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genesee county

November 29, 2019 - 4:12pm
posted by Billie Owens in weather, genesee county, news.

A winter weather advisory is in effect for Genesee County from 4 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, according to the National Weather Service in Buffalo.

Mixed precipitation is expected, including total snow accumulations of one to two inches, and up to four inches across the northern Finger Lakes, with total ice accumulations of around 1/10th of an inch.

Plan on slippery road conditions. Periods of snow, sleet or freezing rain will result in slippery roads and limited visibilities. Slow down and use caution while driving.

November 12, 2019 - 8:59pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, city of batavia, genesee county, Batavia City Council.

Approval of a 40-year water supply agreement between the City of Batavia and Genesee County is a win-win situation for both municipalities, according to a City official who has played an integral role in the negotiations.

Speaking after tonight’s Batavia City Council meeting – at which council members unanimously approved the amended agreement through the year 2059, Public Works Director Matt Worth said the new pact equally benefits both entities.

“The important parts of it are, from the City point of view, is the City (last month) entered into a 40-year agreement with the sales tax with Genesee County -- which gives it stability as a financial revenue long-term – and, in addition, the City now does not have to build a new water plant,” Worth said.

Worth estimated the cost of a new water plant at $35 million, expressing relief that the city no longer has that responsibility.

From Genesee County’s perspective, Worth said the agreement’s additional 60-cent surcharge (per 1,000 gallons) gives the county the long-term stability to fund necessary improvements.

“Over the 40 years, the county can go for long-term bonds and has the ability to say ‘Yes we have the revenue stream to pay for those bonds’ (and that leads to) better rates and long-term stability to do those improvements and bring the additional water in,” Worth noted. “Hopefully that spurs all the economic development and growth that usually comes along with public water.”

Worth said the prior agreement -- an extension of the original contract from 2000 -- runs through Dec. 31 and included a 60-cent surcharge to help pay for water improvements. This new agreement goes out to Dec. 31, 2059 and tacks on another 60-cent surcharge to the City.

He said it could provide the impetus to get water into other areas of the county.

“It could mean getting public water into some of those towns and areas that have not had it – Bethany being a prime example,” he said. “Alabama didn’t have water for quite a while, now they’re starting to get water into that town as well.

“That’s kind of the avenue that has been put forward for long-term stability financially and long-term stability as far as providing safe, public drinking water to an awful lot of the county.”

City Council also passed, by 9-0 votes, a restated lease with Genesee County for water treatment facilities that would transfer the plant to the county once it is no longer being used, by mutual agreement, and a restated operations and maintenance agreement for the water treatment plant that takes into account actual costs compared to budget costs, with the City and County equally splitting any surplus end-of-the-year funds.

Both of these agreements are for 10 years.

November 10, 2019 - 2:38pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in genesee county, taxes, news.

Genesee County is outperforming many other municipalities in New York when it comes to getting the highest possible return on tax dollars, a financial consultant told members of the Legislature this week. 

Over the past year, the county has earned almost $1.6 million by adroitly managing cash flows and placing cash reserves in investments with the best returns while minimizing risk and complying with state regulations.

With a $32 million tax levy, that return is about 4.77 percent, which means lawmakers can keep the property tax rate lower. If they wanted to generate an additional $1.6 million in property tax revenue, they couldn't do that without violating the state's tax cap.

The reason: "The county treasurer is willing to step out of the box and do whatever it takes to help the taxpayers," said Garrett Macdonald, a Genesee County resident who is vice president of Three+1, a financial consulting firm based in Pittsford.

Also, Macdonald said the county is "looking at data more intuitively and making sure that we're really looking under every stone to earn more. A lot of times (with) public entities, it's not the first priority to earn more on taxpayer dollars.

"The first priority is to make sure it's safe, to make sure that it's in deposit, that the money gets somewhere that it's recorded. And then budgeting is important. Treasury always is kind of a second priority.

"But in Genesee County's case, they're able to accomplish all the above. So looking at data, working with their banks, really putting treasury and earnings at the top of the priority list, along with safety, legality, liquidity."

Because there is money coming in before it's needed for public services, and because the county is required to maintain a cash reserve, there is always cash on hand.

What a government agency can do with it is regulated by the state, and among the things the county can do is buy treasury bills -- place it in money market accounts or certificate of account registries, or other safe and liquid investment vehicles. There are about seven options in total.

Treasurer Scott German spends time every week looking at the data and working with Macdonald on what the county's portfolio should look like based on market conditions and cash flow needs. 

"I want to get the biggest return I can for the taxpayer," German said. "Therefore, using his information that he is able to provide, his negotiations with other banks, we are able to maximize the returns for the taxpayers.

"I mean, you compare me to probably any other county in the State of New York, I'm probably doing probably double or triple in interest rates, percentage-wise."

Macdonald said the county's return is well above the 1.5-percent benchmark local agencies should try to achieve, and that most municipalities struggle to get a 1-percent return.

There's one government agency, he said, that has a tax levy $26 million higher than Genesee County's and is generating $600,000 in investment income, less than half of what Genesee County is generating. And that's the next largest total dollar return in the comparison group.

"The biggest point that I will hone in on again and just reiterate: our goal is to maximize the value that the public creates through tax dollars," Macdonald said. "If we can do that through generating new revenues, that doesn't include increasing taxes, that's a big win."

Among economists, there has been a lot of talk about the inverted yield curve (a graph tracking returns on long-term and short-term bonds; when the economic outlook is good, long-term rates are higher than short-term rates; when the curve inverts, it's a sign investors have lost confidence in long-term returns). The curve inverted last quarter, which is a possible sign of a coming recession.

Macdonald believes the bond markets are correcting and he doesn't see a recession on the two-year horizon (in the past, when the yield curve has inverted, there has been a recession within 18 months). That said, if there is a recession in the next year, because of the money management practices of German, Genesee County's funds should be protected.  

Financial markets are always cyclical, Macdonald noted, which is why it's important to stay on top of what is going on every week.

"If we have a recession in two years, I think the impact is yet to be known because we don't have money invested for two years," Macdonald said. "The longest we have money invested for the county's about one year.

"But when I can tell you is, looking into 2020, even though rates have gone down three times -- once in July, once in September and then once in October -- it's because we've been proactive and because Scott's been proactive at investing early before those decreases.

"We're still going to beat benchmarks going into 2020. So, where most counties are being reactive, Genesee County is proactive."

November 6, 2019 - 12:22pm
posted by Billie Owens in opiates, overdose deaths, genesee county, news.

Press release from the NYS Association of Counties:

The NYS Association of Counties applauds Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's signing of the opioid overdose bill last month.

The legislation (S.1668/A.4915) requires that death certificates in cases of opioid overdose specify which opioid was involved in the death, if known. This new law requires that information be recorded so that more data will be available to better address the opioid crisis.

“New York continues to confront the opioid epidemic in all corners of the state," said Stephen J. Acquario, executive director of the New York State Association of Counties. "Toxicology results take an inordinate amount of time to review. This new law will help county coroners and medical examiners pin down the cause of death with more specificity than the general classification of 'drug overdose.'

"Law enforcement efforts to track opioid suppliers have improved, and this new statute will further assist in identifying suppliers of the opiates that led to an overdose. Governor Cuomo and state legislators continue to implement smart government policies to prevent the distribution of illegal opiates."

October 29, 2019 - 3:24pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in budget, genesee county, news.

The proposed county budget for 2020 includes a 7-cent property tax rate increase for county residents, up from $10.04 to $10.11, while the county grapples with new state spending mandates but manages to keep the tax levy under the state's 2-percent cap.

The proposed tax levy is $31,015,658, up $759,567.

Mandated expenses, from Medicaid to law enforcement functions, will consume 72 percent of the levy.

Total anticipated general fund expenditures are $114,048,256, or $13,030 less than 2019's.

New mandated expenses include additional services related to the Raise the Age legislation, which now requires most criminal cases involving 16- and 17-year-olds to be referred to a youth court, at $318,373. The state is expected to provide the county with full reimbursement for these expenses.

What is not reimbursed are expenses related to bail reform and new evidence discovery requirements, which require the District Attorney's Office to add additional staff, including a new full-time assistant district attorney, a part-time ADA, and a new paralegal.

The Public Defenders Office is also adding an attorney but this expense will be covered by state aid. 

The county will have 452 full-time-equivalent employees. 

While the state is pressuring municipalities to enter into more shared services agreements, the county has pretty much exhausted those opportunities, County Manager Jay Gsell suggested in his budget statement.

The county has been sharing services with County Highway and other county highway departments for 21 years. There are also shared service agreements for the Health Department with Orleans County and combined youth services between the county, city, and Orleans County. 

The Chamber of Commerce Tourism Bureau has an anticipated budget of $420,000, entirely funded by the bed tax. 

A motor pool agreement with Enterprise Fleet Management and energy savings initiatives as a result of consulting with Johnson Controls currently gives the county an anticipated $200,000 in savings.

A public hearing on the proposed budget will take place Nov. 6 in the Old Courthouse. The Legislature will vote on the proposed budget Nov. 25.

October 28, 2019 - 10:12pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, Batavia City Council, genesee county.

With New York State’s blessing in hand, the Batavia City Council tonight wasted no time in approving an amended sales tax allocation with Genesee County.

By an 8-0 vote (Council Member Rose Mary Christian was absent), the board OK'd the 40-year contract that, in City Manager Martin Moore’s words, “provides a level of stability as we move forward in budget planning and strategic planning.”

Just as importantly, the agreement – which was passed by Genesee County legislators in January – gives the county the necessary time to fund a new jail and to manage the long-term debt payments associated with the building of the jail and other capital projects.

Last week, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo signed into law Bill S4247 that allows Genesee County and the City of Batavia to enter into a sales tax allocation agreement not to exceed 40 years.

As part of the process, bonds will be issued to fund construction with a term of up to 40 years. This means that both the County and City will have assurances that, for the duration of the bonds, they can count on a distinct sales tax revenue stream.

Terms of the City/County agreement have Batavia receiving 16 percent of the county’s 50 percent share of the 8-percent sales tax – with provisions for that amount to grow in future years by a maximum of 2 percent per year.

In future years, the City’s share will depend upon sales tax revenue growth, eventually being no less than 14 percent.

The new agreement will take effect on Jan. 1, a day after the current one-year contract expires.

The vote came during a Special Business Meeting convened immediately after the regularly scheduled Conference meeting.

Three related joint agreements dealing with water supply, water treatment facilities lease and water treatment plant operation and maintenance were moved to the Nov. 12 Business Meeting.

October 24, 2019 - 5:08pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, genesee county, city of batavia.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Wednesday signed into law Bill S4247 that allows Genesee County and the City of Batavia to enter into a sales tax allocation agreement not to exceed 40 years.

Genesee County Manager Jay Gsell said that justification for the bill focuses on the need for the county “to fund its new jail capital project and for long-term debt payments over the next 30 to 40 years to become sustainable.”

Sen. Michael R. Ranzenhofer and Assemblyman Steven Hawley supported this legislation in their respective bodies, and it arrived on the governor’s desk last Friday after being passed earlier in the year by both the Senate and Assembly.

As part of the process, bonds will be issued to fund construction with a term of up to 40 years. This means that both the County and City will have assurances that, for the duration of the bonds, they can count on a distinct sales tax revenue stream.

Historically, the state Comptroller’s Office does not approve contracts of this nature that are longer than 10 years in duration; normally, the length is five years. But lawmakers were able to remove the “duration” roadblock to get the bill passed into law.

A little more than a year ago, the City and Genesee County reached a deal giving Batavia 16 percent of the county’s 50 percent share of the 8 percent sales tax – with provisions for that amount to grow in future years by a maximum of 2 percent per year.

In future years, the City’s share will depend upon sales tax revenue growth, eventually being no less than 14 percent.

The City and County extended its agreement to the end of this year in anticipation of passage of the special legislation (S4247).

October 24, 2019 - 2:41pm

Press release:

Independent Living of the Genesee Region (ILGR), which works to improve the quality of life of people with any disabilities in the Genesee, Orleans, Wyoming County (GOW) area, has support from the Homeless Alliance of Western New York (HAWNY), the lead Continuum of Care (CoC) agency for most of Western New York, via a grant to The Housing Council at PathStone in Rochester, to offer the federal Rapid Rehousing Program (RRP).

This is an exciting new resource for individuals and families which have faced long-term homelessness, particularly that due to disabilities.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has designed Rapid Rehousing as a "best-practice model" for alleviating homelessness by helping families and individuals quickly exit homelessness with both housing identification and financial assistance, and to help them achieve long-term housing stability.

In addition to housing identification, other core components of RRP are move-in and rental assistance, and case management and services. In particular, the program is focused on assisting the homeless who are currently staying at shelters.

Its intent is to secure permanent, stable housing as the foundation for addressing other challenges they face. RRP can serve families, individuals, or be used as a bridge for the chronically homeless while they are waiting for Permanent Supportive Housing.

Rae Frank, the director of ILGR, notes that program eligibility will be determined based on a number of criteria, including the results of a housing assessment and the need to accommodate participants' disabilities.

More information is available from Dominique Johnson at [email protected] and (585) 815-8501, ext. 405.

The program for GOW builds on the lessons learned in the initial 2014 demonstration project, the Buffalo Rapid Rehousing Program (BRAP), which resulted in the Rapid Rehousing Performance Benchmarks and Program Standards.

Independent Living of the Genesee Region (ILGR) is a member of the Western New York Independent Living Inc. family of agencies that offers an expanding array of services to aid individuals with disabilities to take control of their own lives.

September 20, 2019 - 3:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in county highway, genesee county, news.

It's been another busy year for the County Highway Department, Superintendent Tim Hens told members of the Legislature during his annual department review at the Public Service Committee meeting on Thursday.

In 2019, the county received $1.7 million from the state for roads, bridges, and culverts, plus another $382,183 for road paving.

There are 92 bridges in the county with a span of greater than 20 feet. The condition rating is 5.16, up from 5.11 last year.

There are currently nine bridges in the county posted to warn away drivers with heavy loads. This year, three of those bridges are being replaced. They are: Caswell Road, Searls Road, and Pratt Road bridges.

Taking into account all bridges greater than five feet long, much progress has been made over the past three years, Hens said.

“We did an inventory and assessment study in 2016 and identified our top 30 worst bridges,” Hens said. “We have replaced 18 of those. That’s better than half, which is pretty good. With three of them currently being replaced by the end of the year, that number will go up by three by the end of the year.”

Those state programs are going to be dependent in future years on what the federal government does, which Hens said is a concern. He's uncertain about congressional approval and whether the bill will be passed before the 2020 election.

There are 260 centerline miles of highway the county maintains. The average condition rating is now 5.69, an improvement from the previous year.

Paving projects completed in 2019:

  • Horseshoe Lake Road, Stafford
  • South Lake Road, Pembroke
  • Prole Road Extension, Stafford
  • South Street Road, Le Roy
  • Colby Road, Darien
  • Hickox, Walker, and Gillette Road, Alexander

Another project completed in 2019 is the EMS training ground and new firing range at the Emergency Services office location on Bank Street Road.

There are currently 61 employees in the department, for a total of 56.75 full-time equivalents, up by two from 2018.

The proposed budget for 2020 us $5,527,130, which is an increase over 2019 because of the rising cost of salt for snow and ice removal, and increased health care costs.

Salt prices are going up about 5 percent.

Gas prices and asphalt prices have remained stable, Hens said.

Obviously we have some funding concerns going forward, Hens said.

There is at least $125 million in capital projects pending in the county over the next 10 years.

"That’s not the jail. That’s not water. That’s other stuff," Hens said. "We’re going to need federal aid. I hoping that this new federal authorization has some money in it for roads for counties, some relief for counties.”

September 16, 2019 - 6:30pm


The Genesee County Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce that the 2019-2020 version of the Genesee County Chamber Business Directory has been published!

With nearly 500 local organizations in Chamber membership, we consider this the “who’s who in business” in Genesee County. Descriptions and contact information for small businesses, large corporations, nonprofits, municipalities and schools, all operating in Genesee County, all in one convenient publication!

Stop by The Chamber today to get your copy: Our office is located at 8276 Park Road, Batavia.

We are also pleased to announce the launch of our new Online Business Directory on www.geneseeny.com. With links to member websites, social media pages, emails, and phone numbers: the online directory is the perfect place to interact and learn more about local organizations right here in Genesee County!

Some member listings even have video and pictures to accompany their contact info, Check it out on website here.

The Genesee County Chamber is a not-for-profit organization that consists of nearly 500 local businesses and organizations. Whether you operate a small operation or a large corporation, a membership with the Genesee County Chamber is the perfect way to improve your visibility and make your business more engaged within Genesee County!

If you are interested in scheduling a tour to find out more information, please contact Steven Falitico at 585-343-7440 or by email at [email protected]

More membership information can also be found on our website under “Membership.”

September 6, 2019 - 12:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in genesee county, budget, news.

Here is the anticipated schedule for review and adoption of Genesee County's 2020 budget:

Sept. 11, Wednesday, 4:30 p.m.
Budget Discussion
Conference Session before Legislature Meeting

Sept. 11, 6 p.m.
Comprehensive Plan presentation after Legislature Meeting                       

Sept. 6, Friday
Date for departments to submit budget request to County Manager

Sept. 9 – 30
Final review of department and agency budgets by County Manager with meetings scheduled between County Manager and department heads on budget and staffing requests

Oct. 2, Wednesday, 5:30 p.m. 
County Manager reviews overall County budget with Legislature. Legislature selects which departments to review services and respective budgets for Saturday morning meeting

Conference Session after Ways & Means Committee meeting               

Oct. 5, Saturday, 8 a.m. to noon              
Legislature meets with selected departments

Oct. 9, Wednesday, 4:30 p.m.
Review department discussions held on the 5th and further review of the budget and direction for County Manager
Conference Session before Legislature Meeting          

Oct. 16, Wednesday, 5:30 p.m.
County Manager reviews status of budget and summarization of major issues
Conference Session after Ways & Means Committee meeting                 

Oct. 21, Monday
County Manager files Recommended Budget with Legislature Clerk and releases budget information to the media

Oct. 23, Wednesday, 4:30 p.m.
County Manager provides overview of Recommended Budget to Legislature
Conference Session before Legislature Meeting

Nov. 6, Wednesday, 6 p.m.
Public Budget Hearing – County Manager’s Recommended Budget -- in Courthouse Chambers

Nov. 13, Wednesday, 4:30 p.m. 
Legislature considers feedback from Public Hearing and makes further recommendations
Conference Session before Legislature Meeting        

Nov. 20, Wednesday, 4:30 p.m.
Ways and Means Committee Budget Review with referral to full Legislature
Ways and Means Meeting

Nov. 25, Monday, 5:30 p.m.
Legislature Meeting – Budget Adoption

August 17, 2019 - 11:14am
posted by Billie Owens in weather, news, genesee county.

A hazardous weather outlook for Genesee County and portions of Western New York was issued this morning.

Thunderstorms are likely today. The storms could become quite strong during the midday and early afternoon with the greatest threat from the storms being localized damaging winds and hail.

Strong to severe thunderstorms will again be possible on Sunday with the risk for another round of localized damaging winds and hail.

Afternoon apparent temperatures Sunday through Tuesday may reach the lower 90s or higher. Keep in mind that heat advisories are issued when apparent temperatures reach at least 95 for two consecutive hours.

August 7, 2019 - 2:21pm
posted by Billie Owens in agriculture, honeybees, pollination, business, genesee county.

Press release:

Standing amidst a swarm of advocates, at the Rochester Beekeepers Association’s beehives at Tinker Nature Park, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today revealed how a recent under-the-radar decision on bees could sting Upstate, the Rochester-Finger Lakes Region, its local agriculture efforts, and even a budding jobs niche that supplies summer farmers’ markets and local restaurants.

Schumer detailed a recent fed decision by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to stop collecting data on honeybees that puts the species and Upstate New York’s economy, at risk. Schumer said that the Rochester-Finger Lakes Region is a hive of productivity, but that this recent decision by the feds could derail much of what keeps Upstate competitive and robust as an agricultural hub.

Calls on USDA to 'reverse course immediately'

The senator called on the USDA to reverse course immediately, and instead, step up their work on bee populations. He revealed numbers that proved his point and hit home the critical importance of honeybees to Upstate New York and the Rochester-Finger Lakes Region’s agriculture sector.

“It sure helps, but you don’t need to be a beekeeper to understand the benefit pollinating bees have on the Upstate economy and the Rochester-Finger Lakes Region,” Schumer said. “Look around and you will see that they boost an agricultural hive of economic productivity.

"From farmers’ markets, to farm-to-table restaurants, to the farms and apple and cherry orchards that solidify the Rochester-Finger Lakes area as an agricultural hub, we have a lot to tout —and it is because of bees like these. So to find out that, in an under-the-radar move from Washington, the USDA has clipped the wings of a critical data-collection program on honeybee colonies, impacting jobs and productivity in places like Rochester, really stings.”

Schumer explained that earlier this July, USDA said it would stop collecting data for its "Honey Bee Colonies" report. The "Honey Bee Colonies" report, conducted by USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, is released on an annual basis and contains critical data, tracking active honeybee colonies, new colonies and lost colonies.

The senator called the decision to suspend data collection for the report especially concerning, considering the devastating honeybee colony losses experienced in the United States over the past few decades.

Plummeting honeybee colonies

According to a report from USDA, the number of active honeybee colonies plummeted from six million in the 1940s to roughly 2.5 million in 2017. More recently, during the winter of 2018, beekeepers suffered their worst losses on record.

Data from the University of Maryland’s Bee Informed Partnership shows that beekeepers lost 37.7 percent of their colonies during this season, 8.9 percent higher than the average for winter. Schumer argued that this historic population decline shows that USDA should ratchet up its honeybee data collection, not shut it down.

Schumer said that New York State and the Rochester-Finger Lakes Region have not been immune to the devastation of honeybee colonies.

According to the most recent "Honey Bee Colonies" report released by USDA, between January and December of 2017, New York State beekeepers lost a total of 17,700 colonies of honeybees. Meanwhile, in the first six months of 2018, New York State beekeepers lost 7,000 colonies.

Schumer said these losses, combined with the fact that according to a June 2018 New York State Department of Agriculture report, crops dependent on honeybee pollination are worth $1.2 billion annually to the state, present a critical need to understand what exactly is causing them and how they can be reversed. This data is critical to protecting the honeybee-reliant Upstate New York agricultural industry.

Upstate ag is 'honeybee-reliant'

“We need this data to keep New York as an agricultural juggernaut,” added Schumer. “What’s the real stinger here is that the bees are part of the economy. They keep local businesses and jobs buzzing. To enact a new policy that discounts bees and their impact on New York is bad environmental, economic and agricultural policy. We are here today to say: reverse the decision, and instead step things up as this insect’s population spirals.”

The dwindling bee population is of particular concern for the Rochester-Finger Lakes Region’s agricultural industry, which is a hive of economic activity.

According to USDA, $234,935,000 worth of agricultural products were sold out of Genesee County in 2017; $221,295,000 worth of agricultural products were sold out of Wayne County in 2017; $205,160,000 worth of agricultural products were sold out of Ontario County in 2017; $155,282,000 worth of agricultural products were sold out of Orleans County in 2017; and $76,643,000 worth of agricultural products were sold out of Monroe County.

Furthermore, in 2017, Wayne County was home to 25,939 acres of non-citrus fruit and nut farms with 185 total farms; Ontario County was home to 1,384 acres of non-citrus fruit and nut farms and 53 total farms; Orleans County was home to 57 total farms; Genesee County was home to 21,927 acres of vegetable production; and Monroe County was home to 1,100 acres of non-citrus fruit and nut farms and 44 total farms.

New York ranks second in the nation in apple production, and Wayne and Orleans counties are the two top apple-producing counties in the state, meaning the bee population is imperative to the sustainability of this critical agricultural sector in the Rochester-Finger Lakes Region.

Wayne County produces more apples than any other county in New York State, and nationally ranks as the fourth-highest apple-producing county in the country. More than 25,000 acres of farm land in Wayne County is devoted to apples, which accounts for over half of the total apple acreage in all of New York State.

Prospect of extinction

The prospect of the extinction of honeybees also presents a significant to challenge to New York State’s burgeoning honey industry. In 2017 alone, 3,046,315 pounds of honey were collected from New York State farms and sales totaled $8,660,000. Schumer said that should honeybee colony numbers continue plummeting, not only would these sales be jeopardized, but Rochester-Finger Lakes restaurants and farmers’ markets would be forced to pay more for or completely stripped of the freshest, locally sourced honey.

Schumer explained that these dire numbers show the absolute necessity of USDA’s "Honey Bee Colonies" report. Therefore, Schumer urged the USDA to reverse course and maintain the collection of data for the "Honey Bee Colonies" report, to accurately track honeybees in the United States and protect Rochester-Finger Lakes agriculture from getting stung.

Advocates rally: beekeepers, farm-to-table restaurateurs, growers and educators

Schumer was joined by Pat Bono (beekeeper/owner of Seaway Trail Honey, director for NY Bee Wellness, an educational 501c3, and organizer of Rochester Beekeepers), Tim Pratt (beekeeper & director of programs at Tinker Nature Center); Dan Winter (president, Empire State Honey Producers Assoc. & owner of Winter Apiaries in Wolcott, Wayne County), farm-to-table restaurateurs: Stephen Rees (owner, Relish restaurant in Rochester’s Southwedge) Dan Martello (owner, Good Luck restaurant in Downtown Rochester), Lizzie Clapp (owner, Le Petit Poutine food truck), and Evan Schutt (owner, Schutts Apple Mill in Penfield).

“The USDA 'Honey Bee Colonies' report has provided critical data for decades that beekeepers rely on to protect the health of our colonies and that farmers depend on to safeguard the viability of their next pollinator dependent crop," Bono said. "I appreciate Senator Schumer’s efforts to resume this reporting because ceasing this data collection leaves us in the dark, unable to see or anticipate trends that are vital to preserve our local honeybee hives.”

“New York Farm Bureau values the role that pollinators play in the agriculture industry and New York Farm Bureau membership represents the diversity of New York agriculture including farmers that rely on honey bees to perform pollinator services as well as the beekeepers that provide these valuable services," said Rene St. Jacques, assistant director of Public Policy for the New York Farm Bureau.

Sweet cash: pollination-dependent crops pour $1.2 billion into NYS ag economy

"Pollinators are incredibly important to the agricultural economy in New York State, which is a leading producer of specialty crops that require or benefit from pollination, including apples, pears, cherries, strawberries, pumpkins, and beans, just to name a few. These pollination dependent crops contribute $1.2 billion annually to the state’s agricultural economy.

"The honeybee provides 50 percent of crop pollination services in New York State, yet there continue to be losses of honeybee colonies year after year. These losses not only impact honeybee producers and their livelihoods but the overall agricultural economy and well as the sustainability of the New York State food system.

"For the benefit of the entire New York agriculture industry, it is imperative that honeybee colonies continue to thrive and in turn must be accurately monitored to ensure longevity of both bees and farmers."

July 30, 2019 - 4:12pm
posted by Billie Owens in weather, genesee county, news.

A hazardous weather outlook was issued by the National Weather Service in Buffalo at 2:59 p.m. for Genesee County and other parts of Western New York, as well as North Central New York.

This afternoon and tonight expect scattered thunderstorms that may contain gusty winds and produce heavy downpours through early evening.

July 20, 2019 - 8:00am


Saturday, July 20 – Family Day/ Drive Your Tractor to the Fair Day

  • 8:30 a.m. – NIOGA Dairy Show (Main Show Ring)
  • 9 a.m. – 4-H Horse Show – Gymkhana Division (Horse Arena)
  • 10 a.m. – Exhibition Halls & Buildings Open
  • Noon -- Small Fry Tractor Pull (Exhibition Building) Sponsored by Upstate Niagara Cooperative, Genesee County Pamona Grange, and Duane Schmigel
  • Noon – Midway Opens, Wristband Special from Noon to 4 p.m.
  • 4 p.m. – 4-H Market Auction Master Showman Contest (Main Show Ring)
  • 6 p.m. – Racing at Genesee Speedway
  • 7 to 11 p.m. – Band – Under the Gun (Entertainment Tent)
  • 10 p.m. – Exhibit Halls & Buildings Close

Events & times subject to change. Follow us on Facebook to keep up-to-date with changes.

July 19, 2019 - 8:00am


Friday, July 19th – CELEBRATE 4H DAY

  • 9 a.m. – 4-H Horse Show – English & Dressage Division (Horse Arena)
  • 9 a.m. – 4-H Beef Team Fitting Competition (Main Show Ring)
  • 10 a.m. – Exhibition Halls & Buildings Open
  • Noon – 4-H Horses must be removed from 4-H Horse Barn
  • Noon – 4-H Livestock Master Showman Contest (Main Show Ring)
  • 1 p.m. – 4-H Dairy Club Butter Making Activity (Kennedy Building)
  • 4 p.m. – Midway Opens
  • 5:30 p.m. – 4-H Tractor Driving Contest
  • 6 p.m. – NIOGA Dairy Showmanship (Main Show Ring)
  • 7 p.m. – Demolition Derby (Grandstands)
  • 7 to 11 p.m. – Band – MAC (Entertainment Tent)
  • 10 p.m. – Exhibit Halls & Buildings Close

Events & times subject to change. Follow us on Facebook to keep up-to-date with changes.

July 18, 2019 - 4:49pm
posted by Billie Owens in weather, genesee county, news.

The National Weather Service this afternoon issued a heat advisory for noon Friday, July 19, through 6 p.m. Saturday, July 20. for portions of Western and North Central New York.

A few brief rounds of thunderstorms are also expected Friday through Sunday night. A few of these storms may be severe, with isolated damaging winds and torrential downpours.

Heat index values of up to 100 degrees are expected during the day Friday and Saturday. Overnight low temperatures in the upper 60s to low 70s with continued muggy conditions Friday night.

Prolonged exposure or any strenuous activity may lead to heat related illnesses that require immediate medical attention.

A Heat Advisory means that a period of hot temperatures is expected. The combination of hot temperatures and high humidity will combine to create a situation in which heat illnesses are possible.

Drink plenty of fluids; stay in an air-conditioned room; stay out of the sun; and check in on relatives and neighbors.

Take extra precautions if you work or spend time outside. When possible, reschedule strenuous activities to early morning or evening.

Know the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Wear light weight and loose-fitting clothing when possible and drink plenty of water.

July 18, 2019 - 8:00am


Thursday, July 18th – KId's Day / HP HOOD DAY

  • 9 a.m. – 4-H Dairy Cattle Show (Main Show Ring)
  • 9 a.m. – 4-H Horse Show – Western Division (Horse Arena)
  • 10 a.m. – Exhibition Halls & Buildings Open
  • 12 - 10 p.m. – Midway Opens - Kids 16 & Under Ride for $10/wristband
  • 12:30 p.m. – Small Fry Tractor Pull (Exhibition Building) Sponsored by Upstate Niagara Cooperative, Genesee County Pamona Grange, and Duane Schmigel
  • 6:45 p.m. – 4-H Market Animal Auction Awards Ceremony (Main Show Ring)
  • 7 p.m. – 4-H Market Animal Auction Sale Begins (Main Show Ring)
  • 7:30 – 10 p.m. – Band – Savage Cabbage (Entertainment Tent)
  • 10 p.m. – Exhibit Halls & Buildings Close

Events & times subject to change. Follow us on Facebook to keep up-to-date with changes.

July 17, 2019 - 8:00am


Wednesday, July 17th – EMERGENCY RESPONDER’S NIGHT

  • 8:30 a.m. – OPEN Class Swine must be in place
  • 9 a.m. – 4H Horse may arrive
  • 9 a.m. – 4-H Hog Show (Main Show Ring)
  • 10 a.m. – 4-H & Open Class Goats must be removed from Goat Barn (Except Market
  • Auction Goats)
  • 10 a.m. – 4-H Milking Dairy Cows must be in place
  • 10 a.m. – Exhibit Halls & Buildings Open
  • Noon – 4-H Sheep Show (Main Show Ring)
  • 4 p.m. – Midway Opens, (Weather permitting)
  • 2 p.m. – 4H Horses must be in place
  • 5:30 p.m. – Fair Parade Line Up (Racing Pit Area)
  • 6:30 p.m. – Fair Parade
  • 7 p.m. – Band – Red Creek (Entertainment Tent)
  • 10 p.m. – Exhibit Halls & Buildings Close

Events & times subject to changeFollow us on Facebook to keep up-to-date with changes.

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