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Healthy Neighborhoods program to be going door to door in Batavia

By Press Release

Press Release:

The Genesee County Health Department receives funding from the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) to carry out the Healthy Neighborhoods Program (HNP). Residents in the Town and City of Batavia are eligible to participate. 

The program offers free home evaluations for asthma triggers, indoor air quality, lead-based paint hazards, fire risks, and other health hazards. At the home 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. Safety and cleaning supplies are also available to eligible participants.

Staff from the program are going door to door in the City of Batavia to raise awareness about the program and look for participants. At the homes we visit, we leave a door hanger or flyer with contact information for the Health Department.

During the spring we are focusing on Ward 1 (north of East Main Street from Vine Street to the eastern edge of the City) and Ward 6 (south of East Main Street from Liberty Street to the eastern edge of the City). We will be covering other areas of the City later in the year.

Information on the streets we are visiting each week will be posted on the Health Department’s Facebook and Instagram account under GOHealthNY.

Go to to request a home visit from the Healthy Neighborhoods Program for yourself or to refer someone to the program. Once the Health Department receives the request, a staff member will reach out to schedule a home evaluation. 

For more information, call Healthy Neighborhoods Program staff at 585-344-2580 ext. 5555 or visit

City of Batavia firefighter promoted to lieutenant

By Press Release

Press Release:

The City of Batavia Fire Department would like to announce that Firefighter Craig Huntoon will be promoted to the rank of Lieutenant effective June 12.

Firefighter Huntoon has served the residents of the City of Batavia since 2019. Prior to that, he was an Aircraft Rescue Firefighter in the Marine Corps. 

He has continually displayed a great deal of fire service knowledge and leadership ability. He has been and will continue to be an asset in his new role as Lieutenant for the 4th Platoon.

Road work to cause delays in city Thursday to Monday

By Press Release

Press Release:

All motorists please be aware Redfield Parkway, River Street, and Jackson Street will experience traffic delays on Thursday, May 16, Friday, May 17, and Monday, May 20 (respectively), from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. for milling operations.

While work is being performed in this area, local traffic will be permitted to and from their residence/property but should plan accordingly for delays.

All residents/businesses within the work area are asked not to park on the roadway during the operation. All motorists that regularly use these streets are asked to seek alternate routes while the closures are in place.

Contact the Bureau of Maintenance at 585-345-6400 opt. 1 if you have any questions or concerns. Thank you for your cooperation.

Found kitty in the city

By Joanne Beck
White cat on East Avenue
Photo submitted by Raelene Christian

A reader who lives on Holmes Avenue in the city of Batavia has spotted this white cat hanging out at the corner of East and Holmes avenues for the past week, apparently without a home. The cat has a collar on, and the reader is hoping to reunite it with its pet parents.

Home owners sought for residential rehab program with grants up to $25K

By Press Release

Press Release:

The City of Batavia is seeking applications from income-qualified home owners for housing repairs.

The City of Batavia received federal Community Development Block Grant Funds (CDBG) to provide grant assistance to 10 income-qualified homeowners within the City of Batavia. The Residential Rehabilitation program offers assistance of up to $25,000 per structure for repairs and basic structural deficiencies. Repairs include foundation work, exterior work, roofing, siding, windows, heating, electrical, plumbing, and more.

Interested applicants should submit a Residential Rehabilitation Program application and accompanying documentation by June 1, 2024. For more information, details on program requirements, and applications visit or contact Julie Dahlie, Grants Administrator at, 585-565-4423.

Law Street yard waste station opens for the season on Monday

By Press Release

Press Release:

The Law Street Yard Waste Station will open for the season on Monday, April 15, for city residents.

The station will be open from noon to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday, until Daylight Savings Time in November, when time changes to 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

The station will also be closed on May 27 for Memorial Day, July 4 for Independence Day, September 2 for Labor Day, and November 28 for Thanksgiving. The station will close for the season in early December.

City residents may bring yard waste material (grass, leaves, and limbs) to the Law Street Yard Waste Station as there is no spring curbside pickup of these materials. 

The following items cannot be accepted at the station:

  • tree stumps
  • building materials
  • rock
  • fill (soil and stone), other debris

Yard waste shall be free of trash (paper, plastic, bottles, cans...etc.), as this material cannot be processed.

Use the Law Street entrance to enter and exit the City Yard Waste Station only.

City of Batavia receives $350K for home improvement funding, needs time to iron out details

By Joanne Beck

Christmas came a few days late this week for city of Batavia officials, but it was well worth it to open a package worth $350,000 in the form of a Community Development Block Grant, issued by Gov. Kathy Hochul’s Office on Thursday.

Details will be ironed out over the next few months about how the money will be allocated and who the recipients will be for home improvement funding, Assistant City Manager Erik Fix said.

“We are very pleased to have received the CDBG Grant this year.  It is a bit early for us to make any formal announcement and/or notifying eligible homeowners.  Aside from the announcement, we have not received any information in regards to how or when the grant can be distributed,” he said Friday. “We have multiple trainings and webinars in the next couple of months and should have all of the details ironed out by late-winter, early spring in time for summer renovation projects.

“In the meantime, we do have funding available in the Batavia Home Fund,” he said. “The application and details can be found in the Citizen Action Center on our website,”

Fix had previously said that the grant would coincide with the city’s comprehensive housing strategy “that we are in the process of developing.”

“It goes hand in hand with the Batavia Home Fund that the City, GCEDC and Town of Batavia signed an inter-municipal agreement to fund this past fall,” he had said to The Batavian earlier this year.  “The CDBG will provide funding for rehabilitation projects on owner-occupied, single-family home rehab projects throughout the city.  The hope is that when one neighbor makes improvements, others will as well, and the city can help foster rehabilitation throughout our communities.”

The Federal assistance Community Development Block Grant funds would enable homeowners to make home repairs with grant and deferred loan funding. Any single-family homeowner was encouraged to apply and the goal of the program was to provide “vibrancy to communities” similar to recent improvements made to Summit Street to create vibrant transformations throughout the city.

This program is to tie in with the city’s housing improvement plan and the recently created Batavia Home Fund

Hochul said that 1,400 households will benefit from more than $46 million in grant awards to support affordable homeownership. The grants will help low- and moderate-income families make repairs or safety upgrades to their homes, replace manufactured homes, and provide down payment assistance for first-time buyers. 

Batavia is part of the Finger Lakes region, which was awarded nearly $2.8 million in grant funding. 

Water to be shut off in Jackson Street area on Tuesday

By Press Release

Press Release:

The City of Batavia Water Department will need to temporarily turn off water in the Jackson Street area on Tuesday, November 7th, for the duration of the day to replace a valve. The following streets will be without water: 

Chestnut Street, Kibbe Avenue, Elmwood Avenue, South Jackson Street, from Jackson Street to Liberty Street, and Jackson Street, from Central Avenue to South Jackson Street.

Surrounding streets may be affected as well.

As always, when the water is restored, it may be discolored. Please refrain from doing any laundry until the water runs clear.

We apologize for any inconvenience, and the public’s patience is greatly appreciated.

Shining some light on street light confusion in the city

By Joanne Beck


City street light comparison regular to LED
This file photo illustrates traditional street lights, left, versus what the new LED versions will look like once the city of Batavia's LED Street Light Conversion program is completed throughout the city. City management is to close on the purchase of National Grid lights Nov. 16.

There has been some ongoing discussion, debate and confusion online about lights in the city of Batavia: who is responsible for repairing them, replacing burned out bulbs, and whatever happened to that deal where the city was going to replace all of the lights with energy-efficient LEDs?

Some confusion may be justified, as both the city and National Grid have jurisdiction over parts of city street lights, though National Grid seems to have responsibility for the larger section — which it just this week was spotted out and about fulfilling by replacing several burned out bulbs in time for the annual trick-or-treat night.

Hopefully that will not be as much of an issue in the near future, after the city completes what it began in June 2022, to contract for the purchase and replacement of all National Grid street lights and convert them to LED versions. 

“We close on the purchase with National Grid on Nov. 16,” City Manager Rachael Tabelski said Wednesday. “It has been a yearlong process to get to this closing date, that has included multiple administrative steps and approval by the Public Service Commission.  

“Once the sale is complete, Power and Construction Group (P&CG) will begin the light replacement process across the City,” she said. “The LED street lights that we are installing have many benefits and include a 10-year replacement warranty.” 

The city worked last year with the New York Power Authority and its engineering consultant, Wendel Engineers, for the replacement project. The nearly $1.7 million plan (Phase I) has an estimated savings of more than $161,000 annually. 

City Council approved the purchase of 948 street lights at a cost of $226,038, and future replacement of all National Grid street lights in the city. 

The Batavian also reached out to National Grid spokesman David Bertola in an attempt to initially find out about the recommended procedure for burned-out street lights and how many lights were out in the city, and he said it was “difficult to know, as some lights are owned by the city of Batavia, whereas others are owned by National Grid.”

He referred folks to complete an online form to report any street lights with nonworking lights. 

“Damaged street lights can be dangerous” he said, and he also encouraged people to call 1-800-642-4272 to directly report those. 

“Typically, once National Grid is alerted about a non-working street light, a crew will investigate within 24 hours,” he said.  “Repairs are frequently made shortly thereafter.”

Traffic delays begining week of Oct. 30 on Jackson Street

By Press Release

Press Release:

Please be advised that Blue Heron Construction will be mobilizing equipment in preparation for construction on the Jackson Street Water project within the City of Batavia. 

Construction on this project is scheduled to begin the week of Oct. 30 and will include the installation of approximately 2,250 linear feet of new 8-inch water mains and appurtenances to replace existing 4-inch and 6-inch water mains on Jackson Street from Chestnut Street to Ellicott Street.

Traffic delays are to be expected; however, no street closures are anticipated at this time. We apologize for any inconvenience and thank the public for their patience and cooperation as we work to improve our community.

Batavia Police offer Halloween safety tips

By Press Release


Press Release:

The City of Batavia Police Department would like to remind everyone of the following safety tips to ensure a safe and Happy Halloween.


  • Wear bright-colored costumes or attach something reflective to your costume or candy bag 
  • Cross the street only at marked intersections 
  • Follow traffic signals and use crosswalks 
  • Look both ways before crossing the street 
  • Put phones down and watch where you are going 
  • Walk only on sidewalks (where provided, if none walk facing traffic) 
  • Be on the lookout for cars at all times 


  • Drive slowly and stay alert 
  • Look for children at every intersection and take extra time 
  • Back up slowly and check multiple times for pedestrians 
  • Eliminate distractions (put down phones and keep radio volume at a low level) 
  • Make complete stops at all intersections and allow pedestrians to cross the street 

The City of Batavia will observe Halloween Trick-or-Treating activities between the hours of 4- 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 31 only.

City leaf collection to begin Oct. 30 and run through Dec. 1

By Press Release

Press Release:

Residents are asked to rake leaves into piles and leave them in the parkway (un-bagged). Please, place it close to the curb line/edge of the roadway without placing it 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 and fluctuates from there depending on the size of the leaf loads.

Any resident with leaves can also bring them to the Yard Waste Station until it closes for the season on Dec. 9. The Yard Waste hours are 12 - 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday through Nov. 4, and then 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. from November 6th through December 9th due to the hours of daylight. The Yard Waste Station will be closed on Nov. 23 for Thanksgiving Day and will officially close for the season after Dec. 9.

Important information about leaf collection:

  • Leaf piles must be clear of sticks and all animal waste – if animal waste or other debris is found in the piles, they will not be picked up.
  • Grass clippings, flower potting, branches, and pumpkins cannot be picked up and residents may bring those items to the Yard Waste Station on Law Street (which will be open through Dec. 9).
  • Leaves should not block traffic or 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 @ 585-345-6400 option 1 if you have any questions.

Fire Prevention Week reminds all to be careful in the kitchen

By Joanne Beck
Tim Yaeger, Gary Patnode, Gary Maha
Recognizing Fire Prevention Week: Genesee County Legislator Gary Maha, right, presents a proclamation to  Genesee County Emergency Management Services/Fire Coordinator and Assistant Coordinator Tim Yaeger, left, and Gary Patnode, on behalf of the 17 volunteer fire departments and one career fire department in Genesee County during the county Legislature meeting Wednesday.
Photo by Steven Falitico

City of Batavia and Genesee County fire department and management leaders have been on site with fire trucks, issuing reminders and presenting a proclamation, all in an effort to recognize and promote the importance of Fire Prevention Week, which ends on Saturday.

Although the week officially runs from Oct. 8 to 14, Batavia Fire Department Lieutenant Bob Tedford wants citizens to remember that cooking safety begins with you, no matter when that is. Cooking is the leading cause of home fire injuries, according to the National Fire Protection Association, with nearly half of all home fires involving cooking equipment, according to a press release sent from Tedford on behalf of the NFPA.

The City of Batavia Fire Department, therefore, wanted to share the following cooking safety messages to support this year’s cooking safety theme, he said. 

• Always keep a close eye on what you are cooking. For foods with longer cook times, such as those simmering or baking, set a timer to help monitor them carefully.

• Clear the cooking area of combustible items and keep anything that can burn, such as dish towels, oven mitts, food packaging, and paper towels away from the cooking area.

• Turn pot handles toward the back of the stove. Keep a lid nearby when cooking. If a small grease fire starts, slide the lid over the pan and turn off the burner.

• Create a “kid and pet-free zone” of at least three feet around the cooking area and anywhere else hot food or drink is prepared or carried.

As the biggest annual campaign at NFPA, Fire Prevention Week works to educate people about the leading risks to home fires and ways they can better protect themselves and their loved ones. Local fire departments play a key role in bringing Fire Prevention Week to life in their communities each year and spreading basic but critical fire safety messages.

To learn more about Fire Prevention Week, its 100th anniversary, and this year’s theme,  go to

County legislators also recognized the week during the Legislature’s Wednesday meeting with a proclamation, which was presented to Emergency Management Services and Fire Coordinator Timothy Yaeger and Assistant Coordinator Gary Patnode on behalf of the 17 volunteer and one career fire department in Genesee County.

The proclamation states:

WHEREAS, the week of October 8 th through the 14 th , 2023 is Fire Prevention Week where the goal is to raise fire safety awareness and help ensure your home and family is protected, and

WHEREAS, fire is a serious public safety concern both locally and nationally, with homes being the location where people are at the greatest risk from fire, and

WHEREAS, cooking is the leading cause of house fires, with nearly half of all house fires involves cooking equipment and the other involves unattended cooking, and

WHEREAS, residents should stay in the kitchen when frying food on the stovetop, keep a three-foot kid-free zone around cooking areas and keep anything that can catch fire away from stove tops, and

WHEREAS, residents who have planned and practiced a home fire escape plan are more prepared and will therefore be more likely to survive a fire, and

WHEREAS, in reported house fires, working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in half, and

WHEREAS, first responders are dedicated to reducing the occurrence of home fires and home fire injuries through prevention and protection. Now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, that the Genesee County Legislature does hereby proclaim October 8th through the 14th, 2023 as Fire Prevention Week and we urge all residents to participate by checking their smoke alarms and kitchens for fire hazards and use safe cooking practices during Fire Prevention Week.

GC Republican Committee announces officers, German as new chairman

By Press Release
Submitted photo of outgoing, 20-year Chairman Richard E Siebert (2nd from left) congratulating Scott German (center) who was elected the new Chairman.
Additionally, Assemblyman Steve Hawley (far left) was re-elected as 1st Vice Chair, Mary Alice Panek (2nd from right) as 2nd Vice Chair) & County Clerk Mike Cianfrini (far right) as Treasurer.

Press Release:

The Organizational Meeting of the Genesee County Republican Committee was held on Tuesday, October 3 with a huge majority of members present. Due to the decision of Richard Siebert, Chairman for the last 20 years, to not seek re-election, the position of Chairman was the main item on the Agenda. 

All officer positions were available and were re-elected as follows:

  • 1st Vice Chairman Stephen M. Hawley, Town of Batavia 
  • 2nd Vice Chairman Mary Alice Panek, Town of Stafford 
  • Treasurer Michael Cianfrini, Town of Oakfield 
  • Secretary Kathleen Jasinski, Town of Batavia
  • Scott German, City of Batavia, was elected as Chairman. He is the present Genesee County Treasurer.

Commerce, Federal Drive, and Treadeasy Avenue to have road delays Oct. 11-12

By Press Release

Press Release:

Commerce Drive and Federal Drive will be paved on October 11 and 12 between the hours of 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. Paving will begin on Commerce Drive and Federal Drive. Once work is complete paving operations will move to Treadeasy Avenue (a portion of roadway between railroad tracks near Summit Lubricants TO city-line).

All efforts will be made to maintain access to and from the properties. Properties will experience delays in access while paving through driveways. 

Motorists will experience changing traffic patterns including one-way movements, temporary closures, and flagging operations as the paving project progresses. All efforts will be made to get motorists to and from their destination with minimum delay.

This work is weather-dependent. If work is delayed it will be rescheduled for the next available date. 

If there are any questions concerning this work, please, contact The Town of Batavia – Highway Department at (585) 343-1729 Extension 218. Thank you for your cooperation in advance.

Batavia city fire department testing fire hydrants October 5

By Press Release

Press Release:

The City of Batavia Fire Department will be flow-testing fire hydrants on Thursday, Oct. 5 from approximately 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. This will affect the entire city. Homes and businesses nearby will be affected.  These tests may result in a temporary discoloration of water in that area.  As in the past, please do not attempt to wash any clothing if your water appears discolored.  If you do experience a discoloration of your water, run cold water for about 5 minutes or until clear.

This annual testing is essential to maintain the community class III Insurance Services Office (ISO) public protection classification and to assure that fire hydrants are operating efficiently for fire protection purposes. Along with maintaining the fire rating, the test monitors the health of the city's water system, identifies weak areas in the system, and removes material that settles in the water lines. Checking each hydrant improves fire department personnel's knowledge of the hydrant locations.

If you have any questions or should notice a hydrant in need of repair, please contact the fire department at 585-345-6375.

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

By Joanne Beck

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
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

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

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

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