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WROTB, Town of Batavia agree on Park Road items

By Mike Pettinella

Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corp. and the Town of Batavia have come to an agreement concerning enhanced aesthetics and maintenance on and around Batavia Downs Gaming & Hotel on Park Road.

WROTB President Henry Wojtaszek and Town Supervisor Gregory Post both reported that a productive discussion took place Wednesday as both entities prepare for the start of the Park Road Improvement Project later this fall.

Reconstruction of the street -- from Lewiston Road to Oak Street – is a $4.3 million project, with the bulk of the cost covered by federal and state aid.

Negotiations have been taking place in recent weeks over contracts covering WROTB’s financial contribution for requesting additional trees and lighting and details of the town’s cost for having Batavia Downs’ employees to maintain trees, street lights and sidewalks and for snowplowing once the project is complete.

“We met with the town yesterday and we’re good to go,” Wojtaszek said. “We just had to work out some details of the agreement.”

Post concurred, stating that an attorney review of the language in the agreement has been completed.

“It really wasn’t about the money, it was more about getting the proper wording,” he said. “We look forward to continuing our strong partnership with Batavia Downs.”

Last week, the Batavia Town Board tabled a resolution that set WROTB’s payment for aesthetics at $486,870, with Post indicating that they were close to finalizing the contract. He and Wojtaszek today said that they have agreed on that figure.

In other developments from today’s WROTB directors’ meeting:

  • The board received an update on the armed robbery that took place on Aug. 28 at the Wehrle Drive OTB parlor. According to Amherst Police, a male suspect entered the building, fired a gun shot and fled on foot with an unknown amount of cash. WROTB employees installed a full security door afterwards.
  • Batavia Downs’ revenue in August resulted in a distribution of $73,637 to the corporation’s municipalities.

E-Z bet handle this year, through August, is up $2.3 million compared to 2020 and up $765,000 compared to 2019.

Batavia Bets’ handle in August was $1.8 million, down $337,000 compared to August 2020, and was $966,000 through Sept. 19, down $376,000 compared to September 2020. For the year, handle is $13 million, an increase of almost $1.6 million from 2020.

  • The board approved contracts with two Batavia-based companies: a one-year agreement with Applied Business Systems in the amount of $82,434 for marketing mailers and a pact through the end of the year for $22,500 with Extreme Streetwear for Buffalo Mafia apparel to be sold at Batavia Downs Gaming’s Lucky Treasures store.

Three shops: One goal, supporting the local community

By Howard B. Owens

Three local companies that normally compete with each other have come together to support the community and Batavia High School Students by creating and printing a series of T-shirts that feature the Blue Devils logo.

The shirts are being produced and sold in cooperation with BHS by Extreme Streetwear, John’s Studio and T-Shirts Etc.

Each shop created its own design. The options included short sleeve T-shirts, long sleeve T-shirts, crew neck sweatshirts, and hooded sweatshirts.

The shirts can be purchased online at an online team store.

The store will be open until May 31. Once closed, each shop will have one week to produce their apparel. There will be shipping available via UPS as well as local pickup option at BHS on June 6.

The store owners, in a statement, said they came together to highlight a local option for branded and commemorative apparel and encourage people to shop local. 

Especially in these times, we all feel that shopping local is essential. COVID-19 brought with it so many uncertainties, trials, and hardships, but what has remained consistent is the loyalty and strength in our local business community.

Authentically Local