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Batavia Town Board

June 30, 2020 - 12:02pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, notify, Batavia Town Board, My-T Acres.

The Batavia Town Board this morning voted to authorize Supervisor Gregory Post to sign documents that will secure the purchase of five small properties along Park Road to facilitate the Town’s $3 million Park Road Improvement Project.

The easements – three from Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corp. and one each from Alex’s Place and Benderson Development (owner of the former Kmart store) – were bought for the nominal sum of $10 each.

Town officials needed the parcels as it prepares for the major rehabilitation of the road from Lewiston Road (Route 63) to Oak Street (Route 98). The state-funded project is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2021.

As reported previously on The Batavian, work will include new pavement, curbs and curbing from Lewiston Road to Richmond Avenue with sidewalks on both sides of Park Road, while pavement will by pavement will be overlaid and sidewalks installed on one side of the road from Richmond Avenue to Route 98.

The project also calls for new water lines and street lights on Park Road between Route 63 and Richmond Avenue.

In other action, the board:

-- Approved the purchase of 10 annual Laserfiche Participant User Subscriptions at a cost of $97 each and remote services at a cost of $150 to be used by employees who are working remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

-- Approved a “license agreement” with My-T-Acres Inc., for the farm operation to place a water pump on a 2.9-acre parcel on West Main Street Road to serve its agricultural needs. Currently, the Town is not using the land for governmental purposes.

June 22, 2020 - 10:47am
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, notify, covid-19, CARES Act, Batavia Town Board.

Batavia Town Supervisor Gregory Post has penned a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo calling out the state’s top executive for not distributing funds from the first Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act to local municipal governments as stipulated by the federal legislation.

“As leaders across the Finger Lakes, Southern Tier and Western New York, we demand you follow congressional intent, Treasury guidance and 18 other states that have distributed a portion of the billions of dollars received from the … (CARES) Act for direct assistance to local governments under the 500,000 population threshold,” Post wrote in the letter, which was the subject of a resolution at Wednesday’s Town Board meeting.

“If these funds are not delivered, it is not just the governments themselves that will be impacted, but the constituents in these areas will suffer life-threatening consequences as a result.”

The letter went on to indicate that the “Coronavirus Relief Fund, included in the CARES Act, allotted $5.1 billion to New York State, with an additional $2.4 billion directly to cities and counties in New York with populations of 500,000 or more. Congress intended the 500,000 threshold to streamline funds to larger cities and counties while smaller cities and counties would receive funds through the State’s share.”

Post concluded his letter by writing that distribution of the funds is well past due.

“New York State, under your direction, has failed to deploy and share these funds with local communities. If we are going to reopen our economy and move forward from this crisis, local communities should receive these funds immediately. There is no excuse. Our local counties, cities, towns, and villages cannot wait any longer.”

During discussion on the resolution, Post said that the CARES Act legislation passed nearly 60 days ago and that “to this date, none of that money has been reallocated or redistributed to any of us in New York State.”

“Our question here is, by this letter, asking why and to please expedite the processing of that $5.1 million to local governments that are feeling the pinch as badly as they are,” he said.

The Town Board unanimously passed the resolution.

In a related development, the Town Board voted in favor of a resolution to amend local finance law to give towns more options to address financial shortfalls at no cost to the state. The measure will be forwarded to the Town’s state government representatives.

The resolution called for the following:

-- Allows Bond Anticipated Notes to rollover for seven years instead of five years;
-- Allows towns to spend money from capital reserve funds for capital costs related to COVID-19 without being subject to a permissive referendum;
-- Allows towns to temporarily borrow money from reserve funds for COVID-19 related expenses so long as at least 20 percent of what’s borrowed is returned each fiscal year;
-- Gives towns another year to pay back interfund advances.

In other news, the board:

-- Heard a report from Building Inspector Daniel Lang that he expects a busy construction season this year based on the number of building permits and inspection applications that are coming in.

“I would say so, especially with what’s going on with COVID-19,” Lang said. “The commercial is ramped out as it normally would be right now, and as far as the residential goes, we’re shaping up to have a good year.”

Lang said his department has received applications for many smaller projects, such as pole barns, decks, swimming pools and single-family dwellings, including a few more homes at Oakwood Estates off East Main Street Road.

“And we’re not going to skip a beat on the big commercial projects – I think that’s where we’re going to get hit,” he said.

-- Was advised by Lang that a retooled solar farm project proposed by Donald Partridge on Ellicott Street Road is in the works. The original plan was denied.

“He’s looking to separate the parcels and make smaller solar farms than what he initially proposed,” Lang said.

-- Was advised by Town Councilman Chad Zambito that plans for a ribbon-cutting ceremony are being made, possibly before the July 4th weekend, and that invitations will be extended to Assemblyman Stephen Hawley and State Sen. Michael Ranzenhofer.

Zambito also said that the Rotary Club donated benches and bicycle racks to the Ellicott Trail, which runs from Seven Springs Road to Pearl Street Road (Route 33).

August 22, 2019 - 6:23am

Over the years, Town of Batavia leaders have overseen significant economic development in their municipality and, with that, have had to add professional staff to handle all of the negotiations, inspections, engineering studies and paperwork that comes with it.

On Wednesday night, the Town Board -- realizing that its employees are in need of more space to perform their jobs in a most efficient manner -- voted to contract with a Batavia design firm to provide a floor plan and elevations for a building that would connect Town Hall to the adjacent Town Highway garage at 3833 W. Main Street Road.

“We’ve been looking at this since 2012; even back then we knew we were short of space,” said Town Supervisor Gregory Post following the meeting. “We have three times the staff that we had when the building was constructed (2001-2002) … and now we’re left with a situation where seven employees are working in a room not much bigger than my living room.”

Post said he is expecting to receive renderings from Design & Drafting by Gina LLC, of Seven Springs Road as part of the contract, which calls for the town to pay the firm $60 per hour up to a maximum of $2,500.

He explained that the current building was supposed to have a full basement – which didn’t happen – and “lost 50 percent of its anticipated floor space during construction.”

“This is turning out to be a different concept than originally thought of (a freestanding addition), but we realized that our efficiencies could be enhanced by connecting Town Hall with the highway garage,” he said. “We will save in energy costs and create new office space within the connecting building.”

In other action, the board:

-- Set a public hearing for 7 p.m. Sept. 12 at Town Hall to consider the establishment and construction of a proposed Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park Sewer Improvement Area on East Main Street Road and the vicinity.

Post said that if the sewer improvement area comes to pass, rates would be established fairly by usage, with businesses in the Agri-Business Park (such as HP Hood and Upstate Milk) along with residents within its boundaries sharing in the costs.

The resolution states that the engineering firm of Clark Patterson Lee has already prepared a preliminary map, plan and report for the project, which calls for the installation of larger sanitary sewer pumps, electrical upgrades, installation of a new generator and other improvements.

The Town plans to pay the $400,000 project cost by the issuance of serial bonds -- offset by any federal, state, county and/or local funds received.

-- Voted to pay an additional $37,626 to Keeler Construction for unanticipated work during the construction of a new pedestrian bridge over the Tonawanda Creek as part of the Ellicott Trail Project.

According to the resolution, it was discovered that driving steel piles for the bridge abutment would have required temporary relocation of the overhead electric lines at an estimated cost of approximately $90,000, according to National Grid.

Keeler, to avoid this charge, revised the design to allow the use of drilled king piles to support the bridge at the reduced cost.

Post said work continues on Ellicott Trail, which is expected to open by the end of October.

-- Reappointed Rhonda Saulsbury as the Town Assessor for another six-year term, beginning Oct. 1 and ending Sept. 30, 2025.

December 21, 2017 - 9:08am
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, Batavia Town Board, Time Warner Cable.

Town of Batavia board members are moving toward a cable TV franchise renewal with Time Warner Cable Northeast LLC and at the same time are leaving the door open to doing business with another cable provider, Empire Access.

The board, at its meeting on Wednesday night, voted to schedule a public hearing on the Time Warner (also known as Charter or Spectrum) franchise agreement renewal for 7 p.m. Jan. 3 at Batavia Town Hall.

Terms of the 10-year agreement include the ongoing 5-percent franchise fee that goes to the Town for all cable-related services offered by the company, said Board Member Patti Michalak, who serves on the cable television committee.

“While our contract doesn’t expire until March 2018, we’re doing this now because all towns (in Genesee County) basically will have the same contract (heading into the new year),” Michalak said.

She said that Philip Fraga of the Cohen Law Group of Pittsburgh, Pa., has negotiated the franchise agreement on behalf of all county municipalities, and “the agreements are pretty much the same, except for a few tweaks here and there.”

As far as Empire Access is concerned, Michalak said representatives of that business “asked us to settle the Time Warner contract first before they talk to us.”

However, she said, the Town may not be able to deal with Empire Access “since they want so many customers per mile” and many people without cable services live in less-populated areas.

Michalak did say that the Town is willing to talk with Empire Access personnel, despite rumors to the contrary.

In other action, the board:

-- Appointed Kimberly McCullough as Batavia Town Planning Board secretary, effective Jan. 1, replacing Brittany Witkop, who resigned to pursue other opportunities. It is a part-time position.

McCullough, a legal document analyst for M&T Bank in Amherst, lives in East Pembroke. Her husband, Paul, is a member of the planning board.

-- Authorized the purchase of three parcels of land for right-of-way purposes to advance the Ellicott Trail Project.

The parcels were bought from the Elmwood Cemetery Association on Harvester Avenue for $25,600, Sikes Realty LLC on East Main Street for $2,200 and Jeffrey D. Freeman on East Main Street for $5,700.

The purchase prices were subject to appraisals by an independent appraisal firm.

-- Renewed shared services agreements with the state Department of Motor Vehicles (hearing room at the Town Hall), Town of Pavilion (code enforcement), Town of Stafford (financial clerk services), Town of Alexander (code enforcement), East Pembroke Fire Department and Fire District), and voted in favor of an agreement with the Town of Elba Water District No. 2 for operation and maintenance of water facilities.

-- Scheduled a rabies clinic coordinated by the Genesee County Health Department for 4-7 p.m. Feb. 8 at the Town Highway Facility on West Main Street Road.

-- Renewed the Town’s contract with the Town of Batavia Fire Department for fire protection under the same terms as the 2017 pact.

-- Scheduled a special Town Board meeting for 5:30 p.m. Dec. 28 to consider authorizing an amended water agreement with Genesee County.

November 15, 2017 - 9:23pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, Batavia Town Board, Ellicott Trail.

Batavia Town Supervisor Gregory Post says he sees three positives in the municipality’s 2018 budget, a $5,052,614 spending plan that was adopted tonight at the Town Board’s monthly meeting at the Town Hall on West Main Street Road.

“We’re reducing overall spending, we’re keeping the taxes flat and we’re maintaining steady growth,” Post said following the meeting.

Post was pleased to report that the tax rate will remain the same as 2017 -- $2.64 per thousand of assessed valuation – although the amount to be raised by taxes increased slightly from $1,000,000 to $1,008,000.

For a town resident with a home assessed at $90,000, the yearly tax bill will be $237.60.

Overall spending in this year’s budget, including general and highway funds, goes down slightly from the $5,140,462 figure in 2017.

“(The final budget) is pretty consistent from the preliminary budget, and we may see an additional uptick in revenue – north of $6,000,” Post said, noting that final revenue numbers won’t be available until after the first of the year.

However, he said he is apprehensive of what will come from negotiations with Genesee County on the sales tax agreement, hoping that the share to the Town doesn’t decrease.

The supervisor praised the Town’s staff for “being pretty efficient" -- "most of the employees wear two to three hats,” he said -- and touted the Town’s efforts in attracting “millions of dollars in grant funding” to create opportunities for economic development.

“We’re also seeing some of the PILOTS (payments in lieu of taxes) coming off properties,” he said. “On one parcel (where the PILOT ended) we made an additional $48,000, which could stabilize and perhaps offset (any loss in sales tax revenue)."

He also pointed to the board’s decision to take out a five-year bond to finance a new nine-ton excavator from Admar Supply Co., based in Buffalo, as a fiscally prudent move. Admar submitted the lowest of four bids -- $102,687.

“Rental costs have been going up,” Post said, “so we felt that purchasing one with the use of serial bonds would be the best way to go. Now, when we need it, we have it (instead of using a neighboring town’s excavator).”

The board also appropriated $542,934 from the unexpended fund balance to keep taxes in check, up from the $475,808 that was used for the 2017 budget.

Post said the Batavia Fire District tax rate is expected to remain the same as last year (that will be approved at the Dec. 20 meeting), and that the Town’s water and sewer rates show “single digit increases.”

The base residential water rate for May 2018 to February 2019 is set at $5.36 per thousand gallons and the agricultural water rate for the same period is $3.87 per thousand gallons. The sewer rate is $6.68 per thousand gallons for one year beginning Jan. 1, 2018.

In other developments, the board:

-- Signed on to an agreement with the Town of Alabama to operate and maintain that municipality's water distribution, a 255,000 linear feet system that essentially covers the entire town.

-- Approved a contract with New York Municipal Insurance Reciprocal for $65,516.04 to provide health insurance coverage for one year, starting on Nov. 27. The cost includes cyber coverage.

-- Authorized payment of $1 for an easement on Call Parkway for the contractor of the new Mercy Flight building to install 450 feet of water main.

-- Voted to buy of a new 10-foot snow pusher blade from George & Swede Sales & Services of Pavilion for $2,245, agreeing to trade a 96” HLA front-end loader bucket in the deal.

-- Approved a three-year commitment at $10,000 per year to CY Farms for the latter’s development, operation and maintenance of the Batavia Sports Park soccer fields on Bank Street Road, and the funding of four summer youth recreation programs for 2018: City of Batavia ($3,442), Oakfield-Alabama ($997), Elba ($906) and Byron-Bergen ($906).

-- Accepted two property donations to benefit the Ellicott Trail pedestrian/bicycle project – one from Oakwood Hills LLC off East Main Street Road to relinquish abandoned railroad land and the other from Ellicott Station LLC.

June 22, 2017 - 8:24am
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, Batavia Town Board.

The Batavia Town Board on Wednesday night passed six resolutions that set the wheels in motion to improve sewer districts along West Main Street Road, Oak Orchard Road and West Saile Drive.

Following public hearings (which failed to draw public comment), the board approved measures to authorize capital improvement projects and funding through the issuance of serial bonds for Sewer District No. 2 and West Main Street Road Sewer District as well as the North Commerce Sewer Improvement Area.

The board’s action now makes it possible for the municipality to apply for grants to offset the nearly $750,000 price tag of the projects.

The improvement plans for District No. 2 and West Main Street Road Sewer District, which includes Lewiston Road and Colonial Boulevard, generally will consist of upgrades to the Kings Plaza Pump Station in the Town at an estimated maximum cost of $390,706.

“By approving the bond resolution to borrow money for the improvements, every sewer district and improvement area will share in the costs, but it also enables us to go after grant funding,” said Town Engineer Steve Mountain.

Mountain said that improvements at the Kings Plaza Pump Station include the installation of new pumps and controls, updated electronics and replacement of an old “force main” (pipe that moves wastewater under pressure by using pumps or compressors).

For the North Commerce Sewer Improvement Area that covers sections of Oak Orchard Road and West Saile Drive, the Town proposes to install 1,700 linear feet of 12-inch force main and make other renovations. The cost is estimated at $347,294.

Mountain noted that it could be two to three years before the projects are completed.

In other action, the board:

-- Appointed Brian A. Thompson to the position of court security officer on an “as needed basis” at the rate of $18.54 per hour.

-- Retained Hurricane Technologies Inc., for website hosting and GFI monitoring services, approving a three-year contract at a monthly cost of $113.95.

-- Contracted with Champion Asphalt Maintenance of Williamson to seal and restripe the Town Hall parking lot at a cost of $4,084.

-- Approved the installation of a street light at the corner of South Ag Park Drive and Route 63, near O-At-Ka Milk Products, at an annual cost of $156.51.

-- Granted a permit to Genesee Speedway on East Main Street Road to hold a fireworks display on July 6.

-- Supported a community service application submitted by Dominic Brown of Boy Scout Troop 6069, who proposes to improve the picnic shelter and swim platform at Galloway Road Park for his Eagle Scout project. All supplies and materials will be provided by the scout troop except for stone and its delivery by the Town (at an estimated cost of $200 to the Town).

January 4, 2017 - 9:14pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, Batavia Town Board, wny stamp.

The near completion of a revised Comprehensive Plan, the imminent placement of a state-of-the-art solar wafer manufacturing plant at the WNY Science and Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park in the Town of Alabama, and a steady stream of proposed housing and building projects have Supervisor Gregory Post believing that 2017 will be a banner year for the Town of Batavia.

“While you notice that little has changed from last year in terms of protocols, policies and procedures, I think next year will be more exciting … you’ll see some significant changes,” Post said Wednesday night after the Batavia Town Board organizational and special meeting at Town Hall on West Main Street.

Post said that he expects 2017 to be a “very big and very exciting year” for the municipality and he bases his expectations on several factors, including:

-- The progress the town has made on its revised Comprehensive Plan, which is expected to be finalized by the spring;

-- Action by the Genesee County Economic Development Center to bring1366 Technologies, a Massachusetts solar wafer manufacturing firm, into the STAMP site;

-- Developments such as the Southwest Water District project and the termination of several PILOTS (payments in lieu of taxes) that will increase the town’s revenue in the form of taxes paid by companies doing business in the town.

“I think we’re at a breakpoint … we’re relatively stable and ready to hit that next bump (in economic activity),” he said.

Post said the plan that the board has put into place is designed to keep the tax rate at the current level for the next few years -- $2.64 per $1,000 of assessed valuation for 2017 – as long as revenues go up as expected. He did admit, however, that the negotiations between Genesee County and the City of Batavia on their sales tax allocation agreement as it pertains to water usage could negatively affect the town.

“We’re basing things on the current agreement,” Post said. “(Changes) could have a dramatic impact upon the town’s revenue.”

As far as the Comprehensive Plan is concerned, Post said the town is in prime position for growth “because we’ve been working the hardest for the longest period of time on the plan and its overlays.”

The town’s Comprehensive Plan governs decisions on zoning, capital improvements and budgeting, addressing key issues such as land use, natural resources, agriculture and farmland, parks and recreation, housing, economic development, transportation and government services. It last was updated about seven years ago.

Post also indicated that the board is considering a proposal by David Ficarella of Lovers Lane Road to build a three-story, 110-unit senior apartment complex off Route 33 near Donahue Road, west of the city.

Ficarella, working with Calamar Enterprises of Wheatfield, asked the town to provide breaks in property assessment over a 10-year period in return for the opportunity to generate more than $1 million in county and school tax revenue while also getting a sewer system that it could tap into in the future.

“There is always a way as long as there is an equitable benefit,” Post said in response to a question whether the town would entertain such a request. “We’re in the initial stages; we haven’t said no to anything.”

The project also would involve the extension of Edgewood Drive to Pearl Street and beyond, something that Post said town officials would be talking about in the near future.

In addition to this project, Post said the town is fielding dozens of building and zoning requests from business owners and residents. 

In action during the special meeting, the board:

-- Renewed an agreement with Arcadis of New York Inc., of Fairport to provide annual operation and maintenance engineering services at the Town of Batavia Landfill Superfund Site near Galloway and Kelsey roads at a cost of $17,022, slightly more than the $16,982 that was agreed to for 2016.

Seventy-five percent of the cost will be paid by the City of Batavia and the other 25 percent will be covered by the Town. The work involves project coordination and reporting along with groundwater sampling and monitoring.

-- Contracted with WorkFit Medical, of Rochester, to provide drug- and alcohol-testing services for employees at a cost of $100 per employee plus other service fees, such as physicals, immunizations and blood work per a predetermined schedule.

-- Contracted with Royal Employer Services, a program of Genesee/Orleans Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse, for counseling services at a cost of $320 for 2017.

-- Authorized Joseph Neth, assistant engineer, to participate in the 2017 Leadership Genesee program at a cost of $2,100.

During its organizational meeting, the board:

-- Made the following appointments -- Linda Eick, Wayne Townsend and Marcy Crandall to the Town Board of Ethics; Louis Paganello to the Planning Board for a six-year term; Andrew Young to the Zoning Board of Appeals for a four-year term, and Donna Morrill as an alternate member of the ZBA for a two-year term.

-- Approved salaries of elected officials as follows – Supervisor, $30,000; Deputy Supervisor, $15,000; Council members, $10,000; Town Clerk/Tax Collector, $66,229; Highway Superintendent, $18,035; Town Justice (2), $25,235.

October 5, 2016 - 9:15pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, Batavia Town Board, Batavia town budget.

Update: Oct. 5, 9 p.m.

As Town of Batavia councilwomen Patti Michalak and Sharon White, and Deputy Supervisor Dan Underhill pored over line items and monetary appropriations contained in the town's 2017 tentative budget, Supervisor Gregory Post provided an insight into the numbers that will effect the municipality's residents the most: the projected tax rate.

Post, while pointing out that uncertainties remain in the areas of sales tax revenue, health insurance costs, state mandates and taxable assessed valuation, indicated that town residents could be looking at a tax rate of $2.64 over the next fiscal year. This is a $1.24 increase over 2016's tax rate of $1.42, which was the town's first property tax since 1980.

A tax rate of $2.64 per thousand of assessed value equates to a yearly bill of $237.60 to the homeowner with a house assessed at $90,000.

The supervisor's budget includes $475,000 from the town's unexpended fund balance, which will drop to $1.3 million. Post said that amount in reserve is necessary to ensure that the level of services provided by the town continues.

"We're looking to keep our unrestricted fund balance around $1.5 million; that's the model we use," Post said. "But until we get valid, solid numbers, we won't know the final (tax) rate. I expect that this will be changing."

Post said business development in the town has elevated the total property assessment from $320 million to $379 million over the past five years, a trend that helps reduce the tax rate.

He said he is confident that the assessed value will continue to increase over the next five years when many of the multimillion dollar companies' PILOTs (payments in lieu of taxes) run out and they have to pay their full amount of tax.

"If this leads to growth of our excess fund balance, then I will definitely be in favor of giving back to the people of the town, either in the form of a rebate or lower tax rates," he added.

Post said he was proud of the fact that the town has no debt -- "all of our buildings are paid for and we have no big (municipal) bonds hanging over our heads," he noted -- and cited the town's ability to attract business.

"We have to partner with Genesee County, the city of Batavia, (Genesee County) economic development (Center) and New York State to bring some purity to the process so businesses will invest their millions of dollars," he said. "And thus far we have been very successful. We're still the hub of what's happening now and this is a positive sign (for the future)."

Previous report:

In a couple of hours, Batavia Town Supervisor Gregory Post will be distributing his 2017 tentative budget, an $8.5 million spending plan that currently calls for $1 million to be raised through property taxes.

The budget for the general and highway funds shows appropriations of $5.1 million with estimated revenues of $3.6 million. To close the gap, $475,000 will come from the town's unexpended fund balance and the remaining $1 million as the tax levy.

Post said his team is in the process of calculating the tax rate (the amount per thousand of assessed valuation) and he expects it to release that figure later today.

In 2016, a half-million dollars were raised via a tax rate of $1.42 per thousand that translated to a yearly tax bill of $127.80 for a house assessed at $90,000. It was the first property tax in the Town of Batavia since 1980.

Special district budgets -- Batavia fire districts, sewer districts 1 and 2, and the combined water districts -- have been set at $3.4 million, increasing the overall budget to $8,597,788, more than $400,000 greater than the town's 2016 budget.

"This year's budget has been more impacted by the special districts that are financed completely on their own," Post said. "They're paid for by the customers who benefit from these services."

Concerning the highway department budget, Post said that he is hoping to place some money -- around $100,000 -- into reserves for the first time, and to put forth a spending plan that takes into account rising costs that will "enable us to pay for the work that needs to be done."

As was the case last year, the supervisor is proposing 3-percent increases in salaries for the town clerk, justices, highway superintendent, and engineering and building and safety department personnel. Salaries of the elected town officials will not increase under the tentative plan.

The Town Board will consider the budget at its Oct. 19 meeting and a public hearing has been scheduled for Nov. 9.

July 20, 2016 - 8:27pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in Batavia Town Board, news, WROTB, water project.

The Batavia Town Board on Wednesday night approved payment of additional expenses for work on the Townline Water Project and for engineering services for the Townline and Pratt Road water districts and the West Main Street Road Sewer District.

In unanimous votes, the board:

-- Agreed to pay a $47,680 change order submitted by Sergi Construction of East Aurora, which previously had won a bid for a $2.4 million contract for the construction of approximately 107,000 linear feet of 8-inch and 12-inch water main, valves, hydrants and related equipment along various roads in the towns of Batavia, Oakfield, Elba and Stafford.

The added funds were needed to cover the cost of furnishing and installing new 8-inch waterline with two hydrants and service, and the installation of 2-inch PVC at the Genesee County Fire Training Center on State Street Road.

-- Authorized payment of $16,061 to Visone Construction of Depew, which previously was awarded a $3 million contract for the same Townline Water Project. The increase was needed to cover the cost for new connections along Oak Orchard Road to the Village of Elba, and for an emergency water main break in Elba two months ago.

-- Approved payments to Clark Patterson Lee for additional design and construction inspection services for the Townline Water District ($66,900), the Pratt Road Water District ($9,600), and the West Main Street Road Sewer District ($21,000).

The board also OK'd a couple of resolutions in connection with sanitary sewer service with Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corp.

One of them was an amendment to a sewer service agreement that calls for WROTB to pay for construction of an extension of a sanitary sewer service line if requested by the Town, based upon requirements of future need or development; and the other was a resolution granting the Town of Batavia an easement from WROTB to maintain the sanitary sewer located on the east side of Batavia Downs Gaming and any future extension up to the south end of Richmond Avenue.

August 30, 2012 - 4:41pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Chad Zambito, Batavia Town Board.

The Batavian received a reply from the City of Batavia today on its FOIL request regarding the loan that Chad Zambito received through the Batavia Development Corp. for his business, Grammy's Laundry, which is set for an asset auction Sept. 4.

Answers to key questions:

  • Date loan approved: Conditional approval, May 2010
  • Amount of initial loan: $20,000
  • Purpose of the loan: working capital/equipment
  • Amount still owed on the loan: The pay off is $14,532.15
  • Date of last payment: July 3

Zambito also owes money to the Bank of Castile. He said previously that his total debt is less than $20,000 and he expects the asset auction to raise enough money to satisfy both debts.

Previously: Business owned by Chad Zambito closed, assets up for auction to pay debts

August 29, 2012 - 4:43pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, John Gerace, Chad Zambito, Batavia Town Board.

Grammy's Laundry, a business located on West Main Street and owned by Chad Zambito, a candidate in the GOP primary for Batavia Town Board, has been closed and its assets are being sold at auction.

The auction is set for 2 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 4, at the order of the Bank of Castile.

Besides owning money to the Bank of Castile, Zambito also borrowed money from the Batavia Development Corporation (BDC) to help upgrade and modernize the laundry.

In total, Zambito said, he owes less than $20,000 against the business's assets, which he said he expects to fetch close to $30,000 in the auction.

Zambito said today his business got into trouble in January when a plumbing problem forced him to close the laundry for two months. Even after the doors were open again, customers did not return with the same frequency as before.

He believes another business caused the blockage in the plumbing system, but it wasn't resolved in time between the other business and the landlord to get his doors reopened in a timely manner.

"It wasn't my responsibility to fix it, but yet I'm left to deal with the consequences," Zambito said.

The failure of Zambito's business was brought to the attention of The Batavian by his GOP primary opponent John Gerace. Gerace didn't accuse Zambito of stirring the pot on Gerace's own personal issues, but said if others are going drag the campaign into personal issues rather than real issues, people should know about the auction proceedings.

Zambito was appointed earlier this month to fill the vacant spot left on the Town Board by Gerace's resignation from the board in April. Zambito is also the endorsed candidate by the town's GOP committee in the Sept. 13 primary race.

While the notice on the door of Grammy's Laundry confirms the auction, The Batavian has not been able to confirm the amount of debt Zambito incurred and has not repaid. A FOIL request to the City of Batavia for related BDC documents has not yet been answered.

Zambito is a former BDC board member, but said he left that position when he was no longer employed by Genesee County Economic Development Committee, and didn't request the loan until after he was no longer a BDC member.

Grammy's Laundry, Zambito said, went through three or four years of ups and downs as he tried to get the business going and in time, prior to the plumbing problem, the laundry was not much more than a break-even proposition.

"I worked with both lending institutions in an attempt to stay on track, but it got to be too much," Zambito said.

August 28, 2012 - 10:25am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, John Gerace, Chad Zambito, Batavia Town Board.

The signs say "Re-Elect John Gerace, Town Board," but it's not that simple.

Gerace is not the incumbent in Batavia.

Chad Zambito is. He was appointed earlier this month to the seat vacated by Gerace in the spring.

Gerace has been trying to get the seat back ever since his letter of resignation, which he says was written in a "knee-jerk reaction," was accepted by Supervisor Greg Post.

As for Zambito, he's not overly concerned about Gerace posting "re-elect" signs.

"I don't think he's necessarily trying to confuse the issue," Zambito said. "I just think they're from a prior election."

Gerace said he figures he can run for reelection because he's been elected before.

Of course, so has Zambito.

Both were first elected to the town board in 2003, and then Zambito resigned in 2007 when he became VP of marketing for Genesse County Economic Development Center, causing a possible conflict of interest.

Now they face each other in a GOP primary Sept. 13 that is the result of Gerace's resignation in April.

At the time, Gerace wouldn't discuss his resignation. Now he acknowledges it was spurred by events at the awards and installation dinner for the Town of Batavia Volunteer Fire Department.

Gerace was intoxicated at the event and was observed being loud and boisterous.

What happened later in the evening isn't clear, but Gerace said that contrary to various rumors, he was not involved in a physical altercation with Supervisor  Post.

He said he and Post had words outside of the fire hall about his behavior, and some people followed them out to see what was going on, but that was it.

"I held myself up to a higher standard than most people being an elected representative," Gerace said. "(My resignation) was a knee-jerk reaction. The next day I spoke with the supervisor about it and he asked me what I should do and I said I would fire myself. It was a knee-jerk reaction."

Even though he acknowledges that he wrote a letter of resignation, it was never intended to go through or be made public.

It was supposed to be held in abeyance until and unless he had any similar problems in the future.

Once word got out about the letter, however, Gerace said, Post had no choice but to accept it.

Gerace said he also went to the next board meeting for the fire department and personally apologized to every member for his behavior at their event.

Earlier this month, Zambito, who was endorsed by the town GOP as Gerace's replacement, was selected by the town board to complete Gerace's term.

Gerace believes the process for selecting Zambito violated parliamentary procedures under Roberts Rules of Order. But Zambito said the town's attorney looked into it and the process was fine.

Besides the fire department event and resignation, the other issue that may dog Gerace in the primary is a question about unpaid taxes.

In June, NYS Taxation and Finance issued a tax warrant against Gerace $571.26.

When asked about it, Gerace said, "I know what that's about. It's taken care of."

The Batavian learned of the tax warrant after an unknown person attached a copy of it to our office door.

Even with all these issues, Gerace said he's confident he's the right man for the job and that voters should check off his name on their ballots.

"I have a proven track record serving the Town of Batavia," Gerace said. "I'm a lifelong resident of this area. It's very near and dear to me and the issues that effect this area effect myself. I don't vote to approve or disapprove motions for myself. I look at how they effect every member of the community."

Gerace added that he also has a near-perfect attendance record for town meetings over the past decade.

Zambito said he would bring experience and professionalism to the position.

He noted that besides being a previous town board member and serving on the Genesee Chamber of Commerce Board, his three years with GCEDC is just the kind of experience the board needs right now with all the planned and anticipated growth in the town.

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