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Falleti Ice Arena

November 25, 2010 - 2:36pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Falleti Ice Arena.


Batavia Kiwanis once again sponsored a community skate for Thanksgiving at the Falleti Ice Arena, and kids of all ages showed up.


More photos after the jump, and photos available for purchase by clicking here.

November 23, 2010 - 10:43am
posted by Timothy Walton in batavia, Falleti Ice Arena.

Even though there are roadblocks in the way of selling the Falleti Ice Arena, a majority of Batavia City Council members said last night they to find out how much revenue could be generated by selling it. They also want more details about the original purchase.

On a 4-3 vote, after much discussion, and more information from City Manager Jason Molino on the difficulties of a sale, the council instructed Molino to gather facts about the purchase and, if the rink was sold, the options of handling the money.

With councilmembers Kathy Briggs and Tim Buckley absent, Councilman Frank Ferrando called for a vote at the next meeting on whether the city should continue to look at a possible sale of the arena.

Councilmembers Bill Cox, Bob Bialkowsk, Sam Barone and Rose Mary Christian all voted in favor of getting a professional appraisal.

As for the difficulties involved in selling the arena, Molino explained that the city had recieved $1.2 million for energy capital improvements. It was a 15-year loan.

Approximately $630,000 of that was spent on improvements at the ice rink.

The upgrades included; new lighting; an energy-management system; refrigeration improvements; foil ceiling to keep heat out; new exterior doors; a ventilation system to vent out carbon-dioxide from the Zamboni; and a new boiler that is used for heating both the ice rink and the fire department, which are connected.

These resulted in lower utility costs. The city's lease contract with Firland Management called for Firland to pay the city the difference due to the improvements. That's about $25,000 per year for the city -- roughly 30-percent of the annual $84,000 payment the city has to make for the 11 years remaining on the loan.

According to Molino, the rink was built in 1978 with a Community Development Block Grant, which required the city to build some type of multi-use community center and the vote went to putting up the arena.

Since it was built with CDBG funds, if the rink was sold, the revenue would have to be used to benefit low- to moderate-income families. The project would also need to be approved by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development.

So the money would probably have to be used to build another community center or to put improvements into an existing one, yet it is not certain if the latter would be allowed.

Councilman Bill Cox asked Molino to submit a formal request to HUD to see what the money could be used for and find facts as to what could be done with revenue if the rink was sold.

Revenue from its sale could not go toward the city's loan. Batavia would have to pay the  balance with other money.

The city would also lose the $25,000 Firland pays toward the loan debt each year.

If the city maintains ownership and renews the agreement with Firland -- which the company wants to do -- the city could expect a total of $400,000 from Firland over the next 11 years. That's enough to cover debt service, including the $75,000 still owed on the Zamboni.

In a previous report, Molino guessed that the sale price might only be four or five times current revenue, or between $300,000 and $400,000. City Attorney George Van Nest has cautioned council members that finding a buyer could be difficult.

The city also receives $5,000 per year for five years from Falleti Motors, which won the bid for the naming rights in December 2006.

After expenses, the city still profits $10,000- $15,000 per year. The money goes into a rink reserve account, which is used for any repairs or building upgrades that may be needed. Any money the city puts into the rink, is money received from the rink.

After listening to Dave Meyer speak at last night's meeting, Councilman Frank Ferrando changed his position and now strongly opposes selling the arena.

He said the council was spending too much time on the issue -- treating it like it is critical to sell the arena.

"We are receiving money and there hasn't been a problem," Ferrando said. "We aren't in business. We aren't doing payroll."

He said Meyers had a good point by referring to the arena as "a park in the wintertime" and offers a lot for kids, families and even adults.

"I am kinda proud that we as a community provide the facility and we provide it in a way that isn't a burden to us," Ferrando said, "and we have income coming from it. We are making a complicated issue out of a simple issue."

Ferrando stated that selling the arena is "as ludicrous as dividing up Kibbe Park and selling it as property. ... I'm not interested in selling that ice rink."

Councilwoman Rose Mary Christian, who's in favor of the sale, argued that "I am not getting any service from the rink" as compared to the fire department and other services.

Councilwoman Patti Pacino responded by reminding Christian, that unlike the fire and police departments that are free to everyone, this is a different type of service because the people that play hockey, pay to use the arena. So the taxpayers aren't paying for sports there that not everyone plays.

November 20, 2010 - 11:15am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Falleti Ice Arena.

It's not that the Falleti Ice Arena can't be sold, but restrictions from the grant money used to build it create one more barrier for the city to overcome before it can jettison the facility, according to a report released by the City Manager's office.

After some preliminary discussions with state and federal officials, it appears that if the city were to sell the ice rink, any proceeds would need to be used only on other parks and recreation facilities, or to benefit low- and moderate-income residents.

And how the money is used would also need to be approved by either the federal agency or the state agency that now administers Community Development Block Grants (CDBG).

The proceeds could not be used to pay down any current debt on the facility.

The city manager's report was released to city council members on Thursday and the findings will be discussed at Monday's council conference meeting.

The report notes that before these findings are confirmed, more talks need to take place with the federal Housing and Urban Development Department and the state's Office of Community Renewal.

The arena was originally built with CDBG funds in 1978, and it came with strings attached, including specifying what the city can do with the arena.

The existing debt on the rink is $400,000 and it is being paid by the current operator.

In 2006, the city received $1.2 million in low-interest loans from the state to improve energy efficiency at city facilities, including the ice arena. The operator will pay about $25,000 this year as reimbursement for the arena's share of those improvements.

November 8, 2010 - 11:20pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, sports, Falleti Ice Arena.

The Batavia City Council continued to haggle over whether to sell Falleti Ice Arena at its Monday meeting.

mikemeyers.jpgAt least four members are clearly in the "sell" camp -- Rose Mary Christian, Bill Cox, Bob Bialkowski and Sam Barone.

The others are more leary of surrendering an asset to a private entity that could do absolutely anything with it.

I don’t think anybody here is saying they want the ice arena to go away," Cox said. "Just because it's privatized doesn’t mean it we won’t have it anymore."

To which Frank Ferrando pointed out that once it's sold, the city won't have any say what a private owner might do with it.

Cox's position was that a private company already runs it without city control, and Ferrando countered that as long as the city owns it, a management company can always be replaced if it isn't getting the job done the way the city wants it done.

And so it goes -- the pros and cons of selling Falleti Ice Arena.

In the end, the council decided to continue the discussion at a future conference meeting.

At issue on Monday was whether to spend up to $5,000 on an appraisal, which City Manager Jason Molino said would be the first step toward finding a buyer.

Barone wondered why the price was so high and asked whether the city's own appraiser or a local real estate agent could provide an appraisal.

Molino explained that only a licensed appraiser with experience in commercial property could provide an appraisal that could legally be used in establishing fair-market value.

Ferrando and Councilman Tim Buckley objected to spending money on an appraisal.

"I’d like to know what it’s worth, but I’m not sure I want to spend $5,000 right now," said Ferrando. "We keep dipping into the reserve fund and pretty soon we’re not going to have a reserve."

Buckley said he isn't even sure it's legal for the city to sell Falleti since a federal grant, secured by the late Rep. Barber Conable, paid for its construction. 

Buckley wanted to table the matter, but Bialkowski objected to any further delays since the current management contract is coming up for renewal.

One city resident spoke during public comments about the proposed sale.

"I would ask those council members who feel that (the city shouldn't be in the ice arena business) -- should we be in the parks business, or the water spray park business, or the baseball stadium business? " asked Dave Meyer (pictured).

"Frankly, I personally believe that Dwyer Stadium is a much better example of public money wasted, but no one ever talks about reducing support for that facility or selling it. Why?

"Because whether I agree with public support for that or not, I know that there are many people who enjoy going to a game on a summer night and I also know that Dwyer Stadium, and the ice arena and Austin Park and Lions Park and all of the other parks are part of the recreational fabric of our city and they add to the quality of life here."

October 26, 2010 - 10:20am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, sports, Falleti Ice Arena.

If the city were to sell the Falliti Ice Arena, it would have to get at least $450,000 for the 30-year-old facility according to City Manager Jason Molino.

That base price would cover current debt on recent improvements to the facility, the Zamboni ice resurfacer as well as the cost of separating the HVAC and sewer line, which is shared with the Batavia Fire Department headquarters.

Councilwoman Patti Pacino, for one, doesn't think any investor will pay as much as $450,000 for a facility that old and attached to a municipal building. What's more, she's worried that once the building has new owners, they will be under no obligation to provide community services, such as hosting local hockey leagues and high school programs.

What if some day they wanted to turn it into a discotheque, or something else, she mused.

"That (loss of community use of the facility) frightens me," Pacino said.

bill_cox.jpgCouncilman Bill Cox  (pictured) said he's pleased with how well things are going with the current management company, but doesn't think the city should own an ice arena.

"The ice arena is (a) great service and it’s enjoyed by people from throughout the county, but it’s not a vital service to the city," Cox said. "I believe we have to get out of areas that really aren't vital city services and involve private business."

Councilman Bob Bialkowski is all for selling the facility. He said he already received calls from local business people supporting the idea of selling it, wondering what the city was doing running an ice rink to begin with.

Technically, the city doesn't run it. For the past four seasons, a management company, Firland, has run the rink, and by all accounts, has done a good job. Firland has made all of its obligated payments to the city, totaling more than $160,000.

If the agreement were renewed -- which Firland wants to do -- the city could expect $400,000 from Firland over the next 11 years, enough to cover debt service, including the $75,000 still owed on the Zamboni machine.

If the city were to sell the facility, Molino said in a report, the sale price might only be four or five times current revenue, or between $300,000 and $400,000.

That's just a guess at this point. If the city were to get serious about selling the arena, a request for proposal would need to be written and an appraisal done -- a process that would cost the city thousands of dollars.

That cost scared off some council members from supporting the RFP process and by consensus, the council went along with a suggestion by Molino that the city generate a request for interest statement and float it around to potential buyers -- just to see if there is a market for the facility.

"It’s not every day that an ice rink goes on the market that’s 30 years old in a rural market like this," Molino said.

City Attorney George Van Nest also cautioned council members that finding a buyer could be difficult.

"There are going to be several strings attached, which is going to make it less attractive to a purchaser," Van Nest said.

Councilman Frank Ferrando said the currant arrangement with Firland seems to be working out well and from what he hears, hockey and ice skating are "booming" at Falleti.

"We need more booming kind of things happening in Batavia," Ferrando said. "I would hate to see us lose that just because we want to get rid of (the building)."

March 19, 2010 - 9:36am
posted by Timothy Walton in sports, hockey, Falleti Ice Arena.

This weekend is a weekend full of state championships in New York and the Batavia High School Blue Devils are not the only team that will have the chance to compete for a state title. Genesee Amatuer Hockey Associaton (GAHA) will be host to the 16-U New York State Championships for USA hockey will be held at the Falleti Ice Arena in an eight team tournament to decide who is the best of the best this season. Teams have traveled from all over including Alex Bay, Louisville, Saranac Lake, Bear Mountain and Center State. These teams all finished within the top 2 seeds of the divisions that they played in throughout the season, with Louisville being a favorite to take the title. "There are a lot of good teams coming here this weekend and it's gonna be some good hockey" said tournament director Tom Aldinger. "Anything can happen in a tournament like this".

Since Batavia was awarded the bid to host the tournament, the 16-U Ramparts team, who did not qualify for states this season based on their record, will receive a free entry into the tournament and a chance to prove that they are the best in the state. Two other Western New York  teams, Jamestown and Niagara will also be competing in the tournament.

Batavia is set to play thier first game today (Friday) at 1:00pm against Saranac Lake. The rest of their schedule includes playing Jamestown tomorrow morning at 8:00am and Bear Mountain tomorrow at 4:00pm.

The tournament has games from 9am-9pm today and 8am-8pm tomorrow. Sunday is set for the semi final games at 11am and 1pm with the NYS championship game set for 5pm Sunday night. Admission to the games is only $5 per game or you can get a weekend pass to all the games for only $10. TF Brown's is a partial sponsor of the tournament.

January 23, 2010 - 4:52pm
posted by Timothy Walton in Batavia Ramparts, sports, hockey, Falleti Ice Arena.


The PW-A Batavia Ramparts hockey team recently won the Batavia Winter Classic Tournament at the Falleti Ice Arena. The Ramparts were guaranteed to play 3 games in the tournament and were able to advance to the championship game by getting the top seed in the round robin play.

They defeated Monroe County 1-0, the Rochester Sabres 6-5 and the Buffalo Hornets 5-0. They were victorious in the championship game 6-4 against the Rochester Sabres.

Tyler Andrews had 2 hat-tricks in the tournament and goaltender Connor Hamilton recorded 2 shutouts.

Hamilton, Andrews and Aaron Feary received player of the game honors throughout the tournament for Batavia.

January 18, 2010 - 7:46am
posted by Timothy Walton in batavia, business, sports, Falleti Ice Arena.

people at rink.jpg

FULL HOUSE: A packed house at the Falleti Ice Arena is just one of many times it fills the bleachers for events each year.

In this tough economy, getting people to spend money may be a hard thing to come about, as they are looking to cut back on expenses. This weekend at the Falleti Ice Arena, it showed that one area people didn't cut back on was youth sports and hockey tournaments. This weekend the Genesee Amateur Hockey Association (GAHA), hosted the Batavia Winter Classic Tournament and the turnout was one that had a positive effect on Batavia and Genesee County.

The tournament ran from Friday through Sunday and brought in teams from Buffalo, Rochester and Oswego in the Pee Wee A and B divisions, which is the age group for kids ages 11 and 12. There were a total of 8 teams that were in the tournament including two of the Batavia teams.

January 16, 2010 - 11:52am
posted by Steve Ognibene in batavia, chicken BBQ, jackson elementary, Falleti Ice Arena.
Event Date and Time: 
January 16, 2010 - 11:00am to 3:00pm

Today at the Falleti Ice Arena from 11am-3pm is a Chicken BBQ sponsored by the Jackson School Home School Association and Clor's Meat Market.   $8.00 a dinner will buy you a 1/2 succulent Chicken BBQ, salt potatoes, macaroni salad and a roll.  Come on down for a great meal !

July 14, 2009 - 1:32am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Falleti Ice Arena.

The City of Batavia might sell Falleti Ice Arena. Then, again, maybe not.

The City Council instructed City Attorney George Van Nest on Monday night to prepare an RFP (request for proposal) that would allow private investors to bid on the property, but council members also expressed some skepticism that in the current environment, any investors who would offer a realistic price could be found.

"In the current credit crunch, the chances are that any RFP is going to bring in bids in the low end," said Councilwoman Marianne Clattenburg.

But council members Bill Cox and Frank Ferrando protested that the city doesn't have any business being in business and that the ice arena should be privately owned.

Issuing an RFP doesn't guarantee the city will sell the facility.  Some minimum requirements would need to be met by the successful bidding, including a minimum price.

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