Local Matters

Community Sponsors

Community Development Block Grant

July 21, 2021 - 6:48pm

Genesee County Manager Matt Landers has yet to hear from government officials in the towns of Darien and Pembroke and Village of Corfu on whether they will be opting in to an updated countywide water supply agreement. But he is sticking to his timeline to enact a new sales tax distribution plan to all municipalities.

Landers, at this afternoon’s Genesee County Legislature Ways & Means Committee meeting at the Old County Courthouse, presented a resolution that immediately (when passed by the full legislature) rescinds the county’s annual voluntary distribution payments. It also directs the county treasurer to discontinue all future such payments until further notice.

The measure passed and will be forwarded to the legislature’s next meeting, which is set for July 28.

Landers said the county made the first six monthly distribution payments this year but is changing course going forward – offering municipalities (with a deadline of Aug. 13), the following options:

  • With universal buy-in to revised water supply agreements, accept $10 million annually over the next 38 years, with the amounts per town or village determined by the total assessed property valuation;
  • Without universal buy-in, accept $7 million in annual sales tax distributions and another $3 million in periodic revenue distribution over the next 38 years, minus equalization of water surcharge revenue to those municipalities not opting in.

Currently, Darien, Pembroke and Corfu have not signed the water agreements, although their town and village boards have scheduled meetings over the next couple weeks.

“The towns and villages are aware of this resolution (to rescind the agreement that was passed in 2020),” Landers told the committee.

On Monday, a draft of the new sales tax agreement – without any specific dollar amounts filled in -- was sent to the New York State Comptroller’s Office for review.

Landers has set Sept. 14 as the date to send the amended and signed agreement to the Comptroller for formal approval.

SHOOTING FOR A $1 MILLION GRANT

In other action, the Ways & Means Committee voted in favor of a resolution to hold a public hearing for 5:30 p.m. Aug. 25 at the Old County Courthouse to provide information regarding the application of funding from the Community Development Block Grant COVID-19 Response program in the amount of $1 million.

Landers explained that the money is targeted for assistance to small businesses in the county, those with 25 or fewer employees.

He said the Genesee Gateway Local Development Corp. will help facilitate the money, if received, to go toward programs such as job creation, equipment/furnishings for parklet-type outdoor dining locations, personal protective equipment, and air handling measures, telecommuting employment and related initiatives.

“We have 12 months to spend the money from the date of applying,” he said, adding that the GGLDC, Downtown Batavia Improvement District, Genesee County Chamber of Commerce and other outlets will be promoting this heavily. “This is money beyond the $11 million that we received from the American Rescue Plan Act, and we still have that.”

Landers said the majority of the funds will be in the form of grants, with some to be allocated as loans.

“It’s a win-win for everyone,” he added.

HCA WITH PLUG POWER IN THE WORKS

The committee also approved a resolution authorizing the county to enter into a Host Community Agreement with Gateway Hydrogen LLC, also known as Plug Power Inc., of Latham, which is planning to build a green hydrogen production facility at the Western New York Science & Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park in the Town of Alabama.

Landers reported that the county – as long as the proposed project goes through – would receive $366,000 annually for 20 years plus another $147,000 annually from a Payment in Lieu of Taxes agreement.

“This brings revenue to the county to be used for general operations without having negative tax cap implications as well as giving us the option of how to use it,” he said, adding that it is projected to start on Jan. 1, 2023.

Host Community Agreements or Host Benefit Agreements are legal contracts that benefit both the community and the developer of a project -- stipulating the benefits a developer agrees to fund or furnish, in exchange for community support of a project.

Benefits can include commitments to hire directly from a community, contributions to economic trust funds, local workforce training guarantees and more.

In this case, Landers said some of the funds could go toward a Niagara County connection that would increase the water supply to the northern region of the county, including around the STAMP site.

“This may be able to support the possible connection to Niagara County,” he said. “It’s basically gap water between Phase 2 and Phase 3 of the Countywide Water Program.”

He also said he believes the Town of Alabama will be entering into a HCA with Plug Power.

The PILOT agreement will serve to lower the tax cap, which helps reduce the property tax rate, he said.

Previously: Genesee County leaders present plans to distribute $10 million in sales tax/other revenue to towns and villages

February 19, 2021 - 11:18am

Batavia Town Supervisor Greg Post is looking forward to the day when he doesn’t have issue any more “state of emergency” declarations.

In anticipation of the end to what has become a monthly ritual, Post has set up a committee to work on a plan for Town of Batavia operations after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last week, Post extended the SOE for the town for another month “because of consistency with state and county and national responses to the pandemic.”

He said town officials will be formulating a new process for the utilization of town facilities, including the town hall, highway garage and parks “to address issues related to COVID but will not keep us in a constant state of emergency as we evolve from this both locally and nationally.”

Town Clerk Teressa Morasco, who is leading the committee, said towns and villages across New York are required to have an emergency pandemic plan in place by April 1 – a document outlining protocols and guidelines and the manner in which the municipality expects to conduct day-to-day business.

Joey Neth of the town’s engineering staff and Town Council members Patti Michalak and Sharon White also are on the committee.

Post advised that the town already has implemented numerous measures, such as working remotely and relying heavily on email and the town hall’s drive-through window.

“We’ve established a ‘virtual’ town hall and have been able to save $1 million without reducing efficiency of services,” Post said. “All of our inspections, accounting, plan reviews, assessments, document signing and bill collecting services have continued without interruption.”

The town had planned a $1 million project to design and expand the town hall, but that has been put on the back burner.

“If and when the state of emergency ends, we’re not going back to the way it was,” he said. “We don’t have the staff to check temperatures and we can’t hire more staff. Our plan going forward is to make the operation center more secure and making sure the business of the town gets done as efficiently as possible.”

In other developments, the town board approved the following at its meeting on Wednesday night:

  • Resolutions supporting the application of a Community Development Block Grant to replace a 5,300-foot stretch (just over a mile) of water main on Park Road, prior to the Park Road Reconstruction Project scheduled for this summer or fall.

Town Engineer Steve Mountain reported that the town will seek funding from the New York State Office of Community Renewal program to take out the 50-year-old asbestos water main under the roadway that serves Batavia Downs Gaming and other commercial enterprises.

Mountain said the pipe runs along the length of Park Road from Route 63 to the gas station on Park Road, not far from Route 98.

Community Development Block Grants come with requirements that the applying municipality must meet, primarily that 51 percent of the project beneficiaries must qualify as low and/or moderate income. Mountain said a 2018 survey indicates that the town is at 52.95 percent LMI.

A public hearing was held on Wednesday and another one will be scheduled when 75 percent of the work is completed, Mountain said.

Post indicated that the town is hoping to receive the full amount of the water main replacement, estimated to be around $900,000. The board also approved a contract for $5,900 with Municipal Solutions Inc. of Canandaigua and Le Roy to prepare the CDBG application, which is due by March 5.

  • A resolution to use a Bond Anticipation Note in an amount not to exceed $460,000 to purchase three high-end maintenance vehicles and apparatus for use by the highway, sewer and water crews.

Post said the BAN will be reviewed – and renewed annually – and he expects the town to realize “substantial saving on the interest rates, which have plummeted, and as a result of our bond ratings that have continue to increase.”

  • Establishing a committee to draft guidelines and recommendations pertaining to solar farms, which have been popping up in the town at an increasingly rapid rate in recent months.

Committee members are Council Member Chad Zambito (chair), Dan Lang, Brittany Witkop, Don Partridge, Nancy Brach and Paul McCullough.

April 21, 2011 - 4:52pm

Dozens of homeowners along Route 5 could get a public sewer system if the Town of Batavia receives Community Development Block Grant funds.

The second of two public hearings regarding a proposal for the use of the CDBG money was held Wednesday evening. No one from the public attended.

Now the town will apply for $600,000 in CDBG grants to cover about half the cost of a putting in a public sewer line along a portion of Route 5.

Supervisor Greg Post explained that, “We have a concept plan to provide sanitary sewer facilities along Route 5 -- from the end of the existing district (near Duro-Shed, Inc.) -- that would go west to the mobile home park, which is just past Wortendyke (Road).”

He said residents along that stretch of roadway have septic tanks and most of those need repair or replacement. But that would be a serious financial burden for them.

“There are limits to what New York State will allow people to construct on facilities they have owned for generations,” Post said. “These extraordinary restrictions weren’t in effect when those houses were constructed and it leaves homeowners somewhat out of options as far as improving the value of their homes.”

About 75 residents would benefit from CDBG funds being used to install the proposed public sewer system.

“This differs from some other grant funding to improve the economic vitality or commercialization in a development," Post said. "This is essentially scoped around a residential aspect here. Using the funds this way will greatly improve the quality of their lives.”

When and if a public sewer system is installed, residents will have to connect a line to it within a certain period of time, although Post he didn't know offhand what the time frame was.

For the homeowners, there are several factors to consider, including how much they have invested in their current septic system.

As for how much it might cost residents to be part of a sewer district, Post says it's too soon to tell. The town hasn't yet applied for the grant.

"This is the first of many steps," the supervisor said.

Subscribe to

Calendar

S M T W T F S
 
 
 
 
1
 
2
 
3
 
4
 
5
 
6
 
7
 
8
 
9
 
10
 
11
 
12
 
13
 
14
 
15
 
16
 
17
 
18
 
19
 
20
 
21
 
22
 
23
 
24
 
25
 
26
 
27
 
28
 
29
 
30
 
31
 

Copyright © 2008-2020 The Batavian. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
 

blue button