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Push for owner-occupied and market rate homes fuels Batavia Home Fund

By Joanne Beck
Sep 20, 2023, 7:50am

A nice single-family residence? Check. Renovated properties for market rate apartments? Sure. A new development project that comes to fruition with affordable condominiums? Why not.

The newly announced Batavia Home Fund was purposely generic in nature to open the door and possibilities for any of those and other options, Assistant City Manager Erik Fix says.


“We really wrote it up so that it's going to really come down to the individual applicants and what they're wanting and trying to do. Obviously, for us, any type of renovations that we get in the city, when it comes to housing, is a bonus,” Fix said to The Batavian. “But a lot of times, a lot of these grants, what we found in the past is if you put too many guidelines and parameters on it, you're narrowing your audience, and you're narrowing the applicant pool. And then it becomes very difficult to find enough folks that actually want to apply for the funding. 

“So we wanted to make sure that we weren't doing that this time around,” he said. “We wanted to make sure not to be too specific.”

A collaboration of the city and town of Batavia and Genesee County Economic Development Center, which is kicking in $100,000 of seed money to get the fund going, this initiative offers grants of up to 40 percent of the total project cost, to be reimbursed upon completion of the work. 

It’s not a complete free-for-all, as there are guidelines, such as properties have to be in the city of Batavia, must be currently paid up with municipal property, water and sewer taxes, and the applicant will obtain a building permit prior to construction, have the ability to finance the entire project and be able to provide proof of readiness with a deed, purchase agreement and/or similar documents indicating proof that 100 percent of the financing is in place. 

Also, quotes should come from a licensed contractor for a project of visual improvement to a property, whether it be a rehabilitation of an existing site or a new build. 

For the first time in several years, owner-occupied city homes have slipped behind rentals, at 49 percent to 51 percent, respectively — a trend first noted in 2020, Fix said.

For some time now, city officials have talked about owner-occupied homes as typically having more of a vested interest, more accountability, and a deeper regard for the neighborhood, since a homeowner is in it for the longer haul than someone renting on a shorter-term basis. 

To be clear, Fix said "that's not a terrible thing" having a strong rental base, but the city would like to have more owner-occupied homes and other types of projects throughout the city. 

“We have a situation right now where one of our local developers is taking an existing multifamily home that's currently in bad shape, and is trying to turn it back into market rate housing, with a few less apartments in it, but really making it higher end. And that's the kind of stuff that we're looking for,” he said. “I think it was something along the lines of eight out of the last nine developments in the city, from a larger standpoint, have been for low income, and we need to start balancing that out with some market rate and some things like that.”

City priorities for the Batavia Home Fund is to advance the Brownfield Opportunity Area strategy, focusing on Wards Three and Six, and in the flood zone, all of which are eligible for additional points. 

Yes, projects are awarded based on a scoring system. For example, projects that are “aesthetically pleasing” to the surrounding neighborhood and designed to eliminate blight can earn up to 40 points. 

Eligible “activities” include:

  1. Extraordinary development costs related to hazardous material abatement, remediation, flood hazard areas, etc. (up to $50,000)
  2. Demolition/rehab of residential structures that cause community and neighborhood blight. ($50,000)
  3. Infrastructure modernization and improvements, including costs to plan, design and construct streets, multi-model, water, sewer, gas, electric, telecommunication enhancements, stormwater management facilities and related infrastructure, including landscaping and streetscape improvements related to redevelopment projects and new housing construction. ($50,000)
  4. Matching funds to secure other grant resources to further capitalize on redevelopment projects in the Brownfield Opportunity Area and flood zone areas. ($20,000)
  5. Land assemblage, property acquisition and due diligence for new market-rate housing projects. ($50,000)
  6. Grants to support owner-occupied single-family exterior rehabilitation. ($10,000)
  7. Grants to support multi-family conversion into single-family, owner-occupied homes. ($20,000)

A committee made up of representatives from city, town and GCEDC folks will review, assess and grade projects for viability and choose and award them accordingly. 

Awards will most likely range from $20,000 to $50,000, he said. They might go to an individual homeowner or to a developer. One caveat, though, is that someone can’t just do some work on his or her home and expect a check. 

“You have to have a contractor actually do the work,” Fix said. “I’d like to see three or four projects and, hopefully, in the next year or two, see the fund grow.”

There is also a five-year compliance period, meaning that if the property owner sells the property within five years of receiving the grant, repayment may be required based on a timetable of when the property was sold. If it was sold within a year, the recipient would have to repay 100 percent of the funds, versus 49 months later, when repayment would be 20 percent of the total.

There is also a $250 non-refundable application fee. 

For more information, go to Batavia Home Fund.

Rezoning proceeds for Mix Place, target area drops to two properties

By Joanne Beck
Aug 16, 2023, 7:50am
Ed Smart
Edwin Smart of Smart Design explains his process so far in attempting to get his property on Mix Place rezoned and his business included by rewording municipal code to include "and other similar professionals" during Tuesday's Planning & Development Committee meeting.
Photo by Joanne Beck

A potential snag to proceed with rezoning a section of Mix Place was fairly quickly remedied during Tuesday’s Planning & Development Committee meeting. 

Earlier this year, Edwin Smart had filed a petition to rezone his property at 4 Mix Place to allow him to convert the one-family dwelling into a professional architectural office building. Smart has requested that the words “and other similar professionals” be included in the permit that allows for offices for attorneys, physicians and/or dentists, not exceeding four offices in a single structure. 

He would like to operate his Smart Design architecture firm on the premises, and he purchased the property with that goal in mind. 

Smart had sent out a letter to the surrounding neighborhoods earlier this summer to introduce himself and his intentions and to offer residents the opportunity to call or email him with questions, comments and concerns. 

He had previously said that he has only heard positive feedback; however, he and the committee discussed the lack of response from Mike Ognibene, the property owner of 1 Mix Place, which is listed on the petition for rezoning.

“One thing that we have outlined in the application, I think, is there is no negative impact to Mr. Ognibene and his properties. He hasn’t expressed an opinion either way.  So my attorney, using the Whiting Law Firm out of Le Roy, they actually did get him on the phone. He was noncommittal,” Smart said. “And then we did send him information and asked for an affidavit. And he just never, after that initial conversation, he never responded. And we tried for several months, probably three months. And we actually tried to motivate him to do this by contacting his attorney in a very friendly way.

“This would actually bring his apartment building into compliance. And 1 Mix is a single-family residence originally back there as well,” he said.

That was a good point, Committee Chairman Duane Preston said.

“Why is 1 Mix being considered at this point? Why can’t we keep that R-1?” Preston said.

Smart wasn’t sure why, only that “that’s what I was counseled to do.”

Smart’s request first went to City Council, and the recommendation from city management was to consider including 1 and 3 Mix, a single-family residence, and a two-building, eight-unit apartment building to bring them into the R-3 district for zoning compliance. 

Code Enforcement Officer Doug Randall said that those addresses were on the paperwork “that we received from the applicant.” A committee member then suggested excluding some of that information.

“Absolutely, my recommendation would be to approve the application with the exception of 1 Mix Place,” Randall said. 

Smart had no issue with that.

“I’m eager to get started,” he said, answering The Batavian after the meeting about what happens next. “So I'm not 100 percent certain yet. I think what they just voted on is to make a referral back to City Council, I believe this still has to go in front of the county after this stage, which I think is, it's very standard procedure. And I'm hoping that everybody is supportive and that the City Council votes for the zoning change.

“And then from there, it becomes a more typical building permit process. That's where I would take the drawings that we've come up with and submit them to the building department, and then we will have to go through a special use permit per the zoning law,” he said. “And that's where, again, we hope that language change includes us because, you know, I'm not a dentist or a doctor.”

City hires Batavia native as new HR director

By Press Release
Jun 15, 2023, 2:37pm

Press Release:

The City of Batavia announces the appointment of Rebecca McGee to the position of Human Resources Director for the City of Batavia.  McGee was selected following an extensive search for candidates and an active recruitment campaign.  She will assume her new role on Monday, July 10, 2023.

A Batavia native, McGee holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Plattsburgh State University in Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management.  She is currently serving as the Human Resources Manager at Liberty Pumps in Bergen.

McGee has served in several other Human Resources positions aside from her current role at Liberty Pumps. She was the Human Resources Generalist at Liberty Pumps from 2015-2019.  Prior to her roles at Liberty Pumps in Human Resources, she was the Human Resources Coordinator at United Memorial Medical Center in Batavia for nearly two years and Human Resources Assistant at Oxbo International Corporation for five years.

McGee is a 2013 graduate of Leadership Genesee.  She currently serves as the President of the Genesee Area Personnel Association.  She also serves on several Board of Directors in Genesee County including UMMC and the UMMC Foundation, Business Education Alliance (BEA), Richmond Memorial Library, and the United Way.  Rebecca is a student mentor at the Western New York Tech Academy and has served in the past as the City of Batavia School District’s School Budget Ambassador and on the Board of Directors for the American Red Cross.

“Rebecca’s current position with Liberty Pumps and other experience in HR have given her a wealth of knowledge and experience in Human Resources.  She has the ability to lead teams effectively and efficiently, problem solve, address human resource issues with dignity and respect, and see things from a global perspective.  We are excited to have her join our team at the City,” said City of Batavia City Manager Rachel J. Tabelski. 

Rebecca, a 2000 graduate of Batavia High School, lives with her husband Patrick in the City of Batavia.

Fire fighters to 'Fill The Boot' for MDA June 2 in Batavia

By Press Release
May 19, 2023, 7:45am

Press Release:

The International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) has collected critical funds in the community since 1954 – one dollar at a time – as part of the Fill the Boot program for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA). The Professional Fire Fighters Association Local 896 will be continuing this long-standing tradition as its members kick off the annual program raising funds to support MDA’s vision to accelerate research, advance care, and advocate for the support of MDA families.

Dedicated firefighters from Professional Fire Fighters Association Local 896 will hit the streets with boots in hand asking pedestrians, motorists, customers, and other passersby to donate to MDA on June 2 from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Main and Court streets, and Ellicott and Court streets in the City of Batavia.

The partnership between MDA and IAFF began in 1954 when the IAFF signed a proclamation designating MDA its charity of choice and vowing to continue raising awareness and funds until cures are found. To date, the nearly seven-decade partnership has raised more than $679 million with involvement from over 300,000 fire fighters nationwide. These funds have led in part to over a dozen FDA-approved drugs in as many years for those with neuromuscular disease. Those treatments were created from MDA’s vision to open a new field of medicine and push the boundaries of the medical frontier we call genetic medicine.

“What the IAFF has done for MDA over the past 68 years is unprecedented,” said Donald S. Wood, Ph.D., President and CEO of MDA. “With the support from our partners at the IAFF, MDA is doing the impossible in accelerating research, advancing care, and advocating for people living with neuromuscular disease. We have a mission to empower the people we serve to life longer, more independent lives and we will fulfill this mission together, with the IAFF.”

About the IAFF

The International Association of Fire Fighters represents more than 326,000 professional fire fighters and paramedics who protect more than 85% of the nation's population. More than 3,500 affiliates and their members protect communities in every state in the United States and in Canada. 

About Muscular Dystrophy Association

Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) is the #1 voluntary health organization in the United States for people living with muscular dystrophy, ALS, and related neuromuscular diseases. For over 70 years, MDA has led the way in accelerating research, advancing care, and advocating for the support of our families. MDA’s mission is to empower the people we serve to live longer, more independent lives. To learn more, visit

New business lets you Take 5 for oil change without leaving your car

By Joanne Beck
May 17, 2023, 8:25am
Take 5 oil change site
A potential site for a Take 5 Oil Change business at the front of Valu Plaza in the City of Batavia is under review by the city's Planning and Development Committee. 
Photo by Howard Owens.

There are a few things you probably can get done without leaving your car during lunch: cashing a check at the bank drive-thru, buying a burger and fries at a fast-food place, and, of course, getting your car washed.

What about an oil change while you’re at it? Peter Pavek of Quattro Development explained the concept of just that service offered by Take 5 Oil Change during Tuesday’s City Planning and Development Committee meeting.

Peter Pavek take 5 oil change
Peter Pavek of Quattro Development. Photo by Joanne Beck.

Pavek represented an owner of the latest Take 5 to go at the corner of West Main Street and Lewiston Road, at the entrance of Valu Plaza.

“We began in Louisiana and have been expanding pretty rapidly,” Pavek said. “There are a couple in Rochester, Syracuse, Albany, in the major cities, and we’re targeting Amherst, Tonawanda and Lockport, and now Batavia.”

The service is a 15-minute oil change. There’s no waiting area, and you don’t even leave your vehicle. Plans are to demolish the current building that formerly housed a bank with a drive-thru, a coin and jewelry exchange, and a mobile phone office. Services are primarily oil changes and replacing filters and wiper blades.

Code Enforcement Officer Doug Randall said that per zoning, they would rather see three bays and asked if the company would be good with that; Pavel agreed.

Given the minimal use for a waiting area, there’s also no use for many parking spaces, and Pavek said they could reduce the parking spots and add to the green space.

“Any additional green space you can maintain, that’d be great,” committee member Ed Flynn said.

The sites typically get 50 vehicles per day, with variations of busiest times throughout the day — mid-morning and especially at 3 p.m. reaching peak times, according to company data.

The committee gave a preliminary thumbs up, with instructions to return with a detailed site plan.

City officials to get $2.5 million federal funding for new police station cost

By Joanne Beck
Jan 5, 2023, 11:11am


City officials are getting off to a good start in the new year with news of receiving $2.5 million to go toward a new police station for downtown Batavia.

The much debated station — whether to renovate the current site at Brisbane Mansion on Main Street or build anew — was finalized with a City Council vote in 2021, and designs have been in progress ever since.

Toward the end of 2022, City Manager Rachael Tabelski had spoken with high hopes of receiving funding as part of a federal omnibus legislation, which came through and was announced Thursday.

“We are grateful for the support from Senator Chuck Schumer and former Congressman Christopher Jacobs for advocating on behalf of our efforts to secure this critically important funding for a new police headquarters,” Tabelski said in a press release issued Thursday. “They both understood how important this funding was to our efforts to build a modern and welcoming facility that will be an integral part of community.”

The money will go toward the estimated cost of up to $15 million for new police headquarters and community complex to be constructed on Bank Street and Alva Place.

City Council President Eugene Jankowski Jr. was also thankful for the financial assistance and local support.

“As a retired Batavia Police Lieutenant I’m keenly aware of the importance of replacing the outdated 1850’s era police building with a modern purpose built police facility,” Jankowsk said. “The new building will be a huge asset to our police force and help them to better serve the members of our community.  Thank you to Senator Chuck Schumer and former Congressman Chris Jacobs for supporting the City of Batavia and our Police Department.”

The City estimates that the cost to build a new police department will be approximately $13 to $15 million. The 19,000 square-foot facility will be constructed on city owned property on and would provide connectivity and enhance the area between City Centre and the emerging Medical Campus.

Once completed, there would be 115 public parking spots available in nearby lots, in addition to free public parking on surrounding streets to serve the needs of existing businesses on Washington, Alva and State Streets.

“The current police headquarters was constructed in 1855 as a private residence and is out of date and inefficiently suited for a modern-day police department to properly serve the community,” Batavia Police Chief Shawn Heubusch said. “We want a new facility that people from the community feel welcomed, and provide space for more engagement with the residents we serve.”

As for the current city police station, Batavia Development Corporation Director Tammy Hathaway will be working with architectural firm In.Site: Architecture of Perry to conduct a feasibility study "to determine a best use for the building," she said.

A $20,000 grant will go toward the cost of the study, Hathaway said, and Rick Hauser of In.Site will be able to merge information from prior studies for this project. A former police station task force had authorized building studies for renovating the current site compared to building a new facility elsewhere.

For most recent coverage of the station's progress, go HERE.

Rendering of the new police station at Bank Street and Alva Place in downtown Batavia provided by City of Batavia.

GC Health Department launches 'Healthy Neighborhoods'

By Press Release
Dec 29, 2022, 8:30am

Press Release:

The Genesee County Health Department received $477,000 in funding from the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) to implement the Healthy Neighborhoods Program (HNP) for the years 2022 to 2027.

Residents in the Town and City of Batavia are eligible to participate in the program and the goal is to visit 1,000 households over five years. The program offers home evaluations for asthma triggers, indoor air quality, lead-based paint hazards, fire risks, and other health hazards. At the evaluations, residents are
educated on asthma management, childhood lead poisoning prevention, carbon monoxide poisoning, radon gas, fire safety and prevention, and other home safety issues.

Free safety and cleaning supplies are also available to eligible participants. There are four main goals of Healthy Neighborhoods Program:
1) Reduce hospital visits due to asthma: According to the NYSDOH Asthma Dashboard from 2017 to 2019, residents of the zip code 14020 (which includes the City and Town of Batavia) visited an emergency department for an asthma attack at a 28% higher rate than the average for Genesee County. The Healthy
Neighborhoods Program aims to provide participants with tools to better manage their asthma and avoid emergency room visits by evaluating their symptoms, triggers, and medication usage. Participants are encouraged to ask their primary care doctor to create a written plan to follow during an asthma attack.

2) Prevent childhood lead poisoning: The majority of housing in Batavia was built before 1978, which is when the federal government banned consumer use of lead-based paint. In partnership with the Genesee County Health Department’s Lead Poisoning Prevention Program, homes will be assessed for lead-based paint hazards and lead poisoning prevention education will be provided.

3) Improve indoor air quality: According to the NYSDOH, about 1,800 people in New York visit an emergency room due to carbon monoxide poisoning each year. Carbon monoxide poisoning is more common during the winter months due to use of heating sources. The Healthy Neighborhoods Program provides education on carbon monoxide poisoning, radon gas, smoking cessation, and pest management. In addition, eligible participants may receive carbon monoxide detectors, radon test kits, and cleaning supplies.

4) Reduce household injuries from fires and accidents: Residential fires are more common in the winter months, according to research by the National Fire Protection Association. A small fire can become a major fire in less than a minute, so working smoke detectors are crucial to alert residents so they can escape in time. The Healthy Neighborhoods Program encourages participants to practice fire escape routes. Participants may even receive free smoke detectors and small fire extinguishers.

For more information or to make a referral to the program, call Genesee County HNP staff at 585-344-2580 ext. 5519 or visit

Weekend recovery and celebration efforts in the city

By Joanne Beck
Dec 27, 2022, 7:05am


The Buffalo Bills made it back safe and sound after the team's victorious trip to defeat the Chicago Bears 35 to 13 Saturday. However, with Thruway closures, the team apparently took a slight detour down Route 5 in the city, Manager Rachael Tabelski said.

As a result, some local fans decided to celebrate the win as a bus parade drove past City Hall on Sunday. Fire engines blared horns at the passing entourage traveling west from Rochester.

The City of Batavia Fire Department came out on a subzero Christmas morning to make sure the Buffalo Bills felt the love from Batavia!" Tabelski said. "We believe they had to travel through Batavia because the 90 was still closed." 

Firefighters were also busy helping out at the city fire station. The state's Department of Homeland Security had delivered 14 pallets of supplies that were awaiting distribution to 11 warming shelters throughout Genesee County. The shelters were opened after Winter Storm Elliott crashed into the western county area and swamped motorists and rescue vehicles with blinding snow and wind.




Top Photo: City of Batavia firefighters park an engine next to City Hall Sunday to greet the Buffalo Bills as they pass through downtown en route to Buffalo; 14 pallets of supplies rest at the city fire station before getting distributed to area warming shelters after a hard hit by Winter Storm Elliott this weekend. Photos submitted by the City of Batavia.

Gratitude aplenty during brutal winter storm

By Joanne Beck
Dec 24, 2022, 10:17pm


There have been so many donated items of homemade and restaurant foods, grocery store staples, blankets, cots and beverages, that the list is exceeding more than two dozen.

While some people, in particular, may have been mentioned in news articles, the city and county plan to issue a public thank-you to all of the generous donors when Storm Elliott has finally made his exit from Genesee County, City Manager Rachael Tabelski said Saturday. 

People from all corners of the county have come forth with needed supplies to feed the estimated 550 people at warming shelters and to provide them with blankets, a place to rest and, most importantly, safety from single-digit temperatures and blizzard conditions. 

Rescues by countywide personnel have been constant since Friday morning into the night. That includes a Batavia City Police MRAP vehicle that dared the elements to rescue 30 stranded motorists in the Oakfield-Alabama area, Tabelski said. 

Both city and county leaders and staff have been on duty to assist with any and all needs, and to get supplies out to the shelters.


Photos of a Batavia City Police rescue Friday night in the Oakfield-Alabama area. Submitted photos by City of Batavia.

Two Batavia staples honored with awards from YMCA

By Joanne Beck
Nov 18, 2022, 11:17pm


GLOW YMCA’s annual meeting had a few surprises this year, as the nonprofit’s leaders, including CEO Rob Walker, presented Community Partner awards to two Batavia entities that have been key players in the community.

Awards went each to Batavia Muckdogs and the City of Batavia for their contributions to YMCA’s mission and vision.

In turn, City Council President Eugene Jankowski Jr. said just how much YMCA’s presence here has impacted him.

“The YMCA as been a positive influence in our community for as long as I can remember.  As a young child growing up in Batavia, the YMCA health and wellness programs were a big part of my life,” Jankowski said. “Their mission continues today in partnership with the city to manage Batavia’s after school and parks programs. I’m looking forward to the next chapter as they complete the new Healthy Living campus in our downtown.”

City Manager Rachael J. Tabelski and Jankowski were proud to receive the recognition, they said. YMCA has been “all in” to assist the city in ways that advance the mission of health and wellness, Tabelski said.

“And we share a very strong mutually beneficial partnership.  The YMCA worked with the former Youth Bureau Director, Jocelyn Sikorski, (currently director of Cornell Cooperative Extension) as a founding member of Teen City, an afterschool program for middle and high school aged children,” Tabelski said. “The YMCA stepped up when the city needed to find a private sector partner to run the afterschool program and the summer recreation program, which are both still offered free of charge to families in Batavia. The YMCA has also been a leader in the Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) partnering with (Rochester Regional Health and United Memorial Medical Center) to build a new $30 million Healthy Living Campus in the heart of downtown Batavia.

“The City is proud to be partners with Rob Walker, the YMCA, and their amazing staff, and we appreciate the honor of this award," she said. 

A request for comment from Batavia Muckdogs owner Robbie Nichols was not returned by the time this article was published.


Top Photo: Steven Krna, Muckdogs General Manager Marc Witt, Batavia City Council President Eugene Jankowski Jr., and GLOW YMCA CEO Rob Walker; and above, Steven Krna, City Manager Rachael Tabelski, Eugene Jankowski Jr., and Rob Walker. Photos submitted.

Get those rakes out -- It's time for citywide leaf collection

By Press Release
Oct 24, 2022, 3:41pm


Press Release

City-wide leaf collection will begin Oct. 31, and will continue until Nov. 30.

Residents are asked to rake leaves into piles and leave them in the parkway (un-bagged). Please, place close to curb line/edge of roadway without placing in the street. Do not pile around fire hydrants, trees, utility poles or signposts. Leaf piles should only contain leaves and no branches, grass clippings or other materials.

Leaf operations typically have one crew on the Northside working from Grandview Terrace moving West, North of Main Street, and a second crew on the Southside beginning on River Street moving East in areas South of Main Street. A third crew will work using a vacuum along main roads and numbered routes. It takes about 2 weeks to go through the entire city.

Any resident with leaves can also bring them to the Yard Waste Station until it closes for the season on Dec. 10. The Yard Waste hours are 12 to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday through Oct. 29, and then 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Oct. 31 through Dec. 10 due to the hours of daylight. The Yard Waste Station will be closed Nov. 24 (Thanksgiving) and will officially close for the season after Dec. 10, 2022.


· Leaf piles must be clear of sticks and other debris.

· Leaf piles must be clear of all animal waste – if animal waste is found in the piles, they will not be picked up

· Grass clippings, Flower potting’s, Branches, Pumpkins cannot be picked up and residents may bring those items to the Yard Waste Station on Law Street (which will be open through December 10th, 2022)

· Leaves should not block traffic.

· Leaves should not be piled near intersection corners. This causes sight issues for motorists/bicyclists/pedestrians.

· Keep leaf piles clear of drainage ways and catch basins. Blocked drainage leads to localized flooding.

· Leaves should not be piled around mailboxes, power poles, fences, fire hydrants or other obstacles.

· Do not park on leaf piles. The heat from a vehicle exhaust system could start a fire.

· Do not wait to get your leaves out. We will normally collect leaves twice within the month of leaf collection.

· If it is snowing, we plow first. If it continues to snow, then leaf operations will be suspended.

There is no leaf pickup in the spring.

Contact the Bureau of Maintenance at 585-345-6400 option 1 if you have any questions.

A brighter Batavia on the horizon

By Joanne Beck
Jun 30, 2022, 3:02pm


Batavia wants to buy back some lights from National Grid.

No small order, the purchase totals more than $226,000. The move will allow city public works crews to perform their own, more immediate, maintenance and repair of all lights throughout the city, City Manager Rachael Tabelski says.

“We do have a great working relationship (with National Grid). I think their ability to service the lights as quickly as they go out, sometimes it's difficult. They do their best to keep the lights up to date and to replace them, but there's definitely advantages to moving to the LED lights; we will have less outages,” Tabelski said during an interview with The Batavian. “And when we do have an outage, we'll be able to take care of them in house right in the city.”

Phase I to replace all regular lights with LEDs has begun, with a goal to have all LED lights in the city within the next six months, she said. This plan is to save on energy consumption, maintenance and expense while improving the overall quality of light that’s emitted.

According to the city’s presentation materials, LED (light-emitting diode) type lights are directional, which reduces light “trespass” onto adjacent properties and dark spots between street lights. They are also said to have a “higher color rendering index,” which allows the human eye to detect colors better, improving drivers’ ability to see pedestrians or other potential hazards.

City Council President Eugene Jankowski liked the idea when presented earlier this week at a council meeting.

“So they’ll be brighter, less costly, and we’ll have more control over them,” he said.

Council is expected to vote on the purchase of 948 lights for $226,038 at its July 11 meeting. A letter will also be sent to National Grid requesting the buyback, followed by a purchase and sales agreement to be approved by the Public Service Commission, Tabelski said.

Once the PSC approves, National Grid and the city of Batavia will close on the streetlight sale. At that point, the city will own and maintain its own lights, and will continue to pay National Grid for electric and delivery, but not for operations and maintenance costs.

The entire LED conversion program is to cost an estimated $1.7 million, to be paid for through long-term financing and the yearly cost savings of more energy efficient LEDs, Tabelski said.

Photo: Traditional streetlights, on the left, cast an orange glow, versus the whiter LED lights on the right. Photo part of the City of Batavia LED Street Light Conversion program.

Assessor explains process to City Council in light of another year of increased property values

By Mike Pettinella
Apr 11, 2022, 11:13pm

City Assessor Rhonda Saulsbury says she feels the pain of the many City of Batavia property owners who have been hit with higher assessments for several years in a row.

However, she’s not in a position to change what is happening due to New York State’s requirement that assessments are reviewed on a yearly basis and her office’s goal of achieving a 100 percent sale price-to-assessment ratio.

Saulsbury (photo at right) was at City Council’s Business Meeting tonight seeking to explain the inner workings of the assessment process in light of the numerous complaints she – and Council members – have received from city residents about the preliminary assessment notices that were mailed out last week.

Following up a comment by Council member Paul Viele, who called the state’s real property tax law “a disgrace,” Saulsbury acknowledged that the timing for yet another increase is not good.

“People are suffering; people are struggling with the pandemic, their finances, maybe their job, their children being home for so long – there’s so many things feeding into it, and I'm the one person that they can get a hold of and talk to,” she said.

“I do my best to explain it. We have New York State real property tax law for a reason. And unfortunately, New York State, as everybody in this room knows, is a heavy homeowner tax burden state. So, we have to follow those guidelines … It's kind of a vicious cycle for sure.”

In her 12th year as the city assessor, Saulsbury (who also handles the same duties for the Town of Batavia) said assessments change for only two reasons – equalization, meaning sale price-to-assessment ratios are growing apart, and for physical reasons, meaning something’s changed with the property, taken away or added.

“The culmination of a yearlong project is, of course, an assessment update,” she said. “And this year, we're in the thankless position to be in our fourth year in a row with really high increases across the board throughout the county, including the city.”

Saulsbury said the city started out at plus 4 – “meaning that our ratios were off 4 percent and above, four years ago,” she said – and it increased to plus 6 and eventually to plus 11.

“Just to kind of put that in perspective, in years’ past, the city was either zero or plus one,” she said. “The city's growth has grown exponentially over the last four years, which in itself is a good thing, but in my position, not a good thing.”

She said if property owners whose assessments have gone up decide to seek an informal review or appear at Grievance Day (May 26), she will explain, with current data, how she came to the assessment figure.

“For anyone who got an assessment increase, we can show you the five sales that we actually use for your home or your business,” she said. “It's not throwing darts at a dartboard as some people may think. It's actually quite a science and it's all based on our assessment-to-sale price ratio throughout the year.

“So, when you have 300 or 400 residential sales, in particular, and the sale price is 40, 50, 60, 80,000 dollars above the assessment, we then have to do an assessment project.”

Council member Robert Bialkowski asked that if sale prices dropped by 8 percent, for example, would that trigger another reassessment.

“It’s the same state guideline; we have to hit the same thing,” Saulsbury replied. “We have to maintain assessments at market value. We're at 100 percent market value, so if the sales actually were to dip – and most people don’t believe me – we would have to adjust to those, also. In our case, it has been up and we want it to be up or to be flat. I've never experienced anything where we had to reduce.”

Saulsbury said the state rewards the city periodically for achieving assessments based on 100 percent of market value, and expects to receive around $18,000 this year to help offset costs of conducting assessment projects.

Council member John Canale, who says he follows the real estate market on a daily basis, remarked that he’s not convinced that homes went up so much in value in one year.

“… people are calling me this year and saying, ‘I thought last year, you were up to 100 percent market value. I’m an intelligent man, you can't tell me that the housing market is going up that much more since 2021.’”

Still, he said he knows that Saulsbury isn’t the one to blame.

“You’re walking around with a target on your back right now. And I wouldn't want to be you. Unfortunately, a lot of people think you're the one that's making these decisions,” he said. “It’s very important that the public realize that no, you're basically the messenger. You’re hired to do a job and you're conducting the way you do your job by state requirements.”

Bialkowski said it comes down to “people don't trust the government anymore.”

“I have a friend, and on Saturday I met with him and he spent about 10 minutes just screaming at me,” he said. “He said, I’ll bet you $100 right now that you people don't reduce your budget enough that my taxes stay the same.’ And I said, ‘Well, there's three entities in here (Genesee County and the Batavia City School District being the others), you know, and I said we set our budget -- we're very conservative in the city and all that.’

“But I suppose there's other entities I'm not going to speak for, but they just lost trust in their government. And they've seen it and heard it before, and yet their individual tax bills keep increasing.

“And their homes. They need to do more work on them. And they need furnaces and new windows and all that. And they're starting to say, the guy the other day, it's starting to look really good (about leaving the state). He's going to move down south. He’s just fed up with the whole state and I can’t blame him.”

Previously: With property values rising, City prepares for annual assessments.

(This article provides information on how residents can challenge their assessments).

City historian reveals plan to present a play to highlight significance of the Brisbane Mansion at 10 W. Main St.

By Mike Pettinella
Apr 11, 2022, 8:46pm

Updated: April 12, 10 a.m., with names of previous historians:

City of Batavia Historian Larry Barnes is going beyond the written word to illustrate the significance of the Brisbane family and the mansion at 10 West Main St. that has served as the community’s City Hall and, currently, as its police station.

Speaking at tonight’s City Council Business Meeting at the City Centre Council Board Room, Barnes (photo at right) said he realizes that Council members will want to hear from residents about the future of the Brisbane Mansion, which was completed in April 1855 at a cost of $25,000 (equivalent to $750,000 in purchasing power today).

“I know you will want them to be fully informed as you seek their input in the decision-making process,” Barnes said. “To help inform the public, I am working with the Landmark Society to present a play on the Brisbanes and their mansion. This play will be presented on three occasions in June and I encourage everyone to go see it.”

He said the Derek Maxfield, as associate professor of History at Genesee Community College and noted playwright, wrote the script. The cost of production is being underwritten by a grant through the Genesee-Orleans Regional Arts Council.

Dates, times and locations of the play will be announced, he said.

Barnes said the Brisbane Mansion is a building that deserves preservation.

“The mansion … was erected as the home of George and Sarah Brisbane. This structure is historically signficant both in terms of the building, itself, and in terms of the Brisbanes who occupied it,” he said. “When the police department moves to its new facilities (on the Alva Place parking lot), you will be responsible for deciding the future of the mansion. Will it be saved and, if so, what function will it serve?”

Last year, Barnes updated his brief history of the building – a six-page document that provides details of the mansion as published in The Daily News in 1917-18, its use as City Hall and of the key members of the Brisbane family.

Following Barnes’ five-minute address, Council President Eugene Jankowski Jr. reiterated the board’s support of “repurposing” the building due to its historical value.

Barnes said he “totally agrees” with that stance, but reminded Council that “we’ve lost some pretty incredible buildings” over the years.

In a related development, Council voted unanimously in favor of a resolution to compensate Barnes with a $5,000 annual stipend.

Over the past 13 years, he has done the job on a volunteer basis, just as the previous historians for the city have done since 1919. The one exception occurred in 1962 when the city historian received a $100 stipend, payable in two equal, semiannual installments.

A list of previous City of Batavia historians, as provided by Barnes:

-- William C. Coon, 1919-1953;
-- Georgia Northrup Foote, 1954-1967;
-- Mary McCulley (later Mary McCulley Henry), 1969-1970;
-- Ruth M. McEvoy, 1971-1985;
-- Mary McCulley Henry, 1986-1995;
-- Corinne Johnson Iwanicki, 1995-2007.

Ellen C. Ruffino served as an assistant historian from 1966-1968.

Other resolutions passed tonight:

  • Extending a contract for a School Resource Officer with the Batavia City School District for two more years, through June 30, 2024. Officer Miah Stevens currently has that position, which is paid for by the school district.
  • Creating a temporary full-time detective position in anticipation of the retirement of a detective this summer. The temporary post carries an increase in pay of $15,000 to cover the promotion.
  • Extending a contract with Client First Technology Consulting for six months at a cost not to exceed $44,600 for continued assistance with the city’s Enterprise Resource Planning system. The ERP integrates functions to ensure best practices, automated workflow and project management efficiency.

Photo of Larry Barnes by Mike Pettinella.

Perseverance pays off as Angela Dickson feels at home as City of Batavia's confidential secretary

By Mike Pettinella
Mar 31, 2022, 11:11am


Angela “Angie” Dickson remembers vividly what went through her mind as the plane carrying her and family members from their native Republic of Ghana approached New York City in 1999.

“I thought, this is the American Dream. That’s what we all wanted; to be able to go to school and for all the opportunities that are here,” said Dickson, recalling that September flight when she, then 16 years old, began a new life for herself.

Today, Dickson (photo above) is the confidential secretary to City Manager Rachael Tabelski, serving in that capacity since December when she was hired to replace Lisa Casey, who became the clerk of the Genesee County Legislature.

While her early days in the Big Apple were filled with wonder and awe – “It was much more established than Ghana (a West African country), which had so little,” she said – Dickson was able to carve out her place as an excellent student – graduating eighth out of 263 students at a high school in the Bronx.

Then, it was on to Buffalo State College, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Health, Education and Wellness Promotion in 2007. Eight years later, she had obtained her master’s degree in Health and Wellness with a concentration in Human Resources.

“I was determined to make a better life for myself and my child,” Dickson said during a Wednesday afternoon interview with The Batavian at her office at City Hall. “My oldest daughter, Annabelle, was born in 2003 and she and I came to Buffalo.”

Dickson, who speaks several languages, including Spanish, French and multiple Ghanaian dialects, was recognized at Buffalo State for her advocacy for single mothers seeking an education. She was the recipient of a humanitarian award and also was included in an edition of the Who’s Who in College publication.

“I have dedicated my life to mothers looking to better themselves,” she said, “as I had to do it on my own.”

In 2008, Dickson entered the workforce, taking a case manager position with Schiller Park Community Services on the East Side of Buffalo, and in 2013, she was hired as a provider relations specialist with Fidelis Care at the insurance company’s regional office in Getzville.

During her tenure with Fidelis Care, she said she worked with hospitals and doctors on insurance coverage, often traveling to Akron and Batavia, which were part of her territory.

She also met the man she will be marrying on June 22, contractor Ed Griffin of Akron, and the couple and family moved to Corfu. (Incidentally, Angie and Ed were winners of GO Art!'s recent Wedding Giveaway contest, which features the ceremony at Seymour Place plus catering and numerous gifts from local businesses).

“When COVID hit, I was working from home, which was nice, but afterwards, we transitioned back to the office,” she said. “And I didn’t really want to make that drive to Getzville every day.”

Dickson also said the Akron, Pembroke and Batavia area appealed to her, with its rural setting and friendly people.

“With Batavia being one of my groups (at Fidelis), I came to love it,” she said. “I got to know people in the community and I just fell in love with it.”

She found out about the job opening with the City of Batavia, applied and was hired.

When asked how things are going so far, Dickson acknowledged that the work is “totally different from what I’ve done most of my adult life … working for a government, but I was looking for something that would be challenging and yet meaningful.”

Each day on the full-time job brings something new, she said, whether it be working on the budget books, coordinating meeting schedules, steering correspondence and residents’ inquiries to the right departments, assisting with City Council agendas and documents, or setting up meeting rooms “to make sure everything is in order.”

“I’m learning so much and, again, the community is just amazing. I hadn’t met people like this. Just to say ‘Hi’ to someone and they say ‘Hi’ back. It’s not like that in the city,” she said. “I had to get used to the fact that it was OK for people to say hello to me.”

Dickson said she appreciates that Tabelski affords her the leeway to work on a project without micromanaging it.

“Rachael trusts me and believes in me,” she said. “She gives me a responsibility and lets me do it.”

Tabelski said she is pleased with Dickson’s performance and cheerful outlook.

“Angie is a great addition to the city staff. She has an amazing positive attitude and approaches her job with a team-oriented spirit,” she said.

Outside of the office, Dickson enjoys gardening – something she picked up since moving to Corfu -- and traveling.  The couple has five children -- Corey, Maya, Annabelle, Alexander and Angelina.

Dickson said she is assisting with the city’s presentation at the Genesee County Home Show, which is scheduled for April 8-10 at the David M. McCarthy Memorial Ice Arena on Evans St. She said she will be there at different times and is looking forward to interacting with the public.

She said her feelings of gratitude run deep.

“I’d really like to say ‘thank you’ from the bottom of my heart to each and every person who has made me feel welcome,” she said. “It’s overwhelming, the amount of support that I have received.”

Photo of Angela Dickson by Mike Pettinella.

Council member McGinnis says it's time to change the focus of City Youth Board

By Mike Pettinella
Mar 29, 2022, 11:45am

With the Genesee Area Family YMCA now in charge of the City of Batavia youth program, City Council member Al McGinnis believes it is time to consider the future of the City Youth Board, a citizen-led group that traditionally has played a strong role in how the community’s young people are served.

“As the functionality of the organization changes, we have to change with it,” said McGinnis, Council’s liaison to the Youth Board, at Monday night’s Conference Meeting at the City Centre Council Board Room.

McGinnis took a few minutes to ask Council and city management to consider the changes that have taken place since the city entered into an agreement with the YMCA to run the program – both at the Liberty Center for Youth on Liberty Street (the St. Anthony’s campus of City Church) and summer recreation.

“With the advent of the Y taking over and the Liberty Center, they pretty much have done a splendid job and a far better job than we as the city can do,” McGinnis said. “As the Y becomes more predominant and Liberty Center, the strength of the Youth Board – membership has dwindled. Right now, besides myself, there are only two active members and we have no students in it.”

Since the city is no longer a provider of youth services – and the YMCA is, McGinnis thinks the Youth Board should not have to meet every month (per its bylaws) and should become “advisory” in nature and meet maybe three or four times per year.

He also suggested that those who have served on the Youth Board could maybe fill slots on other citizen boards that support the city.

“We don’t dictate policy to the Y, we don’t dictate policy to the Liberty Center, and we could serve the public better by having the people on those boards take slots in other city government positions (advisory boards) that we have,” he said. “We always need volunteers.”

McGinnis acknowledged the work of those who have participated on the Youth Board and asked Council to send them letters of appreciation.

At that point, City Manager Rachael Tabelski brought up “a great opportunity for the board to work on projects,” specifically the inclusive playground at Austin Park that was approved by Council last November, with funding from the American Rescue Plan Act revenue.

“I hope Council would allow us to invite the Youth Board members to be part of that steering committee for the process moving forward for the inclusive playground at Austin Park,” she said.

Council President Eugene Jankowski Jr. said he didn’t not want to disband the Youth Board, suggesting that it could advise the YMCA and recommend other programming as need.

“… something they could input into that so that we as a member can direct the Y to change some things as to how they serve us as the customer,” he said, agreeing with Tabelski that the Austin Park project is a good fit.

Council member Robert Bialkowski said the Youth Board should remain, with members deciding to meet as necessary.

McGinnis said the Youth Board bylaws call for monthly meetings and also include term limits.

“People on the board have worked well past their tenure because we haven’t found anyone to replace them,” he said.

As far as the number of required meetings, City Attorney George Van Nest said if the Youth Board wants to change the bylaws, it just needs to make its intentions known to Council.

Council member Kathleen Briggs asked McGinnis if YMCA officials requested a change in the Youth Board’s function. He said that was not the case.

“The Y has been very good to work with as has the Liberty Center,” McGinnis said. “Everything they’ve done, let’s face it, they’re in the business of children, we aren’t. We’re in the business of government. We do government very well. We don’t do children very well. That’s not our job; that’s the Ys job.

It was decided that McGinnis would talk to the other Youth Board members – President David Twichell and Vice President Paula Fischer -- at their next meeting and report back to Council.

The Batavian reached out by email to Twichell and Fischer for comment this morning.

City of Batavia sets wheels in motion to replace Engine 12

By Mike Pettinella
Mar 15, 2022, 10:44am


It seems as though fire truck No. 12 is the “little engine that can’t” – for very much longer.

City of Batavia Manager Rachael Tabelski reported at Monday night’s City Council Business Meeting that the city fire department’s Engine 12 (photo above) is 20 years old and is just about ready to be retired from service.

“We have in our capital plan a fire truck replacement for Engine 12 and we are looking at getting grant funding from CDBG (Community Development Block Grant),” Tabelski said. “And before we submit a full application, they ask that municipalities go through a pre-application process.

“It’s a 2002 (model) that we will be replacing and the estimated cost is 700,000 dollars.”

From there, she turned it over to Interim Fire Chief Dan Herberger, who provided more details about Engine 12, including its shortcomings in the area of technology.

“We’re looking at replacing it with something very similar to our frontline engine, which is Engine 11,” he said. “It’s a rescue, fire engine-type style; basically, think of it as a fire engine with rescue capabilities.”

Herberger explained that the department operates with two main pieces of apparatus – one for the on-duty staff, “so we basically have to take everything with us, all the time.”

He said Engine 12 doesn’t have the safety features that come with today’s fire trucks, such as lighting and the ability to hook generators to the trucks. He also said the current vehicle has signs of rust.

“Right now, we’re in the design phase – looking at various vehicles from around the region to see what best fits our needs,” he said.

Tabelski, answering a question from City Council President Eugene Jankowski Jr., said she is hoping to receive $200,000 from the grant. Coupled with $400,000 that is in reserves, the city would be close to covering the full cost of the new truck – likely in 2023-24.

Herberger said there would be little trade-in value for Engine 12, noting that it would be 22 years old by the time a new truck was delivered to the city.

He said he remembers the sale of an old ladder truck to a tree trimming company in North Carolina but the monetary return “really didn’t offset anything too much.”

When asked if the cost of the new truck was a bottom line price, Herberger said the department may have to purchase “a few miscellaneous pieces of equipment for it.”

“In the past years, we’ve really tried to standardize all of our vehicles, so hose complement, rescue tools and hand tools, they’re pretty much the same throughout everything, so that bottom line price would be with equipment,” he said.

City manager on budget passing: 'A balanced plan that funds things people count on - police, fire, roads'

By Mike Pettinella
Mar 14, 2022, 9:37pm

The Batavia City Council tonight unanimously passed the 2022-23 budget, ending a five-month process that resulted in the funding of a $17.78 million general budget with a slight decrease in the property tax rate.

“It was a long process that starts in November when departments submit their budget. And we sit and we meet, and we hash out priorities in each department’s budget, especially when we're looking at general fund police and fire and DPW snow removal,” said City Manager Rachael Tabelski said following the Business Meeting at the City Centre Council Board Room.

Tabelski said she was “excited” by achieving a balanced budget “where the revenues conservatively are estimated to come in and match the expenses we have going out to, again, run the operations that people come to count on -- police, fire and roads.”

Council’s passage of the budget – the All-Funds budget totals $29.7 million – means that city property owners will pay a tax rate of $8.94 per $1,000 of assessed value – down by 78 cents from the 2021-22 figure.

That doesn’t mean that everyone’s tax bill will decrease since most homeowners’ assessments went up – a fact not lost on Tabelski.

“The tax rate will go down It will depend on -- your payment -- … if your assessment went up,” she said. “I know many, many residents -- almost 4,200 -- assessments went up because of market conditions during COVID and the hot housing market. My hope is that that has cooled slightly, and we're not going to see large sweeping increases in assessments moving forward because it is difficult.”

Tabelski said that people react differently when assessments are raised.

“Some people like the assessment to go up because it increases the equity and value in their home, and others understand that it can mean at times a tax increase as well,” she said. “So, I'm very sympathetic to kind of understanding where residents of the city are and trying to keep our budget as efficient as possible.”

When asked if she could identify one highlight of the budget, she came up with the fact that more money was put into the police department’s Emergency Response Team.

“They are called a countywide response team, but it's run by City of Batavia Police and they're called on the scenes where they might need something like hostage negotiation or barricaded individuals,” she said. “And I was happy that we're able to bring more funding to that program this year.”

Council also approved a 1.5 percent increase in water rates, meter fees and capital improvement fees for the 2022-23 fiscal year.

City manager recommends HUNT engineering firm to oversee $1 million City Centre/Mall project

By Mike Pettinella
Feb 26, 2022, 10:59am

The City of Batavia apparently has concluded its “hunt” for the right engineering firm to handle the City Centre/Mall rehabilitation project.

According to a memo to City Council dated Feb. 16, City Manager Rachael Tabelski is recommending that the city contracts with HUNT E/A/S of Rochester for architectural and engineering services for the design of the project’s improvements. The total cost of the contract is $99,317.

Tabelski wrote that three companies responded to the city’s Request for Proposals in connection with the $1 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative and that two were selected as finalists. From there, Tabelski met with a panel of city staff and Batavia Development Corp. members to make the final selection.

Per the memo, HUNT’s work includes the Commissary at Sibley Square, Wegmans Food Markets re-use project and the Regal Cinema Complex repurposing project.

“They bring together a team of professionals dedicated to drive the public rebirth of the Batavia City Center Mall and reestablishing Main Street as a destination,” Tabelski wrote. “The HUNT team in conjunction with Vargas Associates has a long-established reputation for the creation of adaptive reuse projects and involves customized unique approach.”

The topic is part of the agenda of Monday night’s City Council Conference Meeting, scheduled for 7 o’clock at the City Hall Council Board Room.

Other agenda items of note include:

  • Public hearings to adopt the 2022-23 city budget and to amend a local law to set new water rates, meter fees and a capital improvement fee. The $29,700,792 All-Funds budget ($17,853,892 general fund) calls for a tax levy of $5,986,000.  The property tax rate is $8.94 per $1,000 of assessed value – a 78-cent decrease from the 2021-22 rate. Water rates and meter fees will go up by 1.5 percent.
  • Four measures dealing with work at the Water Treatment Plant and Waste Water Treatment Plant:

(1) Issuing a bid package for a licensed construction firm to replace six filters at the Water Treatment Plant to improve efficiency and capacity of the plant’s water output;

(2) Following a bid process, award contracts to six companies to supply the various chemicals used at the facilities – quicklime, ferric sulfate, fluosilicic acid, carbon dioxide, liquid alum and liquid phosphate;

(3) Contracting with Ron Hutcheson, lowest bidder, for the harvesting of fat head minnows at the WWTP. Hutcheson has agreed to pay the city $27,000 in 2022, $28,000 in 2023 and $29,000 in 2024.

(4) Using $60,000 from the city’s sewer fund sludge reserve to conduct Maximum Allowable Headworks Loadings evaluation as part of the headworks, capacity analysis and financial planning study at the WWTP. The plan is to sample different pollutants at multiple points in the system, including the influent, effluent and lift stations, Tabelski said.

  • Acceptance of a $1 million Community Development Block Grant for the installation of 2,250 linear feet of 8-inch water main along Jackson Street and to commit $414,017 from the city’s water fund reserves to pay for the remaining cost of the project.
  • Acceptance of a $5,000 grant from the GO Art! Statewide Community Regrant Program to fund “Community Garden in Bloom,” the creation of a seasonal mural of multiple painted panels at the Community Garden on MacArthur Drive. The project is set to run from June through October.

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