and Crosby-Brownlie Inc. of Rochester for heating, air conditioning and plumbing ($114,900).

“We went back and reduced some of the things we asked for originally in the designs and the drawings, and we re-bid it and it came back at 921 (thousand), which they passed today,” Wojtaszek said. “It allows us to put all of our F&B supplies in one central place; it will be more efficient and it will be cost-effective. It’s something we have talked about for a long time and now it is coming to fruition.”

PARKING

Wojtaszek said he and the board talked at length about the parking situation, agreeing to pay $75,000 for customer parking through next May. The property owner has not been charging Batavia Downs for several years prior to this agreement, he noted.

“We need it basically during the concert season to accommodate the patrons that want to park over there, and then, in the off months during this period of time, we need it because of the warehouse project,” he explained, adding that gaming customers will be able to use most of the parking lot if needed.

The property is owned by 570 DAB 30, LLC (Benderson Corp.), which is looking to develop it in the near future, Wotjaszek said.

PARK ROAD

Back in March, WROTB directors voted to pay the town up to $395,000 for property enhancements as part of the Park Road Reconstruction Project that is scheduled to commence this fall.

Costs of conduit, light fixtures and trees have gone up since then, Wojtaszek said, forcing the board to allocate additional funds, bringing the total to $488,000.

He said the total Park Road project price tag exceeds $4 million (around $4.3 million). Most of it is being paid for by New York State.

“We’ve worked very closely with the Town of Batavia … It will be a great addition -- beautification of that road and curb appeal that will extend to our business. We’re very excited about it,” Wojtaszek said.

He also said he expects the board to approve a contract with the town for Batavia Downs’ maintenance crews to take care of maintaining trees, street lights and sidewalks, and for snowplowing of that portion of the road.

In other developments:

  • WROTB will distribute $74,267 in surcharge earnings to member municipalities for July;
  • Batavia Bets, the corporation’s interactive online platform, has took in $12.5 million so far this year, up $2.1 million from the same time in 2020;
  • Directors authorized spending around $170,000 annually over five years to purchase suites from Western New York Arena for Buffalo Sabres, Buffalo Bandits and other arena events. Marketing Director Ryan Hasenauer said the corporation saved $27,000 by extending the pact to five years.

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