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David M. McCarthy Memorial Ice Arena

September 22, 2022 - 12:03pm

Press Release:

The Friends of the Rink organization will be sponsoring a Community Scrap Metal Drive Fundraiser on Saturday, Oct. 1 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the David M. McCarthy Memorial Ice Arena (rear parking lot), 22 Evans St., Batavia, New York.

All proceeds will be used to fund needed ice rink improvement projects.

Unacceptable items include – refrigerators, vehicle wheel rims with tires attached, items containing mercury, items with fluids inside or out – gas, oil, hydraulic oil, tar, etc.

This event held in cooperation with Ed Arnold Scrap Processors, Corfu, New York.

July 28, 2022 - 11:00pm

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The Genesee County and Batavia youth bureaus hosted their annual Safe Summer Children’s Carnival at David M. McCarthy Ice Arena on Thursday.

The event featured entertainment and games that helped introduce the children to safety concepts.  Officers from Batavia PD along with City firefighters were on hand.  Multiple other local agencies also participated.

Photos by Howard Owens

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July 12, 2022 - 8:10am

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Matt Gray and his folks, Bob Gray and Sharon Valyear-Gray, sat in the audience during City Council’s conference meeting Monday evening. Matt was waiting to hear what came soon in the business meeting that followed: a unanimous 9-0 vote to approve his pitch as Batavia Sports Facility Management to fully embrace operations at the David M. McCarthy Memorial Ice Arena.

"I'm very proud of him," Valyear-Gray said.

City officials’ reactions ranged from happiness to nostalgia.

“This is fantastic,” councilman Paul Viele said. “It’s good to see local people interested in the ice rink.”

Councilman Bob Bialkowski and President Eugene Jankoski were excited about the prospects of having a local Batavian on board.

“It’s great, just great to see community involvement,” Bialkowski said.

The contract is with Matt as owner of Batavia Sports Facility. It’s a five-year contract, with up to three five-year renewals. Matt, who has partnerships with Eli Fish Brewery and Matty’s Pizza, has an eye toward the snack bar with thoughts that perhaps some of that familiar food and drink would be served there.

"We do plan, in the very near future, some upgrades to the existing snack shop. We do have a five-year plan with quite a bit of capital improvements to it … so we do hope that we can extend the snack bar into more of a sit-down area inside the rink,” he said.

Since he was in kindergarten, Matt played ice hockey at the Evans Street arena, all through high school and even when he attended college locally, he said. So it’s fair to say that he’s been actively involved with the ice rink and Ramparts hockey team for more than a decade.

“But even more than that, I’ve been active for the last five years or so with development of that area,” he said during a quick interview with The Batavian after the meeting. “So not only am I interested in doing the necessary improvements to the rink  - it is aging, it’s over 40 years old — but it also could be an economic catalyst for the entire downtown area. My goal was to see it used to its fullest, not only for more of the residents of the city and town of Batavia but also drawing more people in from (outside of the local area).”

Matt’s proposal is “super exciting,” City Manager Rachael Tabelski said to The Batavian after the meeting. She was a teen in the early 90s and remembers Batavia as “really a fun place to come to.” The city had amenities such as an arcade of games, a swimming and wading pool and a fairly active ice rink.

“I think we’re bringing the 80s and 90s back,” she said.

Matt clarified that he doesn’t have an official partnership with Robbie Nichols, owner of Batavia Muckdogs and CAN-USA Sports and operator of Dwyer Stadium. But because of Nichols’ extensive background in the business of sports, he and Matt have been discussing various ideas for the rink.

“He did reach out to me with his expertise and his experience in order to be part of this, both for marketing and someone I can go to for just knowledge on risk management,” Matt said.

Activities planned for the rink include special events, dog shows, rollerskating, youth and adult floor/roller hockey, gym classes, home shows, indoor basketball and soccer, gun shows, all in addition to open skates and ice hockey leagues.

Batavia Sports Facility is taking over for former operations company Firland Management, which did not renew a contract in July.

Previously: From beer and pizza to ice, Batavia entrepreneur proposes his next venture

Photo: Batavia entrepreneur Matt Gray walks out of a City Council meeting Monday evening with the approval from all nine council members for his proposal to operate and manage the ice rink as Batavia Sports Facility Management.

July 8, 2022 - 3:58pm

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Restaurants? Check. Brewery? Check. Quality apartments? Pizza shop? Of course.

After successfully dipping his hands into a varied professional portfolio, Matt Gray is now going into the ice business.

His bid, along with CAN-USA Sports, LLC, to manage operations at the city’s ice arena will be up for discussion at City Council’s conference meeting next week. It’s set for 7 p.m. Monday at City Hall.

Earlier this year the city sought requests for proposal to take over the David M. McCarthy Memorial Ice Arena since Firland Management did not seek to renew its contract, which expired June 30. Listing a set of requirements and expectations for who the appropriate candidate would be, the city wanted a manager to help grow the use and presence of the Evans Street rink.

Apparently, according to a memo from City Manager Rachael Tabelski, Batavia Sports Facility Management, led by Gray, hit that sweet spot.

The company “submitted a proposal that is focused on increasing the long-term usage of the rink by actively targeting new local participants through marketing a broader selection of offerings, such as sunrise health programming, a summer roller public skate, curling and private party rentals,” she said.

“They are also focused on increasing the number of events held at the arena to attract large volumes of out-of-area users to realize the potential of the facility as an economic engine for the city,” Tabelski said. “These will include trade show, sports tournaments and concerts.”

Gray has an extensive background of serving on boards and putting his money where his mouth is. He owns Alex’s Place, has a partnership for Eli Fish Brewing Company and Matty’s Pizza, plus operates a property management company with retail properties and a mixed use building — with the brewery and seven market-rate apartments — in downtown Batavia. He also has a partnership for five restaurants in North Carolina. For the past 25 years, he has managed nine start-ups, developing several brands from concept and launch to a fully mature and operational enterprise.

Gray currently serves on the city’s Planning and Development Board, is vice president of Genesee County Economic Development Corporation and other current roles are on Batavia Development Corporation Small Business Workgroup, Batavia Business Improvement District Promotions Committee and as a USA Hockey Level 4 coach.

The entrepreneur has also served with other groups, including the Downtown Revitalization Initiative Committee, Batavia’s Creek Park Youth Hockey Economic Development Committee and is a founding member of the city’s Community Garden. He is a 2011 graduate of Leadership Genesee.

Speaking of money, Batavia Sports Facility Management has also proposed collaboration with the city to help with capital improvements at the ice facility “and expend funds from their own budget,” Tabelski said in her memo. That means doling out $140,000 toward capital expenses for:

  • Replacement of most fixtures for the concession area
  • Converting half of the office space to dry storage
  • Upgrade surfaces for a “warmer and inviting space” to serve as a party room
  • Install new LED lights throughout the facility
  • Add new inventory of roller and inline skates for summertime public use
  • Make improvements to the audio/visual system
  • Expand the food stand with dedicated seating in a sports bar concept
  • Invest in curling equipment

Tabelski has recommended that City Council approve an agreement with the Batavia management group.

Might there be craft beer and pizza in the arena’s future? Gray was not available for comment Friday.

2022 File Photo of Matt Gray, Batavia entrepreneur, who has now proposed management of the city's ice arena.

June 28, 2022 - 7:15am

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A new management company for the city’s ice arena is expected to come before City Council for vote at its meeting next month.

A number of submissions had been received during the city’s request for proposals process, and it’s likely that one company will be selected, City Manager Rachael Tabelski says.

“We received responses back. And we have worked on scoring them and we're looking to get under contract with one management company by the July 11 meeting,” she said during an interview Monday evening with The Batavian. “That would be a full lease agreement with a new management company for the rink.”

She couldn’t name the company due to being in progress with finalizing a contract, Tabelski said. The new prospective company, if approved by council next month, will take over management operations of the David M. McCarthy Memorial Ice Arena on Evans Street. Former company Firland Management did not renew its contract, which is to expire on June 30.

2022 File Photo of a dedication ceremony of the David M. McCarthy Memorial Ice Arena in Batavia. Photo by Howard Owens.

June 4, 2022 - 8:15am

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There wasn’t just a group of some 150 people gathered outside of the city’s ice rink Friday; they were supporters, friends and family there in honor of the late David McCarthy and to take the rink to another level of existence. 

The event debuted a new sign for the David M. McCarthy Memorial Ice Arena and offered opportunity for a few words to be said in his honor.

“I just brought it to the McCarthy Foundation because it was important to me; David was important to me,” said Guy Pellegrino, who spearheaded a deal for the naming rights of the Evans Street ice arena. “I wanted to honor him, I wanted to honor my friend. What better way to do that, and look at this turnout, you can see what it means to the community.”

Pellegrino, owner of Pellegrino Auto Sales, worked with the city to buy the naming rights for $3,100 annually for 10 years. It was a “bittersweet” moment to see his vision realized, Pellegrino said.

“I would much rather have my friend here,” he said. “But, it’s an honor, quite an honor, to have his name up here. As far as I’m concerned, as long as I’m around I’m going to make sure it’s here.”

He and the late David McCarthy, who was killed at age 29 in an automobile accident in November 2006, played hockey together from 1983 to 1995, when the Batavia High Ice Devils made a run to the New York State finals. McCarthy was a talented athlete who served as team captain and was a “great, great” friend, Pellegrino has previously said.

He retired six years ago from playing hockey, and has a son who now plays at the rink, Pellegrino said. It gives him pause to see the place adorned with a special tribute.

“When I walk in, seeing the sign is pretty special,” he said. “It means something to me.”

Brian McCarthy, David’s brother and president of the Foundation, thanked the swarm of people there to celebrate a new beginning.

“From our family to some hockey families we haven’t seen since the 90s, it’s amazing, all of our supporters, friends and family, thanks for being here. How’s the sign look, pretty good, right?” Brian said to a rousing applause and cheers. “We’re here because of, basically, what hockey does for relationships. Our friend Guy Pellegrino came to us and said there’s an opportunity to name the rink, and I’d like it to be named after Dave. These guys have been teammates and buddies since they were five years old. Guy came to us and said ‘let’s make it happen.’”

The Foundation, Friends of the Rink, Genesee Amateur Hockey Association, city management and other supporters are working to do just that, he said. The overall goal is to improve youth athletics in Genesee County, he said.

“So we worked together to say let’s make this happen, just to support this place where so many of us have met and become friends and family, just to get more involved, just to show how much this building means to us,” Brian McCarthy said.

He thanked City Council and Manager Rachael Tabelski and her office staff, the organizations involved, Friends of the Rink founders Bob Gray and Sharon Valyear-Gray, the Foundation’s board of directors, GAHA, families, friends and supportive community members.

“A lot of feedback I’ve gotten is what a positive step this is for GAHA,” he said. “Let’s just embrace that for all hockey parents, building relationships like Dave and Guy had .. let’s do everything we can as parents to make this the best it possibly can be for kids.Use this as a stepping stone, make it about the kids, let’s use this as a stepping stone to take this organization and this building to the next level.”

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Top photo: Community members gather outside of the officially named David M. McCarthy Memorial Ice Arena Friday on Evans Street, Batavia. Speakers share some thoughts about the new name, the arena's namesake and how all involved will help to push momentum for improvements at the rink. Photos by Howard Owens.

June 2, 2022 - 7:58pm
posted by Press Release in news, David M. McCarthy Memorial Ice Arena, batavia, notify.

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Press Release

The dedication and unveiling of the signage at the David McCarthy Memorial Ice Arena has been set for 6 p.m. Friday at 22 Evans St., Batavia.

We are asking that all of the families and friends of the Genesee Amateur Hockey Association, the Batavia men’s hockey league, the United High School teams, rink users and supporters of the David McCarthy Memorial Foundation, as well as the Batavia City Council and governing personnel, attend this event and show our support.  All interested individuals are also welcome to attend.

We are planning to also offer a fundraiser with a food stand opening at 5 p.m. before as well as after the presentation in the rink parking lot, featuring hotdogs, chips and water, with proceeds going to the foundation. The stand will be manned by individuals from the “friends of the rink” group.

The annual David McCarthy Memorial Golf Tournament will take place on Saturday, June 4th.

Please join us and show your support of the ice rink!

Photo by Howard Owens

May 11, 2022 - 11:07pm

 If you have always wanted to operate an ice rink, you have until May 20 to submit your intent to file a request for proposal to City Manager Rachael Tabelski, she says.

Tabelski announced the move Wednesday night to secure a new agreement for leasing the David McCarthy Memorial Ice Arena. Former management company Firland Management, which took over the ice arena in 2006, has opted to cease operations of the Evans Street site as of May 31.

“Over the last year, the City has hosted Ice Rink Meetings with a group of community leaders representing the aforementioned hockey programs, Friends of the Rink, and the current operators.  These meetings have been helpful in creating the vision and strategy that the City seeks for the rink moving forward,” Tabelski said in a press release. “City Council has committed funds sponsoring a capital project to address the locker rooms and City staff is pursuing grants (to) make needed infrastructure investments.  The City looks forward to partnering with a professional operator to bring recreation opportunities to the City, and thanks (to) Firland and all of their employees for their work over the years.”

The city would like RFPs to be for no less than five years, and further details for proposals are below.

Opened in 1978, the Batavia Ice Rink consists of a single sheet of ice (200’ x 85’) with a capacity for 480 fans to attend games.  The ice rink has a warming room, locker rooms, and a refreshment stand.

The rink is located just outside of the downtown district and in the Creek Park redevelopment area.  The Ice Arena is a prime spot for fall and winter recreation in the City of Batavia, Tabelski said. “The arena is home to the Genesee Amateur Hockey Association (GAHA), Batavia Men's Hockey League (BMHL), and Batavia/Notre Dame High School hockey program.

The City of Batavia anticipates that the prospective operator will be able to be profitable while running the rink and will enter into an operation and lease agreement, she said.

RFP Responses shall be no more than 20 pages in length and contain the following:

1.      Corporate Structure/Respondent Information- Organization name, description, address, and form of entity (C Corp, S Corp, Partnership, LLC., LLP., Sole Proprietorship, Not for Profit). 

2.      Respondent Resumes- Organization employees and biographies describing the structure you envision to carry out operations at the rink (manager, scheduling, maintenance, promotions, concessions, etc.).  Include an organizational chart.

3.      Primary Contact- provide contact information (address, phone and email) for the primary contact for this proposal.

4.      Executive Summary- provide an executive summary to explain how you will operate the David McCarthy Memorial Ice Arena, what your organization will do to enhance the level of participation, and focus on revenue streams.

5.      Value Statement- describe how your organization will enhance the rink and bring value to the City of Batavia and City residents.

6.      Experience- provide details regarding experience/resume of staff/potential staff with ice rink operations and/or a general statement of experience running recreational, retail, or commercial operations.

7.      Proof of Insurance- respondents shall provide proof of insurance at the time of agreement execution.

8.      Proof of Financing- respondents shall provide a written description of how they will finance the operations of the rink examples include private capital, secured loan, bridge loan, and line of credit.  A proforma financial statement shall be provided with the response. 

9.      Budget- create a five-year budget plan and incorporate your projected operating expenses, projected revenue, projected net income, and lease rate (suggested lease rate to the City of Batavia and planned capital investment fund expenses are listed). 

Capital Investment Fund expenses are $5,000 suggested lease for Year 2022-23 with $0 suggested capital contribution; $10,000 for Year 2023-24 with a $10,000 suggested contribution; $20,000 for 2024-25 and $15,000 contribution; $25,000 for 2025-26 snf $18,000 contribution; and $25,000 lease for 2026-27 with $20,000 capital contribution.

Prospective operators should heed the important dates below, Tabelski said:

  1.  May 20 – Interested respondents are encouraged to indicate your intent to respond to this RFP to Rachael J. Tabelski, City Manager, and City of Batavia by May 20. 
  2. May 23 to May 27 – Interested respondents will be scheduled for Zoom or in-person meetings to review the prior financials, prior usage by major tenants, as well as tours of the rink as requested. 
  3. May 31- Addendum, if any, will be issued to all respondents who have signed up with the City Manager.
  4. June 10 - RFP’s are due on Tuesday, June 10 at 4:30 p.m. Four written copies of the proposal must be received at the City Manager’s Office by the deadline, and one emailed copy must be provided. 
  5. July 11 - Final Selection will be made on or around  July 11. 
April 9, 2022 - 12:23am

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Jaydence Dayka, 3, seemed fascinated by the riding mowers so Guy Clark, owner of Cedar Street Sales and Rentals, let him climb aboard one with the help of his mother, Kaylee Dayka, of Bergen during the annual Chamber of Commerce Home Show on Friday at the David McCarthy Memorial Ice Arena in Batavia.

The show runs through Sunday, open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday.

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January 24, 2022 - 9:37pm

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Calling it a significant event in his lifetime, Batavia businessman Guy Pellegrino walked away from tonight’s City Council Conference Meeting with a good feeling that the Batavia Ice Arena soon will be named in honor of the late David McCarthy.

Pellegrino, owner of Pellegrino Auto Sales on Pearl Street Road, and Brian McCarthy, president of the David M. McCarthy Memorial Foundation, spoke to city lawmakers at the City Hall Council Board Room to let them know how much it would mean to them for Council to vote in favor of accepting their offer to purchase the naming rights of the Evans Street facility.

City management put out a Request for Proposal back in October and apparently has drafted a contract that stipulates annual payments of $3,100 from Pellegrino Auto Sales over a 10-year period for the privilege to rename the rink The David McCarthy Memorial Ice Arena.

“You couldn’t find a better person to have their name on that building,” Pellegrino said. “This is one of the most special things I have ever embarked upon.”

Pellegrino said he and David played hockey together from 1983 through the Batavia High Ice Devils’ run to the New York State finals in 1995.

“He was our team captain and was just one of my great, great friends,” he said. “But back to the naming rights and making sure David's name is on there. He was just very passionate, just a great, great hockey player and even greater person. So, to honor him -- that's honestly what we set out to do.”

David McCarthy was killed tragically in a motor vehicle accident in November 2006 at the age of 29. Shortly thereafter, his family and friends started the foundation in his name to support local youth sports.

His brother, Brian, said he appreciates Pellegrino’s generosity and will work closely with him to advance youth hockey and enhance what the arena has to offer for children and adults, alike.

“Guy came to us and said when this proposal (from the city) came out that he wanted to do this – not necessarily for his business, but in honor of his teammate and my brother, David McCarthy,” Brian said to the City Council members.

“Our family was just blown away that he wanted to do this. We thought, well, what can we do? So, what we bring to the table is … a charitable foundation that is passionate about improving and supporting youth athletics in Genesee County.”

McCarthy said the foundation has supported “a long and diverse list of organizations” over the past 15 years. The foundation has donated around $80,000 to youth sports during that time.

136932461_104300151620785_8012738598735997461_n.pngWith help from his father, Michael, and other family and friends, McCarthy said the foundation is in a position to help sports groups get started or move to the next level.

“As Guy and I talked about it a few weeks ago, I have the fun job of often times getting back to these organizations, reporting to them that we're going to step in and help,” he said.

“We have a huge golf tournament every June where we raise money to support youth athletics and it's become a very big event, and the community has just been amazing in supporting us,” he mentioned. “So, we're excited to take kind of that recipe and join forces with the people that have been working hard for years to make the ice rink an amazing place, and maybe even add a little more to the equation.”

Both men said they are hopeful that their offer will be accepted when Council votes at its next Business Meeting on Feb. 14.

Judging by some of the Council members’ initial reactions, they have reason to be optimistic.

Patti Pacino said she has an 8-year-old and 4-year-old (grandchildren) that use the rink and said, “I couldn’t agree more” with their bid to win the naming rights.

Council President Eugene Jankowski Jr. thanked both of them for “thinking about the long term” status of the rink and fostering public partnership; Tammy Schmidt noted that her son “grew up at the rink and now her grandson” and Robert Bialkowski said he was glad that somebody from Batavia responded to the RFP.

Bialkowski asked what would happen if the city leases the rink to a different management firm that wanted to change the facility's name. City Attorney George Van Nest said there is an opt-out clause and that would be addressed at that time.

For now, both Pellegrino and Brian McCarthy are spending their free time as coaches – teaching the basics of hockey to their young children.

“We’re coaching together at the beginner level. Yeah, the smallest kids on the ice – 4 and 5 years old; as little as they get,” McCarthy offered. “The two of us have a long extension to our own hockey adventure ahead of us with our sons.”

Photo: Guy Pellegrino, left, and Brian McCarthy address City Council tonight about their offer to have the Batavia Ice Arena named in memory of Brian's brother, David. Photo by Mike Pettinella.

Previously: City drafts resolution to name ice arena in memory of standout Batavia athlete David McCarthy

January 21, 2022 - 11:56pm

136932461_104300151620785_8012738598735997461_n.pngWith the approval of City Council, a Batavia-based charitable organization that has done so much for youth sports in Genesee County over the past 14 years will be honored by having its name attached to the city-owned ice arena on Evans Street.

Assistant City Manager Jill Wiedrick, in a memo dated Jan. 24 to City Council, stated that Pellegrino Auto Sales and the David M. McCarthy Memorial Foundation have submitted the most competitive bid -- $3,100 annually for 10 years – to purchase the naming rights for the Batavia Ice Arena.

In October 2021, city management put out a Request for Proposal, seeking “a forward-thinking community leader” (business or organization) to present a proposal indicating at least a five-year commitment. According to the RFP, proceeds from the naming rights will be used to make improvements to the arena.

A draft of a resolution to formally accept the Pellegrino/McCarthy Foundation offer is on the agenda of Monday night’s City Council Conference Meeting at 7 o’clock at the City Hall Council Board Room.

The resolution stipulates that the facility will be renamed The David McCarthy Memorial Ice Arena during the 10-year term of a formal naming rights agreement and any renewals thereafter.

In her memo, Wiedrick wrote that the agreement grants the prospective sponsors the following rights:

  • Erect signage on the ice arena’s façade;
  • Place one sign (painted) on an interior wall for Pellegrino Auto Sales;
  • Hold two events for up to two hours each at the arena annually;
  • Inclusion in all promotional material and other media (press releases, etc.) in cooperation with the city and Firland Management, the company that oversees operations for the city.

It goes on to note that the sponsors will pay for the installation and removal of the façade sign and major maintenance of the sign, and that Pellegrino Auto Sales, located at 4060 Pearl St. Rd., will pay for the painting and removal of the interior wall signage and the sign’s maintenance.

The rink formerly was known as the Falleti Ice Arena for many years.

The David M. McCarthy Memorial Foundation was formed in 2007 in honor of David McCarthy, who died in a motor vehicle accident in November 2006 at the age of 29.  He was a 1995 graduate of Batavia High School, where he excelled in baseball and hockey.

Since then, the foundation has donated more than $70,000 to numerous youth athletics’ organizations and individuals – including Batavia/Notre Dame hockey, Batavia Minor League Baseball, Le Roy Youth Softball and, last summer, to Batavia wrestler Casper Stewart, who competed in the USA Wrestling Nationals in Fargo, N.D.

It also sponsors the annual David McCarthy Memorial Christmas Hockey Tournament at the Batavia Ice Arena.

Fundraisers throughout the year, primarily a golf tournament at Batavia Country Club and bowling tournament at Mancuso Bowling Center, sustain the foundation, which is led by David McCarthy’s brother, Brian, president; father, Michael, treasurer; and Matthew Meyer, vice president.

December 23, 2021 - 9:35pm

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In what Head Coach Marc Staley called “our poorest effort of the year,” Batavia Notre Dame United – plagued by mistakes in its own zone and outshot by a more than two-to-one margin – dropped a 7-4 decision to Pittsford tonight in Section V hockey at the Batavia Ice Arena.

Sophomore Ben Norten scored three goals and assisted on another as the visiting Panthers broke away from a 2-2 tie with four goals in the second period to take a 6-4 advantage heading into the third period.

Pittsford, 4-3-1, fired 46 shots at BND goaltender Courtney Schum, while United could manage to put just 19 on Panthers’ goalie Aden Brown.

“This was our poorest effort of the year and we have to address that,” Staley said. “We have to come to play every night. And we didn’t execute tonight and they’re a fast team and a skilled team.”

Staley pointed to his team’s miscues in its own end that provided Pittsford numerous extra opportunities.

“We gave up too many pucks in our own zone -- sloppy play,” he said. “Pucks in the back of our net (given away). You can’t make mistakes against Class A teams that are good like this. And we made too many tonight, so we’ve got to tighten that up. And we will. It’s still early in the year.”

Pittsford had several chances to draw first blood but was unable to capitalize on a power play midway through the opening period.

When BND drew a pair of penalties at the 8:00 and 7:21, it came through with the two-man advantage -- with senior Gavin Schrader putting away a rebound at 6:59. Jameson Motyka and Zack Eschberger assisted.

The Panthers tied the score at 3:44 on a goal by sophomore Henok Hankinson (assisted by junior Will Masaschi) and took the lead less than two minutes later when junior Lucas Procious scored from close range, with Norten and Colin Norton assisting.

United rallied with a minute left in the period when Eschberger converted a pass from the speedy Schrader, who had raced down the left side of the rink past the defense.

Pittsford controlled most of the action in the second period, outshooting the home team 26-10. And it didn't help the United cause when defenseman Noah Hudson's skate blade broke, forcing him to miss most of the 17-minute session while correcting the situation.

Norten scored off a rebound of a shot by Norton at 13:22 and Masaschi buried the puck after an initial save by Schum at 12:09 to put Pittsford up 4-2.

Following a BND timeout, United cut the deficit in half as Schrader deflected a shot by Parker Corbelli past Brown at the 11:00 mark (Eschberger also assisted), but Pittsford came back 55 seconds later as sophomore Brady McMahon beat Schum to her glove side from a tough angle.

After Schrader hit the crossbar on a shot at 6:25, United pulled to within a goal again as senior Vin DiRisio found the back of the net after a nifty pass from Motyka.

Schum made a couple tough saves inside of three minutes, but was unable to thwart Norten at the 1:14 mark when he scored his second goal, assisted by Norton. The duo combined again to close out the scoring at 10:57 of the third period after United gave up the puck behind its own net.

Pittsford clamped down in the third period, holding BND without a shot on goal until 2:57 remained in the game.

Asked if he thought Pittsford had a deeper team and better skaters, Staley instead talked about United’s unforced errors.

“We scored one on ourselves. Those are the things we have to address; too many giveaways in our own zone,” he said. “And we need more balance. We’re relying on two few guys right now.”

Still, Staley said he saw it as a learning experience.

“It’s good for us to play against these teams to learn the level that we have to get to,” he said.

Schrader upped his goal total to 15 (to go with his 15 assists) while DiRisio’s goal was his 10th of the season.

United, 5-3, travels to the LECOM Harborcenter in Buffalo for games against Section VI opponents next week – at 7:15 p.m. Wednesday against Hamburg and at 1:15 p.m. Thursday against Frontier.

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Photo at top: Batavia Notre Dame's Jameson Motyka avoids a Pittsford defender as goaltender Courtney Schum looks on. Photos at bottom: United's Parker Corbelli controls the puck as Pittsford's Lucas Procious converges; teammate Brady Johnson looks to maneuver past Pittsford's Keegan Ahern. Photos by Howard Owens.

December 23, 2021 - 2:29pm

A victory over Pittsford tonight would give Batavia Notre Dame a psychological lift through Christmas and snap a long Section V hockey drought against the suburban Rochester school.

“This is a very important game for us, psychologically, as it can get us to 6-2 heading into next week's tournament at the (LECOM) Harborcenter in Buffalo, and knowing that a Batavia team hasn’t beaten Pittsford since, I think, 1994,” Head Coach Marc Staley said this afternoon.

The game is set for 6 o’clock at the Batavia Ice Arena on Evans Street.

bnd_united_logo.jpgThe Batavia Blue Devils were unable to defeat a Pittsford club when they met regularly in Monroe County League competition over the past three decades and, last year, Notre Dame dropped a 5-3 decision to the Panthers in the first round of the sectionals.

Batavia and Notre Dame combined forces prior to this season as "BND United" and has won five of its first seven contests. Pittsford is 3-3-1 but the record doesn’t indicate the overall strength of this year’s Panthers’ team, Staley said.

“This looks to be a dead-even game,” he said. “They have played against some very strong teams – Fairport, Massena and Penfield – and play a similar style to ours.”

On paper, United has more offensive firepower than Pittsford with five players in the top 10 in scoring among the six Independent teams. BND has scored 47 goals and given up 25 while Pittsford has scored 22 and allowed 22.

Senior Gavin Schrader is No. 1 in points with 13 goals and 14 assists, freshman Jameson Motyka and junior Ronin Hofmaster each have six goals and 11 assists, senior Vin DiRisio has nine goals and seven assists, and freshman Brady Johnson has seven goals and eight assists.

BND goaltender Courtney Schum has a 3.53 goals against average in her seven games.

The Panthers have three players with five goals apiece – senior Aidan McGrain, junior Lucas Procious and sophomore Henok Hankinson, while junior Will Masaschi has four goals and nine assists. Goalie Aden Brown has a 2.96 GAA.

Staley said both teams have solid power play units and it could come down to which team stays out of the penalty box.

“The team showing the most discipline likely will come out on top,” he said. “It shapes up to be a close game.”

December 18, 2021 - 8:41am

Senior winger Gavin Schrader scored three goals and freshman Brady Johnson tallied a pair of goals and three assists to lead Batavia Notre Dame to a 9-2 victory over Fulton in Friday night's opening round of the Dave McCarthy Memorial Christmas Tournament at the Batavia Ice Arena.

The victory puts United in the championship game at 3 this afternoon against Webster Schroeder, which defeated Bishop Timon, 10-0.

United, 4-2, scored twice in the first period, three times in the second and four times in the third as it outshot the Red Raiders, 50-20.

Jameson Motyka opened the scoring a minute and 46 seconds into the game (assisted by Parker Corbelli and Johnson) and Johnson made it 2-0 about two minutes later (assisted by Andrew Kasmarek and Motyka).

Kasmarek (assisted by Gino Falleti and Addison Warriner) gave BND a 3-0 cushion early in the second period before Nick Long answered for Fulton with 9:28 on the clock.

About four minutes later, Schrader – who now has 13 goals this season – converted a pass from Ronin Hofmaster before returning the favor, setting up Hofmaster for a goal with 1:40 left in the period. Alex Johnson assisted on Schrader’s goal and Zack Eschberger picked up an assist on Hofmaster’s goal.

In the third period, following a goal by Jameson Motyka (assisted by Brady Johnson), Schrader scored back-to-back power play goals with 11:47 and 9:42 on the clock. Motyka and Brady Johnson assisted on the first one, with Hofmaster and Eschberger assisting on the second goal.

Brady Johnson closed out the scoring with 8:04 left (assisted by Noah Whitcombe).

United goaltender Courtney Schum made 18 saves, including a stop on Fulton’s Nick Long on a breakaway midway through the first period.

Owen Dixon scored the other goal for Fulton, 1-5-2. Fulton and Bishop Timon will meet in the consolation game at noon.

November 25, 2021 - 12:27pm

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Photos by Philip Casper.

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October 7, 2021 - 2:55pm

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City of Batavia management is looking for a “forward-thinking community leader” in the form of a company, organization or even an individual wishing to secure the naming rights for the Batavia Ice Arena at 22 Evans St.

Assistant City Manager Jill Wiedrick today released a six-page Request for Proposal titled “Batavia Ice Arena Naming Rights” that gives potential arena sponsors until Nov. 5 to submit proposals outlining why their name should be associated with the 43-year-old ice hockey and skating facility.

According to the RFP, revenue from naming rights will be used to make functional and aesthetic improvements inside, and on the exterior of the arena. Applicants are asked to provide one or more names for consideration in their proposal.

Terms and financial obligations to the sponsor stipulate a five-year commitment, but do not include a set annual fee to be paid to the city.

Wiedrick said the manager’s office is leaving the yearly (or five-year) financial contribution up to the sponsor, and will consider the amount offered along with other factors.

When asked if the applicant had to be located in the city or Genesee County, she said that wasn’t the case “since we just don’t know what sort of interest is out there.”

“We’re going to be reviewing all of these submissions to figure out what is the best one that works for the City of Batavia,” she said.

Individuals are welcome to apply, Wiedrick said.

“It could be anyone … but more often than not, with any ice arena or anything that’s going out for naming rights, it does tend to be associated with a business.”

The RFP indicates that the city owns the arena and Firland Management operates it.

It also spells out benefits and opportunities at the facility, which hosts youth, high school and adult hockey competition and open skating events, with annual attendance at more than 70,000.

“Your sponsorship will position your company as a forward-thinking community leader,” it reads, emphasizing ways to promote the brand and “build positive associations through special events, league play, community experiences, traditions, and memories made at the Ice Arena!”

Exterior and interior signage will be permitted, as well as the promotion of the company (organization, individual’s) name on the City of Batavia website and all marketing materials.

The selected sponsor also will be able to hold two private events up to two hours each – one in the fall/winter and the other in the spring/summer.

Sponsor responsibilities include:

  • Signage development, design and production, with approval by the City of Batavia, and contracting and paying for all work relative to the installation of all exterior and interior signage.
  • Ongoing maintenance and bulb replacement in a timely manner for the signs that are located on the exterior of the building. All other signs in the facility once installed are the responsibility of the City of Batavia.
  • Promotion of advertising opportunities that may include additional revenue or marketing benefits to support the ice arena.
  • Presentation of a strategy to increase awareness of the facility’s new name (a key component of the proposal) and to present a strategy to facilitate complete use of the new name prior to the start of 2022.

The RFP, which will be distributed to businesses by the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce, also includes requirements for successful submission and criteria for evaluation.

The rink formerly was known as Falleti Ice Arena.

File photo. Thanksgiving holiday open skate at Batavia Ice Arena.

March 9, 2021 - 2:47pm

It seems as though the City of Batavia is playing somewhat “shorthanded” when it comes to the financial arrangements surrounding the operation of the Batavia Ice Arena on Evans Street.

On Monday night, City Council voted in favor of an extension and modification of its lease agreement with Firland Management, the firm that has managed the rink for more than a decade.

Negotiated changes call for the Virginia-based company to hold off on its lease payment of $25,000 to the city until Jan. 1, 2022, instead of the original due date of March 1 of this year, and also for the reduction of Firland’s contribution to the rink’s capital fund for 2020-21 from $32,958.30 to $5,000.

Additionally, the contract will be extended for two years through March 2023; Firland’s lease payments will be $20,000 annually for 2021-22 and 2022-23; and its capital fund contribution will be $5,000 annually for the next two fiscal years.

City Manager Rachael Tabelski said concessions were made because the rink was closed for several months last year, adversely affecting Firland’s bottom line. With the changes, the city has escaped (at least in the near future) the possibility of Firland walking away.

When the resolution came up for a vote toward the end of Council’s Business Meeting, Council Member Rose Mary Christian requested that it be amended to a one-year lease instead of two in order for the city to explore opportunities to find private ownership of the facility.

Her request, however, did not receive a “second” so the original resolution stayed on the table.

Council Member Robert Bialkowski said he understood what Christian was attempting to do, but pointed out that a one-year lease could come back to haunt the city.

“If we have a one-year lease and they have not paid the bulk of the money that was supposed to be paid the second year, we would really come up short on that,” he said. “I think this is the best we can do. We have to support it and that’s it.”

Council Member Paul Viele, a longtime youth hockey enthusiast, said he has observed that “Firland is doing a lot better job than they have in the past.”

“With people like Mr. (Robert) Gray (of the Friends of the Rink organization) helping out and volunteering – good things are coming,” Viele said.

Bialkowski said the only ice rinks making money are the ones backed by wealthy sponsors, and then brought up the naming rights to the rink (formerly known as the Falleti Ice Arena).

“I don’t think $500 should put your name up there for five years. That’s like giving that away,” he said.

Viele said the rink would make money “if you have more than one sheet, and that’s expensive to get another sheet.”

Earlier, during the public comments portion of the session, Gray encouraged Council to vote yes to the amended operating agreement.

The Stafford resident said that under the current lease, Firland had the option to extend the lease for another five years.

“Due to extenuating circumstances caused mainly by the COVID-19 pandemic and the fact that the rink was closed from March 17 to September of the last year, both parties agreed to the two-year lease,” he said. “A new section was also added for the first time that dealt with the sale of the facility -- in the event that the city sells the facility or transfers ownership of the facility.”

Gray said that the new lease isn’t perfect, but "it does give requested consideration to Firland for the late payment to someone who has operated the ice rink for the last 14 years. It will allow the rink to be operated for another two years instead of sitting vacant.”

“City Council recently approved the new lease for Dwyer Stadium that was agreeable to both parties. Why wouldn’t you do the same for the Batavia Ice Arena? I think the proposed lease serves both Firland’s interest and the interest of the City of Batavia. The Batavia Ice Arena is a productive community asset.”

He cited a 2018 Creek Park feasibility study that indicated the estimated annual use hours at 1,600, estimated annual attendance at 68,500 and estimated economic output at $2.3 million.

Gray then took a veiled jab at Christian, who previously said the rink (for hockey) was used only by the “elite.”

“These elite people are your neighbors, coworkers and friends, and are found in every ward in the city and almost every village in the county,” Gray said. "Many people also believe that GAHA youth hockey is the only user of the ice rink. This is not true. The Batavia Men’s Hockey League, both high schools, public open skate, figure-skating lessons and pickup hockey all pay to use the ice at the rink. GAHA currently pays $200 for a 50-minute session – that’s four dollars a minute.”

He then commended Council for hiring Tabelski as manager, saying he has met with her twice to implement a program for his organization that would allow volunteers to identify and complete rink improvements at no or low cost to the city.

February 25, 2021 - 9:05am

Anyone who follows the activities of the Batavia City Council is fully aware of the fact that longtime Council Member Rose Mary Christian – in her unique brusque and outspoken style – strongly advocates for her Sixth Ward (the Southside), fully supports the city’s police and fire department, and constantly looks out for the taxpayer.

On Wednesday, she contacted The Batavian to share her views on a few items currently on Council’s docket, starting with the management situation at the Batavia Ice Rink on Evans Street.

Christian said she is not on board with a recommendation before the city’s governing body to allow Firland Management, the company that operates the rink, to make a lease payment nine months after the original due date and to contribute a reduced amount to the rink’s capital improvement fund.

Council, at Monday night’s Conference Meeting, agreed to forward the proposal to its March 8th Business Meeting for a formal vote.

A memo from Interim City Manager Rachael Tabelski to Council spells out a reworking and extension of the lease agreement with Firland, reducing and deferring the firm’s payments due to the impact of COVID-19 upon its bottom line in 2020. The rink was closed for most of the year and just recently has welcomed back youth league and high school hockey teams.

Christian said she doesn’t buy that reasoning.

“There are numerous businesses in the City of Batavia that are hurting,” she said. “Are we going to defer anything for them – property taxes, school taxes, anything? I don’t think so, and that’s why I’m not voting for the resolution coming in two weeks.”

Tabelski, through negotiations with Firland, introduced a plan to let Firland make its next lease payment of $25,000 on Jan. 1, 2022 instead of the current due date of March 1, 2021, and also to reduce its contribution to the rink’s capital fund for 2020-21 from $32,958.30 to $5,000.

She also is proposing to extend the contract from its current ending date of March 31, 2021 for two years through March 2023.

Therefore, Firland’s lease payments will be $20,000 annually for 2021-22 and 2022-23 and its capital fund contribution will be $5,000 annually for the next two fiscal years.

Christian said the city has seen its revenue decline and, noting the costs involved with maintaining the rink, feels it would be unwise to go this route.

“Rachael sent me an email stating that the annual cost for keeping the refrigeration system at the rink is $11,500, and the city pays for that,” Christian said. “So, in reality, taxpayer money is used to cover that expense.”

Tabelski explained that the intent of the lease and capital payments (paid to the city by Firland) covers the costs of maintenance at the facility and contributes to the Ice Rink Reserve for Capital Improvements.

The city currently has $370,000 in ice rink reserves. If the refrigeration system was to fail, it could cost up to $750,000 to purchase and install a new one.

“That’s a far cry if it comes to $700,000 and we have to replace it,” Christian said. “And that becomes another burden upon city taxpayers.”

In a story posted on The Batavian on Tuesday, Tabelski suggested the manager’s office – within a year or so -- conduct an analysis and study, and present a strategy to Council “with the goal of bringing it back to full capacity and to potentially attract a buyer.”

Christian said she hopes someone or an organization would purchase the facility.

“We do not belong in business. I, myself, would like to privatize that all the way so someone can own it and take care of the responsibility,” she said. “Not every child in Batavia is afforded that ice rink. They can’t afford the fees charged to play hockey; it’s just the elite.”

Christian sounded off on a couple of other recent City Council agenda items:

-- On having vacant public safety positions in the 2021-22 budget:

“I’m sorry that we have to not fill a couple positions with the police department and the fire department. Safety is my No. 1 concern,” she said.

Christian said city funds used to support the Batavia Development Corp. should go back into the general fund, and potentially could be used to hire public safety personnel.

Tabelski, in response to an email from The Batavian, stated that the city is paying $95,000 to the BDC this year – down from the usual amount of $110,000 -- “via an agreement that was established years ago to provide economic development services in the City.”

She explained that the BDC is a public authority and has its own budget and operating costs, and can bring in its own revenue at times from grants, project fees or real estate sales. Recently, the entity has been successful in obtaining New York Main Street grants and money from the state’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative for several building renovation projects in the city.

The BDC employs a full-time director of economic development at a current salary of $65,000.

Christian said the corporation should be at a point where it can sustain itself.

“Do you know where that salary belongs? It belongs with the BDC. They should be paying for it,” she said.

-- On the strong possibility that the city will contract with the Genesee Area Family YMCA for its after-school and summer recreation programs:

“I’m happy that (District Executive Director) Jeff Townsend is going to be in charge of it for the YMCA. I think they are going to do an outstanding job for the kids,” she said.

Christian said the $1,100 rent payment to City Church for the use of the Liberty Center for Youth (the former St. Anthony’s School building) on Liberty Street is fair.

“It’s a good fee for that building. It will serve the kids well and also it will be used on Tuesday nights for their open gymnasium.”

February 23, 2021 - 1:44pm

As Batavia City Council members ponder giving the company that manages the city ice rink a break on their lease and capital improvement fund payments, they also realize they can no longer skate around the need for renovations at the Evans Street facility.

Interim City Manager Rachael Tabelski on Monday night introduced a resolution that would amend and extend the lease agreement with Firland Management, the Virginia-based firm that has operated the Batavia Ice Rink (formerly Falleti Ice Arena) for more than a decade.

Speaking at Council's Conference Meeting at the City Centre Council Boardroom, Tabelski explained that Firland’s finances have taken a severe hit due to COVID-19 as the rink was closed for most of 2020 and just recently saw the return of youth league and high school hockey.

She is recommending that Council let Firland make its next lease payment of $25,000 on Jan. 1, 2022 instead of the current due date of March 1, 2021, and also to reduce its contribution to the rink’s capital fund for 2020-21 from $32,958.30 to $5,000.

Furthermore, she is proposing to extend the contract from its current ending date of March 31, 2021 for two years through March 2023. As a result of negotiations, Firland’s lease payments will be $20,000 annually for 2021-22 and 2022-23 and its capital fund contribution will be $5,000 annually for the next two fiscal years.

Rink Has Some Big-Ticket Items

Currently, $370,000 is in the rink’s capital improvement fund, Tabelski said. That may seem like a large amount, however, a new refrigeration system could cost around $500,000 and a Zamboni dasher board could cost up to $250,000.

Contacted this morning, Tabelski said the time has come for the city manager’s office to conduct a study and analysis, and present a strategy to Council to “move that facility forward.”

“This should be done within the next year with the goal of bringing it back to full capacity and to potentially attract a buyer,” she said.

Council did put $19,500 into the 2021-22 budget to fix the front doors and the locker rooms, both “minor repairs,” Tabelski noted.

Another issue at hand is finding a business or organization interested in having its name affixed to the building. Falleti Motors is not interesting in renewing its “naming rights” agreement with the city, said Tabelski, suggesting a request for proposal will be forthcoming.

During the meeting, Council Member Robert Bialkowski asked about events scheduled for the rink, noting that he couldn’t remember if the activities stated in the contract actually took place.

Tabelski said that events were added during the last negotiation period with Firland “because we’d like to see more done with the facility” and mentioned that the home show is held there and she hopes to see indoor soccer events there.

Council Member Rose Mary Christian asked how much the city is paying to take care of the ice-making system (refrigeration) per year. Tabelski said the city contracts with a separate firm and estimated the price tag at $2,500 to $5,000 annually, but believed that is billed back to Firland. She said she would check on that and get back to Council.

Deferring Costs in a Tough Time

After hearing that the locker rooms have been painted recently, Christian said it was important to know about the refrigeration contract since she believed the city was reducing Firland’s lease payments.

Council President Eugene Jankowski Jr. said lease payments were being reduced for the one year, but the city was giving Firland more time to make its payments.

“They’re paying the same amount, right?” he asked, and Christian replied, “Only for this year?”

Van Nest entered the conversation, stating “we’re deferring the lease payment that would have been due in March, based on the COVID shutdowns that affected all hockey rinks as Councilman (Paul) Viele and I are well aware because we don’t see each other at the rinks anymore.”

“Deferring it and then basically reducing the capital contributions … so that gives them a little bit more flexibility as Council president indicated to get the operations back to a normal level of service and normal level of programming.”

Christian said she heard that the rink is doing well now, with the Genesee Amateur Hockey Association and the adults leagues in action once again.

Viele said officials are “trying to lump a lot of games in a short amount of time, so what you would play in October, they’re trying to get everything in February and March, and that’s why they’re deferring the payment to get the money.”

Jankowski noted that the rink was closed for many months, and that’s why the city is looking at deferring the payment until Jan. 1, 2022.

Hockey Players Return to the Ice

Van Nest said hockey wasn’t permitted until Feb. 1 of this year, and only skilled-based practices were allowed. Viele said that open skate sessions also were closed to the public.

“It will be the same amount but only the capital part will be reduced dramatically for the two years (since the city has some money in reserves),” Jankowski said. “That will give them two years – one year to get back on their feet, one year to assess and then we’ll be back, talking to them about an extension or whatever we need to do after that. It’s only a two-year agreement.”

Council agreed to forward the measure to its March 8 Business Meeting, where a formal vote will take place.

Van Nest said that Firland would be interested in participating with city officials about future capital projects at the rink.

“Firland has significant experience with capital planning for rinks, development of rinks, renovation of rinks,” he said. “They actually assisted the Buffalo Sabres with development of their practice facility, so in talking to Firland … they indicated they would be happy to look forward to assisting with general capital planning discussions for the facility.”

Roach: Public Safety Comes First

In other action, Council held public hearings for the 2021-22 budget; water rates, meter fees and capital improvement fees, and a local law amending the Business Improvement District plan. All three resolutions were forwarded to the March 8 Business Meeting for a final vote.

City resident John Roach was the only public speaker, expressing his view that the city should not pay the salary of the Batavia Development Corp.’s director since that is not a city position.

“As long as you have any public safety positions vacant, then I think it's wrong that you pay the BDC money to pay for their employee, no matter how good a job, how worthy,” he said. “It’s not a city employee and I think public safety should come first.”

He also questioned giving money to GO ART! for Picnic in the Park and said if the agency doesn’t hold the summer event, the money should go back into the city coffers.

Council Member Patti Pacino responded that there is no money in the 2021-22 budget for that event, and Tabelski said that appropriation was not paid out in 2020-21 as Picnic in the Park was cancelled.

Tax Rate to Increase by 14 Cents

Concerning the budget, Tabelski reported a 2021-22 spending plan of $27.78 million, with $16.855 million of that in the general fund.

The property tax rate would increase by 14 cents per thousand of assessed value – from $9.59 to $9.73. That would cost a homeowner with a $100,000 house about $13 more per year in property taxes.

She said Council has approved reductions in purchasing, overtime and training, and are keeping three firefighter positions, two police officer positions and one laborer position vacant.

Water rates and meter fees would increase by 3.5 percent while capital improvement fees would go up by 10 percent – numbers that have been the norm in recent years.

Amendments to the BID Plan will include three proposed capital projects -- downtown marketing banners ($9,000), downtown music equipment ($30,000) and downtown Christmas decorations ($38,000) – and spell out the amount of the BID’s assessment charge to its members.

March 16, 2020 - 6:12pm

Press release:

The City of Batavia is taking all reasonable precautions to keep City employees and residents safe from contracting and spreading the flu and coronavirus.

To this end, the City of Batavia is announcing that the Clerk’s Office, located at One Batavia City Centre -- inside City Hall -- will be closed to the public beginning Monday, March 16th at 4:30 p.m. until further notice.

The City has multiple options to assist you, and is happy to speak to you via phone and/or email if you have any questions. To contact the City Clerk’s Office please call (585) 345-6305, opt 5, opt 1.

Residents who need to make a payment to the City can use the drobox outside of City Hall, pay through personal online banking, call with a credit card numbers, and have the option to mail checks.

Residents and customers looking to visit the City Manager’s Office and the Office of Public Works (building inspections and permits) are asked to call in advance before visiting the facility. Inspections can be reached at (585) 345-6345 and the City Manager’s Office can be reached at (585) 345-6330

The Falleti Ice Arena on Evans Street will also close until further notice -- effective Tuesday March 17th at 7 a.m.

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