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columbia avenue

City progressing summer sidewalk projects

By Howard B. Owens


Sidewalk and street replacement work on Columbia Avenue is near completion with Seneca Avenue (bottom photo) not far behind.

Five streets in Batavia were scheduled this summer for a  “Complete Streets” approach to upgrading both the roadway in the walkway.

Other streets part of the project this summer are Miller Avenue, Chase Park, and Fisher Park.  The  $320,000 cost is funded by the state's Consolidated Highway Improvement Program.

This year the scope of work includes the replacement of approximately 6,400 linear feet of sidewalks and handicap-accessible ramps on portions of Chase Park, Fisher Park, and Seneca, Miller, and Columbia avenues.

“Whenever we are able to repave or resurface a roadway, we also look at the sidewalks to make sure they are now ADA compliant. They have appropriate widths for wheelchairs and passing lanes,” Tabelski said during the May meeting.

Previously: City sidewalks, outdated lights in line for gradual replacement


Fire last week on Columbia Avenue caused by electrical issue, ruled accidental

By Howard B. Owens

A fire at 20 Columbia Ave., Batavia, in the early morning of March 6, appears to have been caused by an electrical issue and was accidental, according to City Fire Chief Steve Napolitano. 

Several animals apparently lost their lives in the fire, though no people were hurt.

The house was owner-occupied by Peter and Marilyn Demmer and five people, including a newborn infant, were home at the time of the fire, which was reported at about 4:15 a.m.

Napolitano did not have a count of how many animals lived at the residence. Firefighters located four deceased pets. One dog escaped the fire.

The structure of the house is sound, Napolitano said, but the interior was a total loss. The ground floor sustained massive damage from heat, smoke and water and the second floor had extensive smoke and heat damage. The total loss estimate is $180,000 to $200,000.

"Firefighters were able to recover some personal items of value to the family," Napolitano said.

Napolitano said the residents were offered assistance by the Salvation Army and Red Cross but he is uncertain if they accepted or made other arrangements on their own.

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