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July 18, 2014 - 4:37pm
posted by Billie Owens in genesee county, SUNY Brockport, Milestones.

Press release:

BROCKPORT, NY -- The College at Brockport, State University of New York, recently honored students who excelled academically by naming them to the dean's list for the Spring 2014 semester.

Students who earn a GPA of 3.70-3.99 are named to the dean's list with honors, while students who achieve a 3.40-3.69 are named to the dean's list.

Jennifer Alexander of Batavia, NY was named to the Dean's List with Honors.

Eric Wood of Batavia, NY was named to the Dean's List with Honors.

Kylie Britt of Byron, NY was named to the Dean's List with Honors.

Shonta Carpenter of Batavia, NY was named to the Dean's List with Honors.

Jacob Jones of Batavia, NY was named to the Dean's List with Honors.

Courtney Butzbach of Le Roy, NY was named to the Dean's List with Honors.

Lucas Phillips of Alexander, NY was named to the Dean's List with Honors.

Robert Adams of Le Roy, NY was named to the Dean's List with Honors.

Benjamin Cherry of Oakfield, NY was named to the Dean's List with Honors.

Steven Marchese of Batavia, NY was named to the Dean's List with Honors.

Gianni Zambito of Elba, NY was named to the Dean's List with Honors.

Alyson Tardy of Bergen, NY was named to the Dean's List with Honors.

Alicca Vigneri of Elba, NY was named to the Dean's List with Honors.

Mathew Klein of Alexander, NY was named to the Dean's List with Honors.

Ashley Walter of Batavia, NY was named to the Dean's List with Honors.

Dalton Rarick of Batavia, NY was named to the Dean's List with Honors.

Ryan Gugel of Batavia, NY was named to the Dean's List with Honors.

Travis Fenstermaker of Le Roy, NY was named to the Dean's List with Honors.

Anthony Macaluso of Le Roy, NY was named to the Dean's List with Honors.

Dylan Versage of Batavia, NY was named to the Dean's List with Honors.

Lindsay Stumpf of Bergen, NY was named to the Dean's List with Honors.

Kayla Barclay of Byron, NY was named to the Dean's List with Honors.

Elizabeth Corrado of Le Roy, NY was named to the Dean's List with Honors.

Adam Hughes of Batavia, NY was named to the Dean's List.

Kristin Aidala of Batavia, NY was named to the Dean's List.

Patrick Carr of Batavia, NY was named to the Dean's List.

Kelly Hoitink of Batavia, NY was named to the Dean's List.

Victoria DiStefano of Elba, NY was named to the Dean's List.

Jennifer Gremer of Linwood, NY was named to the Dean's List.

Keenan Hughes of Elba, NY was named to the Dean's List.

Elias Seward of Basom, NY was named to the Dean's List.

Micah Brill of Le Roy, NY was named to the Dean's List.

Sydney Gallup of Elba, NY was named to the Dean's List.

Sean Hale of Byron, NY was named to the Dean's List.

Benjamin Heintz of Batavia, NY was named to the Dean's List.

Meghan Bishop of Le Roy, NY was named to the Dean's List.

Erin Suttell of Batavia, NY was named to the Dean's List.

Claire Vanderberg of Batavia, NY was named to the Dean's List.

Cody Pierce of Bergen, NY was named to the Dean's List.

Yangyan Dong of Bergen, NY was named to the Dean's List.

James Mangefrida of Le Roy, NY was named to the Dean's List.

Olivia Talley of Oakfield, NY was named to the Dean's List.

Kristen Gaik of corfu, NY was named to the Dean's List.

Cady Hume of Batavia, NY was named to the Dean's List.

Alexander Gunther of Bergen, NY was named to the Dean's List.

Jason Birch of Bergen, NY was named to the Dean's List.

Gena Korn of Le Roy, NY was named to the Dean's List.

Anthony Young of Alexander, NY was named to the Dean's List.

Jacob Sojda of Batavia, NY was named to the Dean's List.

Casey Herman of Corfu, NY was named to the Dean's List.

Anne Culliton of Batavia, NY was named to the Dean's List.

Ainsley Dungan of Batavia, NY was named to the Dean's List.

Melanie Monroe of Bergen, NY was named to the Dean's List.

Jeana Pfalzer of Le Roy, NY was named to the Dean's List.

Alissa Phillips of Bergen, NY was named to the Dean's List.

Lauren Hughes of Elba, NY was named to the Dean's List.

Haley Huey of Batavia, NY was named to the Dean's List.

Brittni Loewke of Bergen, NY was named to the Dean's List.

Eric Kowalik of Elba, NY was named to the Dean's List.

Meg Stucko of Elba, NY was named to the Dean's List.

Lisa Halat of Oakfield, NY was named to the Dean's List.

Bridget Chartraw of Oakfield, NY was named to the Dean's List.

Darren Kwiatkowski of Byron, NY was named to the Dean's List.

Cara Ferraro of Batavia, NY was named to the Dean's List.

Jenna Kent of Batavia, NY was named to the Dean's List.

Jennifer Alexander of Batavia, NY was named to the Dean's List with Honors.

Eric Wood of Batavia, NY was named to the Dean's List with Honors.

Kylie Britt of Byron, NY was named to the Dean's List with Honors.

Shonta Carpenter of Batavia, NY was named to the Dean's List with Honors.

Jacob Jones of Batavia, NY was named to the Dean's List with Honors.

Courtney Butzbach of Le Roy, NY was named to the Dean's List with Honors.

Lucas Phillips of Alexander, NY was named to the Dean's List with Honors.

Robert Adams of Le Roy, NY was named to the Dean's List with Honors.

Benjamin Cherry of Oakfield, NY was named to the Dean's List with Honors.

Steven Marchese of Batavia, NY was named to the Dean's List with Honors.

Gianni Zambito of Elba, NY was named to the Dean's List with Honors.

Alyson Tardy of Bergen, NY was named to the Dean's List with Honors.

Alicca Vigneri of Elba, NY was named to the Dean's List with Honors.

Mathew Klein of Alexander, NY was named to the Dean's List with Honors.

Ashley Walter of Batavia, NY was named to the Dean's List with Honors.

Dalton Rarick of Batavia, NY was named to the Dean's List with Honors.

Ryan Gugel of Batavia, NY was named to the Dean's List with Honors.

Travis Fenstermaker of Le Roy, NY was named to the Dean's List with Honors.

Anthony Macaluso of Le Roy, NY was named to the Dean's List with Honors.

Dylan Versage of Batavia, NY was named to the Dean's List with Honors.

Lindsay Stumpf of Bergen, NY was named to the Dean's List with Honors.

Kayla Barclay of Byron, NY was named to the Dean's List with Honors.

Elizabeth Corrado of Le Roy, NY was named to the Dean's List with Honors.

Adam Hughes of Batavia, NY was named to the Dean's List.

Kristin Aidala of Batavia, NY was named to the Dean's List.

Patrick Carr of Batavia, NY was named to the Dean's List.

Kelly Hoitink of Batavia, NY was named to the Dean's List.

Victoria DiStefano of Elba, NY was named to the Dean's List.

Jennifer Gremer of Linwood, NY was named to the Dean's List.

Keenan Hughes of Elba, NY was named to the Dean's List.

Elias Seward of Basom, NY was named to the Dean's List.

Micah Brill of Le Roy, NY was named to the Dean's List.

Sydney Gallup of Elba, NY was named to the Dean's List.

Sean Hale of Byron, NY was named to the Dean's List.

Benjamin Heintz of Batavia, NY was named to the Dean's List.

Meghan Bishop of Le Roy, NY was named to the Dean's List.

Erin Suttell of Batavia, NY was named to the Dean's List.

Claire Vanderberg of Batavia, NY was named to the Dean's List.

Cody Pierce of Bergen, NY was named to the Dean's List.

Yangyan Dong of Bergen, NY was named to the Dean's List.

James Mangefrida of Le Roy, NY was named to the Dean's List.

Olivia Talley of Oakfield, NY was named to the Dean's List.

Kristen Gaik of corfu, NY was named to the Dean's List.

Cady Hume of Batavia, NY was named to the Dean's List.

Alexander Gunther of Bergen, NY was named to the Dean's List.

Jason Birch of Bergen, NY was named to the Dean's List.

Gena Korn of Le Roy, NY was named to the Dean's List.

Anthony Young of Alexander, NY was named to the Dean's List.

Jacob Sojda of Batavia, NY was named to the Dean's List.

Casey Herman of Corfu, NY was named to the Dean's List.

Anne Culliton of Batavia, NY was named to the Dean's List.

Ainsley Dungan of Batavia, NY was named to the Dean's List.

Melanie Monroe of Bergen, NY was named to the Dean's List.

Jeana Pfalzer of Le Roy, NY was named to the Dean's List.

Alissa Phillips of Bergen, NY was named to the Dean's List.

Lauren Hughes of Elba, NY was named to the Dean's List.

Haley Huey of Batavia, NY was named to the Dean's List.

Brittni Loewke of Bergen, NY was named to the Dean's List.

Eric Kowalik of Elba, NY was named to the Dean's List.

Meg Stucko of Elba, NY was named to the Dean's List.

Lisa Halat of Oakfield, NY was named to the Dean's List.

Bridget Chartraw of Oakfield, NY was named to the Dean's List.

Darren Kwiatkowski of Byron, NY was named to the Dean's List.

Cara Ferraro of Batavia, NY was named to the Dean's List.

Jenna Kent of Batavia, NY was named to the Dean's List.

The College at Brockport is a comprehensive four-year public college, located in Brockport, NY. The College offers 50 undergraduate majors, more than 50 graduate programs as well as 24 teacher certification programs. The College has been rated among a "Best Regional University" by US News & World Report and a "Best Value" by Kiplinger's Personal Finance.
 

July 17, 2014 - 9:45am
posted by Howard B. Owens in genesee county, nursing home.

New York will finally pay off some of their IOUs to the county.

County Treasurer Scott German learned Tuesday that $4.1 million in funds meant to cover 2013 Nursing Home expenses will be transferred to the county Aug. 13.

That's the good news. We'll get to the bad news shortly.

The $4.1 million is what is known as an Inter-Governmental Transfer. It's money that originates with the federal government and sent to the states so the states can transfer it to county governments that run nursing homes. The money is meant to help offset the difference in reimbursement fees between Medicaid and Medicare (it's more complicated than that, but that's the easy explanation).

In June, the county received $4.3 million in back IGT payments from 2012.

Of the $8.4 million IGT received, the taxpayers of Genesee County paid an amount equal to 50 percent, or $4.2 million, as a local match.

But that isn't all of the bad news.

County Manager Jay Gsell said the feds are phasing out the IGT program. The Aug. 13 payment is probably one of the last two or three the county will ever receive.

No program has been announced to replace it.

Once there's no IGT -- and if there's no program to replace it -- the local share cost of running the Genesee County Nursing Home will likely be at least $3 million a year, and that figure is growing each year, German said. The operating deficit will need to be funded by local taxpayers.

Of the $4.3 million received in June, $2 million went into the general fund to pay off money the Nursing Home borrowed from the general fund.

Some of that IGT money will be used to pay off a $5.8 million Revenue Anticipation Note (RAN -- a short-term loan based on the promise of anticipated revenue).

The $4.1 million the county receives Aug. 13 should pay off the rest of the RAN, a loan that must be retired by November.

If for some reason, there is a shortfall, the county will either need money from the general fund or another loan, German said, to pay off this RAN.

But it's anticipated there will be a $200,000 surplus from the IGT payment, which will be gobbled up by Nursing Home expenses in short order. The county will then need to borrow more money to cover Nursing Home expenses with no guarantee the feds or the state will help with the expense at a later date.

The County Legislature met with an attorney today who is helping them explore options for dealing with the Nursing Home. The meeting was held in close session and was purely informational for the legislators, Gsell said.

April 8, 2014 - 12:44pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in genesee county.

A story in today's Buffalo News begins:

The decades-long brain drain among young people in the Buffalo Niagara region is turning into a brain gain.

There's some truth in the statement, according to data compiled by the University of Michigan, which created an online database tracking net migration rates on a county-by-county basis throughout the nation.

Erie County has been losing population in nearly all age groups going back to the 1960s, but Niagara County has had some success gaining population among adults 1990s and 2000s.

For us, the good news -- exploding a commonly held "brain drain" myth locally -- is that Genesee County has traditionally done well drawing in workers who are 25 years old and older, at least until people hit about 40 years old.

The chart below (larger version here) shows that for every decade since the 1950s, Genesee County has lost population in the teenage age group and college-age adults, but consistently seen gains in population for people in their 30s. Genesee County starts losing mid-career workers in their 40s (along with, apparently, their teenage children), suggesting -- if we can speculate on the point -- that there are insufficient job opportunities locally as people advance in their careers. In the past two decades, it looks like there is a trend toward retirees coming to Genesee County.

The chart reflects a gain or loss in an age bracket compared to that cohort a decade earlier. What it doesn't tell us is whether it's the same people coming or going from one decade to the next. For example, the thirtysomethings migrating to Genesee County may not have lived here in their younger years. Just as the data doesn't tell us where people are coming from, it also doesn't tell us where they're going to.

The chart for Erie County (larger version here) shows a much grimmer picture. Our neighbors to the west have been suffering population loss in all cohorts decade after decade since the close of the 1950s.

Niagara County (larger version here) has shown less decline than Erie County and some gains among people 35 to 50 in the 1990s and 2000s.

Wyoming and Orleans counties show migration patterns very similar to Genesee County.

April 1, 2014 - 12:33pm
Event Date and Time: 
April 3, 2014 - 4:00pm to 7:00pm

Genesee County Health Department is offering an anti-rabies immunization clinic on Thursday April 3, 2014 from 4pm until 7pm at the Pembroke Highway Department located on the NE corner of Route 77 and Route 5; at 1145 Main Road (Route 5), Pembroke, NY. Vaccination will be offered to dogs, cats and ferrets. There is no charge for the residents of Genesee County; out of county pet owners will be asked for a $5.00 donation. Please bring your pets with proper restraints; on leashes, in cages etc. Be prepared to supply pet owner information; name, address, telephone contact info, etc.

March 20, 2014 - 11:08am
posted by Bea McManis in genesee county, poverty, cropwalk.

A recent article in the Batavia Daily News telling about an upcoming fundraiser and awareness program gave some very disturbing statistics about Genesee County.  7114 people live below the poverty level.  6259 receive food stamps.  40% of our children qualify for free or reduced lunches.  6000 residents were helped by the food pantry.  Over 9000 meals were served by Stephen's table.  The numbers are alarming.  What I found more alarming was the one comment to the article, "Don't feed the animals.  They become dependent.".  That statement made me physically ill.  Have we, as a society, become that callous?  

March 17, 2014 - 2:54pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in genesee county, tax liens.

Below are the results of the auction Saturday at Bontrager's of properties seized by Genesee County for non-payment of property taxes. Treasurer Scott German said the amount of taxes owed has been calculated not to include accrued interest, but the figure is still preliminary. The list of city properties sold is not yet available.

Address Type Acres Assessed Taxes Sale Price
6550 Alleghany Road, Alabama Single Fam. .48 $73,300 $14,773 $30,000
2725 Attica Road, Alexander Single Fam. .48 $72,800 $10,721 $23,000
3366 Dodgeson Road, Alexander Single Fam. 1.3 $69,000 $17,611 $44,000
3457 West Main Street Road, Batavia Single Fam. 3.8 $90,600 $11,643 $70,000
East Main Street Road, Batavia Vacant .4545 $100 0 $300
7573 South Lake Road, Bergen Single Fam. .4386 $70,000 $11,799 $51,000
5785 E. Bethany-Le Roy Rd, Bethany Single Fam. .5 $111,600 $15,136 $47,000
10474 Bethany Center Road, Bethany Single Fam. .28 $75,700 $12,661 $64,000
County Line Road Vacant Lot 4.5 $20,300 $3,320 $12,500
6920 Transit Road, Elba Vacant Lot 2.08 $4,400 $1,400 $8,000
6616 Snyder Road, Elba Single Fam. 1.11 $15,000 $5,799 $9,000
4973 Barrville Road, Elba Single Fam. .4 $29,000 $3,390 $18,000
East Main Road, Le Roy Vacant Lot .54 $800 $1,036 $300
Meiser Road, Pembroke Vacant Lot .45 $20,000 $3,284 $4,000
Sliker Road, Pembroke Vacant Lot 1 $34,000 $4,977 $10,000
866 Gabbey Road, Pembroke Single Fam. .41 $55,200 $5,867 $15,000
Angling Road, Pembroke Vacant Lot 1 $15,000 $2,517 $3,100
5762 Route 5, Stafford Restaurant 4.36 $284,000 $42,263 $70,000
3321 Church St., Alexander 3 Fam. .99 $124,800 $20,769 $48,000
West Main Street, Le Roy Vacant Lot 44.4 $50,000 $938 $42,500
106 Lake St., Le Roy 2 Fam. .53 $87,200 $25,604 $35,000
86 Wolcott St., Le Roy Single Fam. .24 $39,000 $6,576 $18,000
21 Lathrop, Le Roy Single Fam. .1894 $68,200 $11,109 $41,000
12 Maple Ave., Oakfield Vacant Lot .2055 $15,300 $21,552 $1,800

 

February 26, 2014 - 9:15pm
posted by Billie Owens in genesee county, accident.

Former County Legislator Richard M. Rudolph of District #3 was seriously injured in a two-vehicle accident this afternoon in Warsaw which left another person dead.

State Police responded to the accident, which occurred on Route 98 just south of the intersection with Lindsey Road in the Town of Attica, at about 2:30. They determined a vehicle operated by Terry J. O'Neill, 54, of Varysburg, was southbound, rounding a curve in the highway. The roadway was partially covered with windblown snow.

She lost control of her 1998 Buick LeSabre and went broadside, crossing into the northbound lane. A second vehicle operated by 88-year-old Rudolph, now of Akron, was northbound and could not take evasive action in time before striking O'Neill's vehicle directly broadside on the passenger side.

Both vehicles continued off the highway and came to rest in a field on the east shoulder.

Rudolph was transported by Mercy Flight to Erie County Medical Center for treatment of chest abrasions and pain, but his injuries appear do not appear life threatening. O'Neill was transported to Wyoming County Community Hospital in Warsaw by Attica Ambulance, suffering from severe head trauma and she succumbed to her injuries at approximately 4 p.m.

Troop A Collision Reconstruction Unit responded to assist with the investigation, which is continuing. Troopers were assisted by Attica and Varysburg Fire and Rescue personnel, Wyoming County Medic 80 and the Wyoming County Sheriff’s Office.

January 22, 2014 - 3:52pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in genesee county.

County personnel are in the midst of programming new Harris XG 25P radios for the new emergency communication system that is expected to begin operating by Feb. 12.

Each radio must be plugged into a computer and programmed to the proper frequencies. The programming takes seconds, the paperwork that goes with each radio takes a bit longer, said Keith Hunt.

Each radio is assigned its own IP address which must be documented. (An IP address is a numerical code used in Internet communications to identify computers on the network. The computer you're using now to read this story has an IP address.)

Russ Lang said there are 520 portable radios in this room, all of them earmarked for volunteer firefighters.

The county has already completed the installation of new radios in fire trucks and chiefs' vehicles -- 300 in all.

The countywide emergency communications upgrade is a more than $10 million expense, paid for largely by federal grants. It's part of a Homeland Security plan to have all communication systems in all counties on an interoperable emergency system.

The new system -- except for outgoing fire dispatch calls -- will be incompatible with any current scanners private citizens own. Uniden is releasing a new scanner this week that will be compatible with the new system. Locally, it can be purchased from G&G Communications in Le Roy.

January 14, 2014 - 10:34pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in genesee county.

County Highway Superintendent Tim Hens had a few items approved today by the Public Service Committee:

  • The sale of surplus property, specifically a 2001 Chevrolet Silverado 1/2 ton 4x4 pickup truck.
  • Authorizing the county to enter into a consultant agreement with C&S Engineering for the final design of a new terminal and maintenance hangar at the Genesee County Airport. The total design contract is $240,024, with $199,500 being previously approved. The increase includes $11,111 in new state aid and $29,913 in airport deferred revenue. 
  • An agreement to work with the Town of Batavia on reconstruction of the intersection at Powers Road and Pratt Road. The project will eliminate a hill and fill in a dip, improving visibility for drivers approaching the intersection. The total cost of the project is $400,000 and will be covered in part by a 90 percent federal grant.
  • Authorized purchase of a new 4x6 dump truck, wing, plow and harder sander for $205,918 from Beam Mack Sales in Rochester. The highway department runs six such trucks "nonstop" Hens said. The trucks haul snow, salt, dirt, tree stumps and other material that needs moved place to place. "These are workhorse vehicles," said County Manager Jay Gsell.
  • Authorized the purchase of six Ford Fusions, a Ford Escape and a 12-passenger van from Van Bortel Ford, East Rochester, at a price not to exceed $165,360.
January 9, 2014 - 6:06pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in genesee county.

Press release:

After an extensive and time consuming national search that included 61 potential candidates. A short-list of 3 – 5 finalists was reviewed by County Management members and the best fit for both the County Manager’s Office and Genesee County government as we progress in this second decade of the 21st Century will be the appointment of Matthew Landers as the new Assistant County Manager effective February 1, 2014.

Matt, a native of Elba and presently a City of Batavia resident, brings his skills and enthusiasm and 10 years of experience as Deputy County Treasurer to his new role as a key operative in the Chief Administrative Office of Genesee County government and the recently revised duties and responsibilities of Assistant County Manager.

Matt is replacing Frank Ciaccia a 21+ year veteran of the Genesee County Manager’s Office who can now truly “retire” from active duty which he has very capably been doing since he announced his retirement in May 2012.

Matt and his wife, Melissa, are the proud parents of two children, Katie and Ben.

The transition from the County Treasurer’s Office to the County Manager’s Office has been and will be a joint collaboration between the two administrative arms of Genesee County government.
 

December 24, 2013 - 8:37am
posted by Howard B. Owens in genesee county.

A year ago today, two volunteer firefighters responding to a fire in Webster were ambushed, shot and killed. It was an unspeakable tragedy that resonated throughout the communities of Western New York.

Our firefighters face enough risks and challenges without being senselessly targeted.

Last year, we published a slideshow of the year's worth of photos of Genesee County's heroes, and to keep the tradition going, here are some of the photos from 2013 of both career and volunteer firefighters working, training and serving our community.

To learn how you can become a local hero by becoming a volunteer with a local fire department, visit ReadyGenesee.com.

December 15, 2013 - 12:38pm
posted by Alecia Kaus in genesee county, snow.

Ellicott Avenue snow

 

Many residents could be found digging out their driveways and clearing their cars of snow this morning.

After five straight days of snowfall, Genesee County will be getting a break today. There are no warnings, watches or advisories and temperatures will rise to the mid-20s. There is a chance of snow, but less than a half inch.

The seven-day forecast calls for rising temperatures and possibly 45 degrees by Friday.

Greg Lee uses his snowblower to clear his rental property on Richmond Avenue.

Pat Cavanaugh shovels out her driveway on Redfield Parkway.

Pat's neighbor gives her a hand.

After many days with temperatures below freezing, icicles have formed on Arby's front windows.

The McFollins brothers tried to go sledding at Centennial Park, but the snow was not good for sledding. So a snowball fight broke out on the way home. Pictured are Javin, 8, Ayden, 10, Mason, 12, and Carter, 8, of Batavia.

Plows were out clearing and salting the roads and streets seemed to be in better shape than yesterday.

December 10, 2013 - 6:18pm
posted by Alecia Kaus in genesee county, snow.

 

The National Weather Service out of Buffalo says the heavy lake effect snow hitting Genesee County will stay over the area for at least another hour.

The band will then move south and into Wyoming County and the Southtowns.

There have been several property damage accidents throughout the county, but motorists seem to be taking it slow on the drive home tonight.

December 10, 2013 - 3:58pm
posted by Alecia Kaus in genesee county, snowfall.

According to the National Weather Service out of Buffalo, a burst of heavy lake effect snow is expected to develop in the next few hours.

Increased winds will result in some blowing and drifting snow, especially in open areas.

Snowfall rates may increase to one to two inches by early evening and travel conditions may deteriorate.

November 27, 2013 - 3:51am
posted by Howard B. Owens in genesee county, weather.

Emergency responders have been busy throughout the night and throughout the county with weather-related calls.

There have been wires down, cars off the roadways and accidents.

We don't have all the details on all of those incidents.

We can tell you that more than 700 National Grid customers are without power in more than a dozen different locations in Genesee County.

The largest outage is from Brookville Road down to Attica with 374 customers without power. No ETA on power restoration.

South of South Main Street Road, just west of Wortendyke Road is another outage with 89 customers affected. Power should be restored by 6:30 a.m.

Off Maple Road, Alabama, 68 customers affected. Power should be restored by 4:30 a.m.

Outages effecting about 35 customers each are reported off of Gulf Road, Le Roy, County Line Road, Darien, Harlow Road, Darien and just west of Darien Center.

There are also nine customers in Linden without power and 12 just west of Morganville.

There are two small outages reported in the city and another half-dozen or so small ones sprinkled throughout the county.

One large band of snow passed over the county in the 2 a.m. hour and radar shows another one heading our way in a couple of hours.

UPDATE 7:06 a.m.: There remains small, isolated power outages scattered all over the county. The two largest effects 200 customes on the Tonawanda Indian Reservation and 76 customers in Pavilion, just north of Route 20 in the South Street Road area. The National Weather Service reports that the heavy wet snow has passed through the area and is predicting patchy light snow the rest of the day. Caution is advised while traveling because of numerous low hanging and downed wires.

November 13, 2013 - 9:25pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in genesee county, history.

Local historians from throughout Genesee County were in County Building #2 today for the official ribbon cutting on the History Department's new home. Cutting the ribbon above are Legislator Esther Leadley and Legislature Chairwoman Mary Pat Hancock while County Historian Sue Conklin looks on.

Previously: Big task complete, history department settles into new digs at County Building #2

October 27, 2013 - 4:15pm
posted by Robert Brown in genesee county, government.

We live in an interesting time and place. Our county (Genesee, NY) consists of about 60,000 residents scattered around 13 towns, six villages, and the City of Batavia across about 500 square miles of largely agricultural space. Those 20 municipalities each have their own government structures with their own elections (surprisingly not all managed by the Genesee County Board of Elections) and their own net costs to taxpayers.

The City of Batavia consists of about 15,500 people (which is essentially a quarter of the total Genesee County population) who are represented by three elected County Legislators at the county level as well as nine elected representatives (one for each of the City's six wards and three additional at-large officials) on City Council. Genesee County Government alone employs more than 700 people -- those are government employees!

According to statistics published by Zoom Prospector, the government sector in all of Genesee County employs more than 6,000 people (those are all public-sector jobs and include teachers, law enforcement, et.al.)!  That's a lot of government for the 15,500 people in the City and the 60,000 people in the County. That also translates to a lot of non-wealth-generating expense for Genesee County taxpayers.

Contrast that with the City of Weston, Fla. Weston consists of about 67,700 people with an elected government of five people and a whopping nine additional employees. That's right, a total of 14 government employees manage the entire government for 67,700 people!

Now I realize this is an apples-to-oranges comparison on some levels, but even if county-provided services (e.g., Weston contracts the Broward County Sheriff's Office for law enforcement services -- yes, a county-run police force can effectively cover a city, in fact, multiple cities of substantial size) are included, Weston does not come anywhere near the County's 700 (more like 800-plus if you count all the municipalities in Genesee County) and certainly not 6,000 government employees for its 67,700 people. Yet Weston has streets, parks, sidewalks, businesses, homes, services, and everything else (except the same weather and state income taxes) we have in Genesee County.

It's time we look closely at the way we have been running government in Genesee County. Justifying three paid county legislators because Batavia is a third (or more accurately a quarter) the Genesee County population is not logical.

Are the needs of the citizens in the three legislative districts for the City of Batavia any different at the County level? Couldn't a single county legislator effectively represent the City? However many paid county legislators makes sense -- how about they retain an attorney as necessary and hire a county manager who then hires a clerk, treasurer, and a handful of department heads. Then contract the rest of the work out to the public sector and augment with part-time employees when necessary.

I realize it's not that simple to implement in a snap, but why can't we envision the optimum solution and put a plan in place to make it a reality? Why do we allow ourselves to perpetuate inefficiency? Do we really need nine elected officials on Batavia City Council? We elect multiple highway superintendents, clerks, judges, attorneys, coroners, treasurers, et.al., across the County and our various municipalities. Then an army of government-hired employees is assembled to perform everything government decides to undertake.

Why? How are the citizens of Genesee County benefiting from it all? Do we really need 6,000-plus government employees in Genesee County? Can we prosper with that proportion of government employment? Can we even survive? Should government even be in the business of providing services that are already available in the private sector, especially when the government-provided services are not fiscally responsible to all taxpayers?

If you believe government as a whole in the country is bloated, consider that about 15 percent of our active national workforce is employed in the public sector. That IS substantial and unsustainable. Meanwhile, here in Genesee County, about 20 percent of our active workforce is employed by the government! And on average, those public employees are paid as well as or better than most of the remaining 80 percent of the workforce in the County!

Genesee County has become a microcosm of all the problems we see at the state and federal levels: attempting to do too much with too many fingers in the pie. Let's get back to basics. We don't need to reinvent the wheel, we just need to strive for efficiency. Nay, we need to excel at efficiency! We need to stop expecting government to fill every role in our community and instead give citizens back the power, resources, and freedom to invest in solutions that work best for them.

We're on the verge of electing a new County Legislature -- let's elect the candidates who are unafraid to relinquish control and advocate an efficient, streamlined government.

For reference, here's a blog (sorry, it's 18 months old) on how Weston does it:

http://www.governing.com/blogs/view/How-.htm

 

October 18, 2013 - 9:27am
posted by Howard B. Owens in genesee county, budget.

In effort to keep pace with increased expense demands, the County Legislature may need to pass a budget resolution overriding the state's cap of a 2-percent increase on the tax levy, according to County Manager Jay Gsell.

Gsell is recommending an increase to $10.11 per thousand of assessed value, up from the current $9.89 and increasing the total levy by $527,000.

A property tax increase that keeps levy below the cap level would add only $353,000 in revenue.

The total county spending plan, including local and mandated expenses is $149,100,167.

Even though all county departments turned in discretionary budgets that hold the line on local spending, state mandates expenses continue to test the county's ability to generate sufficient revenue to balance the budget.

The big budget issues are the Genesee County Jail, with a state-mandated increase in corrections officers, and the County Nursing Home, with $18.5 million in "heavily mandated" expenses that continue to drain the county's general fund.

Since the state refuses to provide mandate relief or pay the expense of its mandates, a full 71 percent of the county's tax levy goes to these mandated programs.

One of the largest expenses is the $9.96 million in local share of Medicaid.

The county's revenue projections for 2014 includes an anticipated 9-percent increase in sales tax revenue.

To read the full budget message, click here.

October 11, 2013 - 11:44am
posted by Billie Owens in genesee county.

Press release:

In January 2001, Genesee County launched the ProAct Prescription Discount Card for its residents. By partnering with ProAct, Genesee County is one of the many counties across the country that has been able to provide its residents -- regardless of age or income -- affordable access to prescription medications. Every prescription receives a discount, including some pet medications.

When visiting the pharmacy, simply show the pharmacist/pharmacist technician the discount card and you can anticipate saving an average of 10-20 percent off name-brand medications and 20-70 percent off generic medications. Resident can visit the discount card Web site at www.NYRxDiscountCard.com to locate the nearest participating pharmacy as well as check the cost of their medications.

"This discount card provides every resident who uses it, regardless of age or income, the opportunity to save on prescriptions medications," said Mary Pat Hancock, chair of the Genesee County Legislature. "We encourage every resident to keep their card on hand and to take advantage of the money-saving program whenever possible."

Residents of Genesee County utilized the discount card to fill more than 26,000 prescriptions and collectively saved more than $1 million since the start of the program. The ProAct Prescription Discount Card Program is completely free for the county and residents. Discount cards have been provided to county offices including the Department of Social Services, the Health Department, the County Office Building and to all participating pharmacies.

To acquire a discount card or if your card has been lost, please visit one of the above referenced locations or if you have access to the Internet, with a few simple clicks you may print a Genesee County card at www.NYRxDiscountCard.com

September 19, 2013 - 9:43am
posted by Howard B. Owens in genesee county.

While there are few people walking into the Genesee County Clerk's Office to handle their DMV business, County Clerk Don Read told legislators yesterday, booming auto sales at area dealerships are more than making up for the lost revenue.

Still, Read would like to see more residents -- especially county employees -- realize that when they register their vehicles by mail directly with Albany, the county gets far less of that revenue than if the registration is handled locally.

"There's a major state initiative to move toward the Internet and kiosks," Read said. "That takes revenue away from the county office. They're doing it primarily because they want more of the revenue, and secondarily because they have an interest in reducing the cost at the motor vehicle offices in New York City, the surrounding counties and Long Island and Albany and Onondaga counties."

While local dealers have been selling more cars, so have dealers throughout the region. One large dealer with multiple locations does all of his business with the Genesee County DMV office because he gets better service.

Last Monday, that dealer brought in 295 new vehicle registrations. The following Wednesday, 40, and then on Friday, 130.

That dealer alone will probably account for $100,000 in revenue for the county, Read said.

Even so, Read would like a memo to go out -- perhaps even the proper forms included with paychecks -- to county employees reminding them to register their vehicles locally.

According to read, the county is currently only getting about 10 percent of its own employees' vehicle registration business. If there was a way to capture 100 percent of the business from the county's 230 employees (at an average, Read speculates, of three cars per household), Read said, it would mean another $100,000 in revenue annually.

"The best we can do is try to encourage them and hope they realize they're taking money out of their own pockets when they don't do it," Read said.

While the vehicle registration drop boxes on Court Street in Batavia and in Le Roy continue to help generate vehicle registration business for the county, the drop box installed last year in Bergen isn't doing much. It hardly pays to send an employee out three times a week to check on it, Read said.

Read would like to do more marketing to encourage people to register their vehicles locally, but in these days of tight budgets there aren't funds available to buy advertising.

In other Clerk's Office news: Michael Cianfrini, Oakfield town supervisor and son of Legislator Ray Cianfrini, will become the new deputy clerk. Cianfrini brings the added bonus, Read said, of being a licensed attorney. While Read had some hesitation about whether to appoint the son of a sitting legislator, he decided "the office shouldn't suffer because his dad is on the Legislature."  Read described him as clearly the most qualified candidate among a very competitive group of candidates.

Michael Cianfrini has been working in Ray Cianfrini's law office in Oakfield.

"The county's gain is my loss," Ray said.

"I'm really looking forward to him joining the office," Read said.

A start date for Cianfrini in his new post has not be set yet.

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